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Relocated NFL Teams: The Dallas Texans

The Dallas Texans were an American football team that played in the NFL during the 1952 season. The team was the first ever major league team to be based in the state of Texas. Dallas was awarded an NFL expansion franchise with brothers Giles and Collins Miller set to be the custodians of the new franchise. The Millers purchased the roster of New York Yanks who had folded during the 1951 season and renamed them the Dallas Texans. The Millers initially wanted to name the team as the Rangers but instead, the name Texans was picked with the hope of appealing to fans from the wider Texas area. The home stadium of the Texans was the Cotton Bowl.

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The Texans only participated in the NFL for one season. They played their first game on September 27, 1952, losing 24-6 to the New York Giants. They scored first after taking advantage of a fumble by the Giants’ defense and scoring two plays later. However they would not reach the Giants’ end zone again even as they allowed a barrage of mistakes at their own end. They met the San Francisco 49ers two weeks later and they went down 37-14. Their losing streak continued as they were beaten by the Chicago Bears 38-20 a week later. They would lose the next six games to extend their losing streak to a total of nine games.

With three games left in the season, they met the Chicago Bears for the home leg on November 27, 1952. Confident of their superiority over the Texans, the Bears presented an understrength roster for the game which was a factor in the Cowboys registering their first and only win that season, a 27-23 result. The crowd at the Rubber Bowl in Akron was thin as usual and head coach Jim Phelan mused that the team could have gone round the stands shaking each fan’s hand instead of being introduced on the field. After that win, the Texans sunk back to familiar ineptitude as they lost the remaining two games to finish the season with a 1-11 record.

Why were the Dallas Texans Relocated?

When the league granted the city of Dallas an NFL franchise, it was hoped that Texas would be a great state for the NFL owing to its great appetite for college football. The fact that the Texans were one of the worst teams on the field that the NFL has ever seen did not help their course to attract fans in Dallas. Fans never really embraced the team from the start and it kept getting worse throughout their lone season. Despite having one of the largest stadiums in the league, only 17,499 fans came to watch the Texans’ first game and it kept getting worse as the season progressed. With fans disillusioned by the team’s lack of progress, they stayed away in droves and by November the team attracted less than 10,000 fans. The team moved twice, first to Hershey, Pennsylvania and then to Akron, Ohio for the final two games in the hope of increasing fan turnout. The turnout however took a turn for the worse as just 3000 fans came to watch the team. This was actually smaller than the turnout for a high school game that had been played there a day earlier. When the season concluded, the team was taken over by the league after the owners were unable to keep up with the financial losses the team generated. The NFL was unable to find a buyer for the team and they were forced to discontinue the franchise. The team’s roster was broken up and awarded to other teams in an expansion draft while the remaining assets were acquired by the startup franchise Baltimore Colts a few weeks later. However, the Colts are considered a separate team from the Texans and therefore Texans are officially the last NFL team to fold permanently. The city of Dallas had to wait till 1960 for another NFL team, with the Dallas Cowboys, a successful franchise today, being formed in another league expansion. The same year a new team called the Dallas Texans was formed in the startup AFL but relocated two years later to become the Kansas City Chiefs. The Houston Texans of the NFL revived the moniker in 2002.

Dallas Texans Notable Players

George Taliaferro PR

Buddy Young RH

John Wozniak RG

Weldon Humble LG

Frank Tripucka QB

Dick Wilkins LE

Jim Lansford T

Stan Williams E

Zollie Toth FB

Dick Hoerner FB

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