Dallas Texans (NFL)

The Dallas Texans played in the National Football League for one season, 1952, with a record of 1–11.


After the 1951 NFL season, Ted Collins sold his financially troubled New York Yanks franchise back to the NFL. Collins had founded that franchise in 1944 as the Boston Yanks, moved to New York City in 1949 as the Bulldogs, and became the Yankees in 1950.

A few months later, a Dallas-based group led by Giles Miller bought the franchise and moved it to Dallas--the first-ever major league team to be based in Texas. Home games were scheduled to be played at the Cotton Bowl.

Miller thought that Texas, with its longstanding support of college football, would be a natural fit for the NFL. However, they proved to be one of the worst teams in NFL history. The first game, against the New York Giants, set the tone for the season. While the Texans managed to get the first touchdown, they missed the extra point. They never found the end zone again and lost 24-6.

Only 17,499 fans showed up at the Cotton Bowl (capacity 75,000) for that game, and attendance continued to dwindle as the losses piled up. Unable to meet payroll, Miller returned the team to the league with five games to go in the season. The NFL moved the franchise's operations to Hershey, Pennsylvania (though it kept the "Dallas Texans" name). It also made the team a traveling team as the Texans' last three home games were moved elsewhere.

The team wound up playing one of its final two "home" games at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio, where the franchise's only win occurred — a 27-23 win over the Chicago Bears of George Halas, who was so confident that his team would win, he started his entire second string team — in front of an estimated 3,000 fans on Thanksgiving Day. The victory helped the otherwise failing franchise avoid what would have been the first winless regular season since 1944. Both the Brooklyn Tigers and Card-Pitt — the latter being the merged (for that year) Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers — finished 0-10-0 in 1944, an unenviable feat that would later be surpassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that lost all of its fourteen regular season games in 1976. At the Bears vs. Texans game in 1952, head coach Jim Phelan suggested because of the small turnout — where a high school game earlier outdrew the NFL contest (a measure of the NFL's low status on the sports scene at the time)— that instead of being introduced on the field, they should "go into the stands and shake hands with each fan." George Taliaferro, the team's leading rusher was selected to the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.

Following the season, the NFL awarded the remains of the Texans operation to a Baltimore-based group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom, who used it to start the Baltimore Colts. Although debatable from an historical perspective, the NFL does not consider the Colts (now based in Indianapolis) to be a continuation of the Yanks/Bulldogs/Yankees/Texans franchise. As a result, the Texans remain the last NFL team to permanently cease operations and not be included in the lineage of any current team.

In 1960, the league made a second venture into Dallas and established what would become a more successful team, the Dallas Cowboys. Also in that year, the American Football League began with its own Dallas Texans; that team moved after winning the 1962 AFL Championship and became the Kansas City Chiefs. The "Texans" name has since been revived by the NFL for the current Houston Texans, which started play in 2002.

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Notable players

First round draft selection


Year W L T Finish Coach
1952 1 11 0 6th National Jim Phelan

1952 Dallas Texans
Date Score W/L Opponent
9/28/52 6-24 L New York Giants
10/05/52 14-37 L San Francisco
10/12/52 20-38 L at Chicago
10/18/52 14-24 L Green Bay
10/26/52 21-48 L at San Francisco
11/02/52 20-42 L at Los Angeles
11/09/52 6-27 L Los Angeles
11/16/52 13-43 L at Detroit
11/23/52 14-42 L at Green Bay
11/27/52 27-23 W Chicago
12/07/52 21-38 L Philadelphia
12/14/52 6-41 L Detroit

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