The Dallas Texans – The Last NFL Team To Go Out Of Business


The Dallas Texans, the first NFL franchise to go by that name, began play in Dallas in 1952.  They had a short existence, playing just one season, before folding in that same year.  They are the last NFL franchise to effectively go out of business.
The franchise was founded in 1944 as the Boston Yanks and they would play there until 1948.  In 1949, the team relocated to New York and played as the Bulldogs.  They would rename the team again in 1950 and the New York Yanks would play that season and the 1951 season that followed in New York City.  Having never achieved financial success, Yanks owner Ted Collins who was also singer Kate Smith’s manager sold the franchise back to the NFL at the end of the 1951 season.  Giles Miller was the lead investor of a Dallas group who purchased the rights to the New York Yanks franchise with the intention of finally bringing an NFL team to the state of Texas.
The Texans would play their home games in the famous Cotton Bowl in Dallas which had a seating capacity of 75,000 at the time.  The first game would see less than 18,000 fans show up and that would be the high point in paid admission.  The team lost that game to the visiting New York Giants by the score of 24-6.  The very next week, the team would lose again at home, this time to the San Francisco 49ers by the score of 37-14.  Week three of the season would be a 38-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, followed by a 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers in week four.  A 48-21 loss, the second of the year to the San Francisco 49ers, would signal the end of the ownership group as Miller and the others turned the running of the team over to the league.  Week six would see the team lose 42-20 to the Los Angeles Rams on the road and then they would lose to them again 27-6 the next week back home in what would be the Texans’ last game in the Cotton Bowl.
After this game, the league did something interesting with the team as they moved its headquarters to Hershey, Pennsylvania and ran them as a traveling team. They would play their final five games on the road and the schedule would include a 43-13 loss to the Detroit Lions, 42-14 loss to the Packers, 27-23 win over the Bears, 38-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and finally a 41-6 loss to the Lions.  They would finish the season with a record of 1-11.
What was left of the team was awarded to Carroll Rosenbloom and a group of Baltimore, Maryland investors who would revive the team as the Baltimore Colts.  Because so little of the previous franchise was left, including very few players, the league considered the Colts a new team and not a continuation or relocation of the Dallas Texans.
The Dallas Texans name would return to pro football the next decade when 1960 saw a team play there under that name in the American Football League.  They would last just a couple of years there before relocating and becoming the Kansas City Chiefs.  It would be almost four decades before the name would be referenced again in the NFL when the expansion Houston Texans were started in 2002.
Interesting facts about the Dallas Texans:
-The team was coached by Jim Phelan who played football at Notre Dame and would gain entry into the College Football Hall of Fame thanks to the success he had as the head coach of Missouri, Purdue, Washington, and Saint Mary’s.
-There are two members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who played for the Dallas Texans.  Art Donovan would make a name for himself with the Baltimore Colts after that one year of playing in Texas.  Gino Marchetti would go on to a very successful career after his lone season in Texas.
-The only team to fall in defeat to the Texans was the Chicago Bears.  This game was played on Thanksgiving and Bears head coach George Halas was so confident of victory that he neglected to start most of his regular players.
-The Texans running back for that season was George Taliaferro.  He would be the club’s only representative in the Pro Bowl.
-The team colors of the Dallas Texans would be very familiar to current day fans of the Dallas Cowboys, they were navy blue and white.

Leave a Reply