Posted: Wednesday July 24, 2002 4:34 PM
By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com
The Texans return to the NFL this season, albeit in Houston, becoming the third franchise to use the moniker (Dallas, 1952; Dallas, 1960-62).
The Texans' first foray into professional football came when the league awarded Giles Miller, a young Dallas millionaire, the New York Yanks (formerly known as the New York Bulldogs (1949) and Boston Yanks (1944-48)).
The Dallas Texans' inaugural game -- Sept. 28, 1952 -- actually began on an optimistic note: They scored first.
Just minutes into the game, the Texans recovered a punt fumbled by a New York defensive back. Two plays later the Texans scored. Photos of the scoring play show that the nearest Giants defender was the same defensive back who had set up the drive with his fumble -- Tom Landry. The Texans missed the extra point, then lost the game 24-6.
With five games remaining and the Texans unable to meet their payroll, Miller was forced to return the Dallas franchise to the league, which operated the franchise for the remainder of the season.
Entering a game against Chicago at 0-9, the Texans stunned the Bears 27-23. However, the euphoria was short-lived; following losses to Philadelphia and Detroit, the Texans folded.
While the '52 Texans lasted only that one 1-11 season in Dallas, the '60 Texans stuck around for three years before moving.
Dallas native Lamar Hunt founded the AFL Texans in 1960, playing home games in the Cotton Bowl and averaging 24,500 fans for seven home games, the highest average in the league. Dallas finished 8-6, second in the AFL Western Division.
After a 6-8 mark in 1961, the Texans rebounded the next season to win the West with an 11-3 record. In the AFL Championship Game, the Texans faced the Oilers at Houston on Dec. 23.
The Texans jumped out to a 17-0 lead as Abner Haynes scored two touchdowns. However, the Oilers posted 17 second-half points and forced overtime. After a scoreless OT period the game went into the first double overtime in pro football history. The Texans' Tommy Brooker kicked a 25-yard field goal for a 20-17 win and the first of three AFL titles for the franchise.
Not wanting to compete head-to-head against the NFL's Cowboys, who also debuted in 1960, Hunt moved his AFL team to Kansas City following the '62 season and adopting the nickname Chiefs.
Before the "new" Texans take the field -- in the same town the "old" Texans played their final game -- here's a look at some of the Texans-sized facts: