Once Upon a Time

Long ago, but not so far away

There was a professional football team known as the Dallas Texans

No, not those Dallas Texans who became the Kansas City Chiefs, but those other Dallas Texans. You know, those Dallas Texans who eventually became the Indianapolis Colts.

Oh, you don't remember them? Well, I don't blame you; you are probably not as old as I am, either.

Disclaimer: This article is more about other teams than it is about the Cowboys, but I have never been a fan of any professional team named Texans. I am now, and always have been, a Cowboys fan.

Dawn Macelli recently posted an excellent front page article about how the current Cowboys and Chiefs franchises came into being. Being the old guy that I am, I actually remember the period, pre Kennedy assassination, quite well.

As I was reading Dawn's article, in the back of my mind there rang this little bell, and a voice said, "RenoCowboy, you remember a team called the Dallas Texans that goes back a lot further than Dawn's article, don't you?"

Let us take a trip together back in time. Are you ready to go? The place is Boston; the year is 1948.

The NFL has a franchise called the Boston Yanks. The Yanks weren't very good; the Yanks weren't very good at all; in fact, the Boston Yanks were pretty bad; and always had been. Their record in 1948 was 3-9, and that included a two game winning streak earlier in the season. But they did finish on a high note, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 37-14 in the last game of the season.

Back in those days the owners didn't have quite the resources (money) that they do today, and the team just couldn't stay afloat in Boston. Finally, the NFL agreed to allow the Yanks to move to New York--well, sort of--which didn't make the NY (football) Giants too happy. The reason I say the league sort of allowed the franchise to move, is because they allowed the franchise to fold, and the owner was granted a new franchise in New York where they played, primarily with former Boston Yanks players, in the Polo Grounds, as the NY Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were even less successful on the field than the Yanks had been in Boston and finished the season with a 1-11 record.

The NY Bulldogs did have one player in 1949 very familiar to Texas fans: second year QB, and future hall of famer, Bobby Layne.

Following the '49 season, the All American Football Conference (AAFC) folded, and the NFL Bulldogs merged with the NY (football) Yankees to become the New York Yanks. The Yanks actually had a winning season in 1950, their first as a Yanks/Bulldogs/Yanks franchise. But then, in 1951, they once again fell on hard times and the franchise folded.

The following extract from Wikipedia describes what happened to the franchise from these ignominious beginnings with brief stops during the '51 season, after folding in Dallas, in such NFL hotbeds of success as Hershey, Pennsylvania and Akron, Ohio.

The franchise was reported to have been "sold back" to the league following the 1951 season, but it is more likely the franchise was revoked by the league and canceled by the NFL. Shortly afterward, a group of Dallas businessmen bought the Yanks' roster and player contracts-though it was ostensibly a "new" franchise-and moved them to Dallas as the Dallas Texans. That franchise, in turn, failed after only one season, and the remains were awarded to a Baltimore-based group that used it to start the Baltimore Colts. However, the NFL currently does not consider the Colts (now based in Indianapolis) to be a continuation of the franchise once known as the New York Yanks.

...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.

Houston Texan fans may disagree, but I would suggest that, for long term success, an owner would be advised that if his team goes by the name of Oilers, Yanks, Bulldogs, or Texans, he might be better off renaming it.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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