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DALLAS TEXANS

DALLAS TEXANS. In the late 1950s Lamar Hunt of Dallas sought to obtain a professional football franchise for that city. Hunt was told by the National Football League that there would be no expansion in the foreseeable future, so he set out to form a new league. He found other men to join him in this venture, and in 1959 Hunt formed the American Football League. Hunt named his team the Dallas Texans and hired Hank Stram, an assistant coach at the University of Miami, Florida, as his head coach. The American Football League made its professional debut in 1960. Hunt's Texans finished their first season with an eight-win and six-loss record, placing second in the AFL's Western Division. The 1960 Texans had the league's most exciting player, Abner Haynes, a rookie from North Texas State University, who won the league rushing title, was chosen the AFL's first "Player of the Year," and became the symbol of the dynamic new professional league. In 1961 the team slipped to a six-win and eight-loss record. Stram rewarded Hunt with his first championship in 1962, when the Texans, bolstered by the addition of quarterback Len Dawson and rookie fullback Curtis McClinton, swept to the Western Division title with a spectacular eleven-win and three-loss season. Stram was named "Coach of the Year," Dawson, "Player of the Year," and McClinton, "Rookie of the Year." The Texans' foe in the 1962 championship game was the Houston Oilers, who were bidding for a pro football record of three straight championships. Behind by seventeen points, Houston tied the score by the end of the regulation sixty minutes, and the stage was set for one of the most exciting endings in sports history. The Texans and Oilers struggled through a fifth fifteen-minute period and were two minutes and fifty-four seconds into a record-breaking "sixth quarter" when rookie Tommy Brooker kicked a twenty-five-yard field goal to give the Texans a 20 to 17 victory in the longest football game ever played. The Texans were champions, but all was not peace and tranquility in Dallas. The rival National Football League had placed a team, the Dallas Cowboys, there in 1960 to compete with the Texans. The fans were torn between two camps-the Texans and the Cowboys. In 1963 Lamar Hunt moved his team to Kansas City, Missouri.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Harold Rosenthal, ed., American Football League Official History, 1960–1969 (St. Louis: Sporting News, 1970).

Jim Schaaf

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Jim Schaaf, "DALLAS TEXANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xod01), accessed April 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.