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Dallas Desperados

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During a halftime interview at a Cowboys preseason game on August 12, 2000, Jerry Jones revealed to Babe Laufenberg that the AFL had granted him an expansion franchise to begin play in 2002. The team was originally going to be named the "Dallas Texans", following in the footsteps of Dallas' former AFL franchise which existed from 1990-1993. However, that same year the National Football League granted Houston an expansion franchise and its owner chose the name Texans for his new team. After a contest in which fans voted via the team's official website, the new Dallas team was eventually named the Desperados. Jones appointed Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano as head coach, and on November 21, 2001 in the AFL expansion draft, they acquired their first player, lineman Aaron Hamilton.

Avezzano, along with starting quarterback Andy Kelly, led the team to a respectable 7-7 record and a playoff appearance in the Desperados first season of play, and a 10-6 record and a second consecutive playoff berth in 2003 under new quarterback Jim Kubiak. However, Avezzano was fired from the Cowboys staff that season, and subsequently resigned as Desperados head coach when he accepted a job with the Oakland Raiders.

Before the 2004 season, Jones hired Will McClay to replace Avezzano, and McClay struggled to a 6-10 record his rookie season as coach. The team improved to 8-7-1 the following season and barely missed making the playoffs, and under the helm of quarterback/offensive coordinator Clint Dolezel, posted a 13-3 record in 2006 and made their first appearance in an AFL conference championship game, losing to the Orlando Predators. The following season saw the Desperados post an AFL record fifteen wins and the team appeared destined to make their first ArenaBowl appearance, but they were shocked by the Columbus Destroyers, who had entered the playoffs with a 7-9 record, in the first round.

With the exception of one playoff game and the entirety of the 2003 season, the Desperados have played all of their home games at American Airlines Center, and the team's official mascot is "Kid Coyote"

 

 

Notable players

Awards and Honors

2007

  • Will Pettis- U.S. Army Ironman of the Year
  • Shy Anderson- AFL Executive of the Year
2006

 

  • Shy Anderson- AFL Executive of the Year

 

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