The Dallas Texans got out of their Roswell, New Mexico training camp for a week and practiced in the Boston area before pre-season game No. 3 against the Patriots.
It must have been helpful because the Texans won 24-14 pushing their exhibition record to an AFL best 3-0. It was also Sherrill Headrick’s coming out party as a huge defensive force in the American Football League.
Boston Herald sportswriter Arthur Sampson called it “an enthusiastic crowd of 11,050 at Harvard Stadium” that watched the game. It was the Patriots first-ever home game.
Dallas scored on its first offensive play, set up with possession on one of six interceptions by the Texans defense.
“Dallas has a very strong team,” Boston coach Lou Saban said after the game. “It is big and fast and well-balanced. You can’t make many mistakes and beat such a team. We made the mistakes and they won but I am certainly looking forward to playing them again in the championship season.”
LB Clyde Tillman grabbed a pass from Patriots QB Ed Songin and returned it to Boston’s 38-yard line. On the next snap, Texans QB Cotton Davidson hit WR Johnny Robinson on a 38-yard scoring play.
Another Texans INT β this from DB Carroll Zaruba β set up the second touchdown for Dallas, as Davidson scored on a 13-yard bootleg on a third-and-one play.
Headrick had the third interception, grabbing a fourth down toss by QB Tom Greene at the goal line.
“That Headrick is going to stick,” said head coach Hank Stram. “His instinct on running plays is terrific. He’s a fabulous linebacker and he’ll get better because an injury caused him to miss the first two weeks of work. Right now all he needs is a little more savvy on pass defense and he’ll get that.”
Added his teammate at TCU and with the Texans, RB Jim Swink: “Pound for pound Headrick is tougher than any man on the team.”
Boston got the scored tied in the third quarter on a pair of TD passes from Songin, throwing to FB Jim Crawford and then WR Oscar Lofton.
But a 23-yard FG by Jack Spikes and a 27-yard TD pass from Davidson to Robinson gave the Texans the winning margin. The key performer in those two scoring drives was RB Abner Haynes, who ran for 65 yards and caught a nine-yard pass in those possessions.
“We have been exceptionally spotty,” Stram said after the game. “That shows how much more work we have to do and yet we’ve won. I’d rather look bad and win, than lose and look great.”