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Dallas joins AFL family

by AFL Press Release
November 14, 2001 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I)

Dallas joins AFL family

AFL Press Release

"Our goals are the same as the Cowboys - to win championships. Anything less will not be acceptable." JERRY JONES, JR., as he introduced the AFL's expansion team for the 2002 season, the Dallas Desperados, who will serve as the team's president and general manager.

Former Cowboys TROY AIKMAN, MICHAEL IRVIN, and DARRYL JOHNSTON were on hand for the announcement. Dallas marks the second NFL ownership to field an AFL team (2001's Detroit Fury was the first-ever).

Now immersed in year-round football, Cowboys special teams coach JOE AVEZZANO will serve as the Desperados' head coach. Avezzano is in his 12th season with Dallas.

"If we eventually have someone [on the Desperados] play for the Cowboys ... great," Avezzano said. "[But] this is not a farm system. This is not a minor league. The Arena Football League has it's own identity. It's its own entity."

To serve as line coach, the Desperados brought in former AFL lineman JON NORRIS - an af2 head coach (Tulsa Talons, 2000) and AFL assistant (Oklahoma Wranglers, 2001) during the past two seasons. Another former af2 head coach, TOM LUGINBILL (Tennessee Valley Vipers, 2000), fills the role as the team's offensive coordinator.

The first player on Dallas' roster was lineman AARON HAMILTON who was traded from Nashville earlier this week for the 4th pick in the 2002 expansion draft (Dec. 5) and future considerations.

Orlando re-signed free agent DS KENNY "The Glove" MCENTYRE who has collected 21 INTs over the last two seasons... the League's No. 10 scoring leader, free agent WR/LB CORY FLEMING, signed a three-year deal with the Cobras... Tampa Bay traded their top scorer OS JAMES BOWDEN (who also led the team in rushing, receiving, and all-purpose yards) and top defender DS TOMMY HENRY to New Jersey and Toronto, respectively... in the deal, the Storm picked up lineman RONDEL MARSH, who played just 5 games, and OS CARLOS JOHNSON, who was active, but didn't record a single stat for the Phantoms.

Former Barnstormer QB KURT WARNER reached the 10,000-passing yards mark faster than any player in NFL history. Warner, who has thrown for 10,129 yards in 36 career games - two games quicker than DAN MARINO - completed 14-of-20 pass attempts for 144 yards and one TD (3 INTs) in St. Louis' win against Carolina on Sunday.

Elsewhere, in Miami's win at Indy, former AFL Rookie of the Year ORONDE GADSDEN had 6 catches for 71 yards... former Firebird DAVID PATTEN had a 26-yard reception and a 7-yard rush for New England in the Patriots' win against Buffalo... in Kansas City's loss to the Jets, former SaberCat LB MIKE MASLOWSKI had a pair of tackles for the Chiefs... and former AFL Defensive Player of the Year JOHNNIE HARRIS (Tampa Bay, 1998) recorded 5 tackles and forced a fumble for Oakland in the Raiders loss at Seattle.

ArenaBowl XV Champs - As Grand Rapids' outreach program continues to grow, WR/LB MICHAEL BAKER and lineman TONY BOWICK of World Champion Rampage will be at Western Michigan's Riverbend Elementary this Thursday and at Lowell Middle School on Friday.

Gladiators Talk and Teach - This Thursday, New Jersey head coach FRANK HAEGE and kicker STEVE VIDETICH will speak with 5th-graders at Lincoln Elementary School in Rutherford, N.J. about coach/player relationships and teacher/student relationships. After the 30-minute talk session, they will learn proper kicking and throwing techniques.

Cobras CARE -- Carolina CORNELIUS WHITE and kicker BRIAN SCHMITZ will be special guests at Dillard Drive Elementary School's Celebrity Read-A-Ton this Friday.

Thanks for Giving -- This Friday, Detroit WR/DB CHUCK WINTERS teams up with the NBA's Detroit Pistons to serve Thanksgiving meals at the Detroit Rescue Mission between 5:00pm and 5:30pm.

Oh, Fury Fans - When the NBA's Detroit Pistons host the Indiana Pacers this Saturday, Fury head coach MOUSE DAVIS and WR/DB CHUCK WINTERS will speak to current Fury season ticket holders about the Fury Fan-Raising Club, which provides them with an opportunity to sell season tickets for incentives. The event will be held in The Palace Club beginning at 6 p.m.

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