burnett dale
Dale Burnett
  • Three sport Letter winner at what became Emporia State
  • Considered one of the best specialists of his day
  • Two time NFL champion
Burnett, Dale
Inducted 1975

Born: January 23, 1908 – Stafford County, KS

Died: April 9, 1997 – Emporia, KS

Graduated: Dodge City (KS) H.S., 1926; Kansas Normal College (Emporia State), 1942.


While playing 11 seasons with the New York Giants of the National Football League, Dale Burnett helped the team win professional football's world championship in 1934 and 1938.  During his pro career, Burnett was considered the greatest blocking back/pass receiver/punter ever for the Giants.

College Career

While in college at Kansas Normal in Emporia (Emporia State University), Burnett was named all-conference in both football and basketball for two seasons and was the leading scorer in the state during the 1929 football season.  He was also a star hurdler on the college's track team, captain of both the football and basketball teams and earned 12 varsity letters (four each in football, basketball, and track).

Career Highlights

Burnett signed a pro contract with the Giants in 1930 for $500 per game and ended his career by playing in five NFL title games.  He was a key player in the famous "Sneakers Game" of 1934 when the Giants defeated the previously undefeated (13-0) Chicago Bears, 30-13, for the NFL championship at the Polo Grounds in New York City.  Burnett, who was also a defensive back, intercepted a Green Bay Packer pass on the final play of the game during the 1938 championship game to preserve the Giants' 23-17 victory.  The original Celtics also called Burnett the best independent basketball player they ever faced.  Burnett was inducted into the Helms National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame, 1959.