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RECAP: Cowboys 27, Texans 23 - Texans Blow Golden Opportunity for Second Win of Season

I’m actually mad about this one.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Going into this game, I was fully expecting the Houston Texans to get annihilated by that team up north. Our offense hasn’t had any kind of spark outside of Dameon Pierce, the defense has been comically bad against the run, and there just hasn’t been much to be happy about in Mudville this season.

And then the Texans played admirably, bordering on well in some isolated moments. The Texans picked off Dak Prescott twice, got three total turnovers, turning those into 14 points for the good guys. The offense came out with multiple offensive sets we hadn’t seen this season, including six whole plays with Texans’ third string quarterback/seventh string tight end Jeff Driskel who played a much, much bigger part of the offense today than he has in the entire span of his Texans career to date.

The offense was presentable, for the most part this week, racking up 327 total yards on the day; and unlike in previous Texans games this season, those yards were not the result of garbage time scoring! That’s progress, right? Considering the offense was operating without the Texans’ top two receivers (both Brandin “I just wanna win” Cooks and Nico Collins were out today) and a banged-up Dameon Pierce in the second half of the game, this might very well have been the Texans’ most complete game on offense this season.

Defensively, the Texans were playing with their hair on fire. As I mentioned earlier, three forced turnovers by the good guys for 14 points. And that would’ve been truly wonderful if the Texans defense reverted back to the form which we all know and hate by giving up a 98-yard touchdown drive to the Cowturds at the end of the game.

That all being said, we need to talk about that fourth and goal play that happened after the Texans’ next-to-last possession of the game. At that point, with the Texans up three and their run defense still resembling little more than a cheese grater, it made a ton of sense to go for the field goal there.

Ordinarily, I’d have been fine with them going for it there; usually because the Texans are already out of it by that point in the game and going for it wouldn’t normally matter. I only have one burning question about that drive:


Lovie, Pep, other offensive coaches, why are y’all so fond of this has-been? What has he shown you so far this season that would make you think, in your football brains, that “oh, the guy we haven’t used all game and hasn’t been all that good when we have used him, we should give him the ball right now in the most high-leverage play of the entire [KITTENING] game.”

I don’t get it. No Texans fan who has been paying attention to this team for more than the last two years knows that nothing good is going to happen when you give the ball to Rex Burkhead. The only people on this planet, and possibly other planets with life on them that have no idea what football is, who thought giving the ball to Burkhead there, or really at any point in this game, was a good idea.

Still, this is the first game in a long time where I was genuinely angry with how the Texans [kitten]ed away the game because of loyalty to a player or whatever.

We won’t ever really learn why they went with Burkhead. Even if Lovie Smith is asked point blank why Burkhead, he will just give us a lot of pabulum that either doesn’t answer the question or just shifts the blame to the vague, indecipherable “we” who always has to do a better job.

Oh well, it’s over, and now the Cowboys fans can go and celebrate eking out a four point win against the worst team in the NFL, assuming they all haven’t started watching the Lakers or Celtics or whatever team is doing good in the NBA. Texans fans can be happy with yet another moral victory (no, we can’t; this team is old enough to drink, moral victories aren’t good enough anymore) or at the very least that the Texans covered. And now we can move on to watching the Texans come home and get obliterated against the Kansas City Chiefs; because the Chiefs, unlike that team up north, are actually good and don’t just live off the hype of national media pundits.