Last week when the Texans gave up over 420 yards to Donovan McNabb and the Redskins, the preseason worries about the Texans secondary slowly restarted. This week’s loss to Dallas at home now confirms the fears. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys calmly and tactically put up 284 yards in the air for two Roy Williams touchdowns. On the opposite side, the Texans offense sputtered to say the least.
From the get-go, the Texans never got their pass offense going. Foster was able to break a few good runs throughout the game showing his one-cut ability and great field vision, but Matt Schaub’s 241 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions passing did not resemble the Texans we saw the first two weeks, which team that led the NFL in total yards.
The Cowboys offense methodically attacked the Texans on offense throughout the game. Jason Garrett brought the run game attack throughout the first quarter, mixing in Marion Barber’s strength and Felix Jones’ speed into the half. Although no points were scored in the first quarter, the Cowboys began to control the clock and tempo of the game.
Romo got the ball to seven different Cowboy receivers, playing it safe and finding open receivers. By the end of the game, the Cowboys relied on Barber’s hustle to hammer out and finish off the Texans for the win. The Dallas offense capped the win with , including 101 total rushing yards.
The Cowboys defense blitzed at the right time, caused confusion on the Texans’ offensive line and was able to shut down the Texans’ key players. Arian Foster did not score a touchdown on the goal line, Matt Schaub’s offense failed to score three times in the red zone, and Gary Kubiak’s play calling went brilliant to ineffective as the offense never got going.
While the Cowboys middle linebacker Keith Brooking had two penalties on him which gave the Texans opportunities to put points on the board, the Texans did not capitalize but instead ended their chances throwing Brooking an interception the play after he committed a pass interference in the endzone.
Lastly, Spencer played a great game for the Cowboys and proved the Texans offensive line still has miles of work to do before it gets to the level they should be at to protect in Kubiak’s offense.
For the Texans, the defensive secondary was eaten up all day. You know its bad when your safety was a tackle behind the team leader in tackles, meaning the opposing team’s run game and pass game was getting past the front seven to the defensive backfield.
Brice McCain against the Cowboys was treated like Petey Faggins against opposing offenses. He gave up big plays while rookie Kareem Jackson showed improvement but was responsible for Dallas first downs and Texans penalties. And for the Texans’ playmakers, Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans could not get anything going. Williams had put pressure and hits on Romo but did not register a stat.
Ryans only had five tackles with five assists. Bernard Pollard is the Texans’ ballhawk with six tackles and nine assists, but it was truly because the cowboys were moving the ball to the Texans’ secondary with every gain.
Additionally, the Texans offense played an ugly game. Veteran tackle and offensive leader Eric Winston was responsible for three handicapping penalties to the Texans offense.
Foster ended the game with over 100 yards but also had a fumble that closed the door on the Texans. And Matt Schaub couldn’t connect all day with his receivers as he’s done in the past.
He looked bad, and Andre Johnson’s ankle injury limited him and took him out of the game once in the third quarter. Although Kevin Walter registered a touchdown, it was at the end of the game in garbage time.
Overall, the Texans had 33% red zone efficiency and lost the battle of field position, yards (-45), turnovers (-3), and time of possession (-4:40).
The win should teach the Texans a lot about themselves and help them push forward to cure their weaknesses. For next week, The Texans will head to Oakland hoping to take a win back from the Raiders, who beat the Texans in December of 2008.