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DeMeco Ryans Doesn't Care About the Rivalry -- Um, What Rivalry?

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DeMeco Ryans Doesn't Care About the Rivalry -- Um, What Rivalry?

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Many people believe that this Sunday's game against the Cowboys represents a chance for the Texans to gain a new level of respectability around the NFL. It's not hard to see the genesis of such a theory.

The Texans are the youngest franchise in the NFL, they are coming off the first winning season in their history and are trying to make their first ever playoff appearance this year. Beating the Cowboys would be a step in that direction, obviously, but it would also strike a blow in the battle for fans around the state of Texas who have traditionally been in the Dallas camp. Or so the theory goes anway.

Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans doesn't attend this particular school of thought. In fact, it seems more likely that Charles Darwin would one day become a proponent of creationism than Ryans would buy into any special importance to this weekend's game against the Cowboys.

"I’m not getting all pumped up just because it’s the Cowboys and this and that," Ryans said. "It’s about the Texans; it’s not about the Cowboys. A lot of people try to make a big deal about the Cowboys coming in here and this and that. Well, what about us? What about our team? What about the Texans? I’m not worried about the Cowboys."

It does sound like he doth protest too much, but there's not really much reason for Texans players to buy into whatever hype fans of the team are putting on this Sunday's matchup. They are 2-0, they finally found a way past the Colts and they are still early in a season that has to end in the postseason to avoid being a massive disappointment. They want to win the game, obviously, but there's nothing more to gain from this game than there would be from a game against the Chiefs.

Cowboys fans might not like to hear that but, honestly, the need for a victory goes well beyond local bragging rights. It's not ideal, but you can come back from an 0-2 start and accomplish all the things you want to do in a season. Once you get to 0-3, though, it is awfully difficult to simply write things off on a slow start or cling to arguments about being a few plays away from an undefeated record.

The intrastate issue makes this game a bit more fun for the people watching it and sharing homes or offices with fans of the other side, but there's more than enough actually at stake for the players to spend much time worrying about it.

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