The Opponent: The Houston Texans, aka the Houston Houstonians, aka the Houston Footballians.
Record: 0-2 (preseason)
The Line: Pick ‘em. I love Pick ‘Em lines. With a pick ‘em line, your gambling interests coincide precisely with the goal the team on the field. All they have to do is win. Not by 3. Not by 6. Just win outright, and you get your money. Kinda nice. Oh, and you’re a moron if you bet on the preseason.
Last Year: 9-7. Last year was the first winning season in Houston’s eight-year existence. They ended the season with four straight wins and, in my mind, clearly deserved to make the playoffs more than the Jets, who took the final spot and made it to the AFC title game. But you don’t get a lot of breaks when you’re the Texans, and that’s really as it should be.
The Coach: Gary Kubiak. Kubes has survived plenty of calls for his ouster over the last two years. But if the Texans don’t make the playoffs this time around, he’s probably used up the rest of his chances with this team. You only get to blow so many 17-point leads over Indy and commit so many soul-murdering blunders with the clock.
The Offense: The Texans represent the Cowboys’ best preseason opportunity to show their high-powered defense is championship quality. Andre Johnson is an absolute beast, and Matt Schaub has developed a knack for throwing long touchdown passes to wideouts benefiting from single coverage playing on the opposite side of Johnson, be it Jacoby Jones or Kevin Walter. No Owen Daniels tonight, though he claims he’ll be ready for Week 1. Your Texans running back is Arian Foster, who got the job because Steve Slaton is a fumbling machine who RUINED MY SEASON LAST YEAR AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE HIM FOR IT.
The Defense: The Texans always seem to have great individual talent on defense (Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans), without a good overall defense to show for it. I see no reason why that will change anytime soon.
Key Matchup: Doug Free vs. Mario Williams. Here’s your chance to make sure Romo doesn’t get ground into sand, Dougie Boy. Do see that you make the most of it.