Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Texans 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Preseason Honor. Texans roll into Dallas

Greetings Fellow Texans Fans!

This preseason will have plenty to watch for with rookies trying to show they are deserving to be there, old hands showing their worth and the fringe players fighting for their football lives. Those stories will be entertaining to watch as they unfold, however here in the Lone Star State, there is a little matter of State pride as the Texans will bump heads with the Cowboys to kick off this preseason.

One glorious night in 2002, the Texans served the Cowboys up a bitter defeat in the franchises opening game joining only the ’61 Vikings as expansion teams that started 1-0. Over the years the teams have met yet no game was quite as emotional as that win. The game did set the tone and across the state Texans will be watching to see which team walks away victorious, preseason meaningless or no.

Houston will have the most to prove as they are clearly the superior team going into the 2013 season. Coming off back to back playoff appearances and AFC South Titles Houston has stocked up for another run not just at the playoffs, but to the Big Show. Dallas on the other hand is hoping to field a team good enough to eek into a wild card berth.

Tony Romo might have cashed in with big bucks from Mr. Jones, but the Cowboys did little in the draft aside from getting fleeced in return for a center.  

Given the wealth of talent that Rick Smith has amassed over the previous drafts one has to wonder if Jerry Jones doesn’t look towards Houston and wonder how to lure Smith up to Jerry World. Here’s hoping he never succeeds.

Players to watch:

DeAndre Hopkins and Matt Schaub. During the first quarter watch for any signs of chemistry between them.

Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus. With the loss of Connor Barwin, can these two provide enough pressure to free JJ Watt into one on one contests. Or better yet get in on the sacks themselves.

Brian Cushing and Jonathon Joseph. Surgically repaired bodies, personally disappointing seasons in 2012, watch for these two to make an early statement.

After the first string players kick back to enjoy the rest of the game and admire the second largest scoreboard in the NFL, the rest of the team will will rotate in. Pay particular attention to the time and play of special team stud Bryan Brahman. With moves to the linebacker core, is this his year to break out and get some starting time on defense? He’s a fan favorite who gets people fired up with every play he makes.

Stay tuned to the Torotimes for all your Texans needs!

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