The Houston Texans must be able to slow down or stop the pass rush of the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 to give themselves a chance to gain their second win of the season.
The Dallas Cowboys have defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on their roster and he’s easily becoming one of the best to play at his position as he’s recorded at least a half of sack in each game this season. That stat includes three sacks last Sunday in the Cowboys’ win over the Detroit Lions. For the season Lawrence has 5.5 sacks and 20 tackles and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
In an article by Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press (via The Tribune) Dixon quotes Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli about Lawrence this season:
"“People ask, ‘Is he a one-year wonder last year? I said, ‘Two years before that, he had eight sacks and played well.’ He, to me, is on a course, because of his work habits, how much he cares, to be great. I think we see him on the rise.”"
Marinelli is right in how good of a player Lawrence has worked to become the past couple seasons, and he’s only getting better. Being the he’s not signed after the season concludes means he’s basically in another contract year.
Even after that, Lawrence must be stopped in some way on Sunday as the Texans need to have a scheme to keep him away from quarterback Deshaun Watson all game long. Lawrence is the biggest threat for the Texans this Sunday night, and he could become a game-changer if the Texans aren’t careful.
• Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com gave a case as to how the Texans can still make the playoffs this season. Barshop wrote:
"“It will be an uphill battle, but the Texans showed glimpses of the team they are hoping to be in Week 4 against the Colts … they have a home-heavy schedule coming up — including games against the Cowboys, Bills and Dolphins — that could get them back on track.”"
Barshop makes a good point about the schedule of the Texans for the next few weeks, but the team itself needs to show more consistency when it comes to winning and playing solid for all four quarters as all four of their games have been decided by seven or less points.
The Texans need a win in the worst way this weekend on Sunday Night Football, because if they don’t win, the rest of the season will be an even larger “uphill battle” in terms of making the playoffs if their overall record falls to 1-4 after five games.
• Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle wrote in a recent article that Seantrel Henderson wants to return to the Texans next season as he’s injured for the remainder of 2018. The article quoted Henderson:
"“It’s tough, but I’m dealing with it,” Henderson said. “I’m not trying to be down or depressed or anything like that. It’s been pretty tough.”"
The Texans could really use Henderson right now, but it is what it is and they’ve yet to really replace him on the offensive line to where that has been the main point of struggle for the team this season. Houston needs to see more from their offensive line and without Henderson it just hasn’t been as good as it could have been this season. Improvement on the o-line is needed for sure.
• Tweet of the Day
This duo on the defense of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is very scary for the opposing offense and a great sight to see for the Texans. This is what they’ve wanted all along since drafting Clowney and adding him with Watt.
These two players are playing at a high level and most likely if they stay healthy will only get better as the season continues.