Houston Texans Dream Team: All-Time Starting Lineup

J.J. Watt Houston Texans (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt Houston Texans (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans
Jadeveon Clowney Houston Texans (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans: Linebackers

OLB: Jadeveon Clowney — Here is another No. 1 overall pick to make the list for the Houston Texans, as he played his first five seasons with the franchise, though his rookie year was greatly shortened due to injury. For his entire stint in Houston, Jadeveon Clowney for the most part was one of the very best pass rushers to play for the franchise.

In his five seasons with the Texans, Clowney is fourth all-time in sacks with the Texans by totaling 29 in those parts of five seasons, which equaled 62 games. Clowney also collected 11 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, two touchdowns off those recoveries, 151 solo tackles, 64 tackles for loss and 67 QB hits. In all, Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl selection while in Houston and made a name for himself as he looks to join his third NFL team since being drafted in 2014.

OLB: Whitney Mercilus — Do you know who is third all-time for the Houston Texans in career sacks? That player is Whitney Mercilus, and from the looks of his current contract, Mercilus will be a big part of the Texans offense for the foreseeable future.

Mercilus was the 26th overall pick for the Texans in the 2012 NFL Draft, and since that time he’s been in the starting lineup for 89 of his 115 games played for the franchise. After injury ended his 2017 season much too soon after five games, Mercilus has played strong with nine starts in 2018 as he recovered from the injury, and then this past season he made all 16 starts.

A 2016 second-team AP All-Pro selection, Mercilus has two career interceptions, which both were also last season, and 50 career sacks, trailing Mario Williams by three in that category in the Texans record book. There are many more great things to come from Mercilus in his Texans career, so don’t be surprised by what he’ll bring for the 2020 season.

ILB: Brian Cushing — Maybe the most intense player in this starting lineup, the career Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is a must for this dream team type of lineup.

He was a member of the Texans from 2009-17, and in his 104 games with the franchise, they all were starts. Cushing brought great intensity that will make him a memorable player with the Texans, and though he didn’t have the best ending to his career, he did more than enough to earn a spot on this roster of great Texans players.

Cushing finished his career with eight interceptions, and mixed into that was one touchdown, plus he added 30 passes defensed, 13.5 sacks, 664 total tackles (including 424 solo) and 42 TFL. Also during Cushing’s career, he added 57 QB hits, one safety and he had nine forced fumbles.

Cushing made second-team All-Pro teams selected by the Sporting News, AP and PFF in his career, and he was selected to the 2009 Pro Bowl as a rookie, being that he was the 2009 AP Rookie of the Year.

ILB: DeMeco Ryans — From 2006-11, the Texans had a great deal of success from DeMeco Ryans, as he made 16 starts in each of his six seasons with the Texans, except for the 2010 season where he was injured and played in just six games. Ryans did, however, start all 86 regular-season games played with the Houston Texans and was big-time with 25 QB hits and 43 tackles for loss.

Ryans also collected two interceptions with the Texans, plus he was able to have eight fumble recoveries, including one touchdown to go with that stat. Overall, Ryans was an unsung player at an unsung position on the defense. He did his job well and eventually played his final four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, retiring after the 2015 season.