4. Dallas Cowboys
This rivalry benefits from a longer history that predates the Texans’ formation at the turn of the millennium.
Back then, the Houston Oilers and the Dallas Cowboys played each other more frequently. In fact, they played one another 39 times before the Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997 and became the Titans two years later.
Granted, 31 of those 39 meetings occurred in the preseason. Overall, the Oilers went 13-18 against the Cowboys, including a 3-5 mark in the regular season.
That said, the Oilers’ history obviously belongs to the Titans now.
It’s still important to consider it as a background and launchpad for the current rivalry between the Cowboys and the Texans, however, considering the close geography between Dallas and Houston within the state of Texas.
Moreover, these are the only two NFL franchises currently located in the Lone State State (though San Antonio once was heavily rumored to be a destination for the Raiders before they relocated).
Since the Texans’ birth in 2002, these two clubs have faced one another 11 times in the preseason and five times during the regular season. Houston is 6-5 in the preseason and 2-3 in the regular season.
Of note, the most recent two meetings between these franchises in the regular season both ended in overtime, with Dallas taking a 20-17 home win in 2014 and Houston claiming a 19-16 home win in 2018.
This rivalry is colloquially referred to as the Battle of Texas, the Texas Governor’s Cup, or the Governor’s Cup.