Texans vs. Cowboys: Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills need to take next step

Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans
Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

For Week 2 of the NFL preseason, the Houston Texans will be facing the Dallas Cowboys, where Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills will need to show improvement as the quarterbacks of a franchise that needs one of them to step up in a big way before the start of the regular season.

Taylor does have regular-season experience, but didn’t play much last season as a medical mishap before Week 2 last season caused him to lose his starting job to Justin Herbert as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers.

That sequence of events, plus all of the offseason drama and trade demands concerning Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson since the end of the ’20 season, has landed Taylor as the top guy on the depth chart when it comes to being the starting quarterback.

Taylor played little in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field last Saturday night, and this upcoming Saturday Taylor will most likely gain more snaps under center and play more in Tim Kelly’s offense.

Houston Texans: Tim Kelly wants QBs to “grow and get better” vs. Cowboys

Speaking of Kelly, the Houston Texans offensive coordinator spoke about both Taylor and Mills on Wednesday following a training camp practice, as members of the Texans media asked him what he wants to see out of both quarterbacks against the Cowboys. Kelly had this to say about Taylor and Mills:

"“Just continue to grow and get better. Obviously, we’re talking Tyrod going out there and lead an efficient offense, go down there and take what’s given to you and see if we can convert in the red zone.”"

Kelly also spoke about the Texans rookie quarterback Mills, who was a third-round pick in the -21 NFL Draft:

"“With Davis, just continue to cut back on mistakes and don’t have my missed throws. I think going back and watching the tape, there was probably one or two throws in particular that come to mind right now that immediately he would want back. He’s going to make those throws nine-out-of-10 times.”"

That’s the thing with Mills … he’s going to make a lot of mistakes early in his career, and none of us can expect him to be Deshaun Watson. For that matter, we can’t expect Taylor to be the player that Watson has been so far in his career.

As for Taylor, he’ll most likely be the starting quarterback for the Texans in Week 1 when they host AFC South foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and from the looks of things, that’s how it should be since Watson doesn’t want to be with the team.

The off-the-field issues of Watson are also a distraction, and the Texans have a player who is the most talented at the position listed as a fourth-string player, but that is because the feeling seems to be there is no way Watson will be in any in-game action for the Texans anytime soon.

This Saturday night is about the progress needed by Taylor to be prepared for the Jaguars game, and for Mills, he needs a lot of snaps against a good defense like the Cowboys who have a very strong rookie on their side in linebacker Micah Parsons.

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As this game gets closer, it is tough not to be excited for the Texans taking on the Cowboys, even if it is preseason. Not only is this in-state rivalry fun, but seeing how Taylor and Mills respond in Week 2 of the preseason will go a long way in feeling either confident or not so confident once the regular season arrives on Sunday, Sept. 12 in Houston.