Who is the best football team in Texas? 78% of fans say the Houston Texans are better than the Dallas Cowboys, according to an NFL.com poll.
I am sure that Jerry Jones is not to happy about that. His team is his baby, sometimes to The Cowboys detriment. It’s tough for one person to be owner and General Manager.
That’s not a surprising result though, given how the two teams finished last season.
The Texans had their best year ever, winning 10 games in the regular season and playoff game. They also competed well against the Baltimore Ravens with a trip to the AFC Championship on the line and without their starting Quarterback on the field.
The Cowboys were just disappointing. Dallas failed to make the playoffs in a year where 9-7 won the Division. The Philadelphia Eagles took a step back and the Washington Redskins were terrible.
So now the dynamic of expectations have changed for these two Texas franchises.
The Texans are expected to be SuperBowl contenders. For sure capturing the AFC South seems almost like a given. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts have only taken marginal steps forward, in terms of talent and leadership. The Colts drafted Andrew Luck but his presence will not make them contenders in his first year. The Jaguars don’t have the requisite talent to win enough games to compete for a playoff berth.
And the Tennessee Titans are still a long way away from contention. The Texans were better than the Titans with their third string QB.
For the Cowboys, their division is in a totally different situation. The Eagles can and should be better, given Michael Vick’s injury situation. That’s a big if though. Vick has been injury prone for a good part of his career to this point. And the New York Giants are current SuperBowl champions. Naturally they are the favorite to win the NFC East.
The Texans are in an easier division and have more recent playoff success. That bodes well for them.
For once, the expectations are more lofty for the Texans than their big brothers up I45, I’m not sure who that is better for. Maybe Dallas will flourish as underdogs. Maybe it’s a good thing for the Cowboys to be out of the limelight.
From a Texans perspective, they now have believers. They will be a sexy SuperBowl pick.
Can they handle the expectations?