Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and unrequited hate

The thing is, I grew up in Houston. More specifically, I grew up in Houston starting in the early 90’s, which means I got left in NFL fan-limbo.

When the Houston Oilers left town on the shoulders of Bud Adams I was just a kid, but growing up in Texas means you have to pick a team. Football is religion in this state, so you pick early.

Ags or Horns? Bears or Red Raiders? Dallas Cowboys or whatever team is representing Houston?

For some Houstonians it was an easy choice. They thought, “Well the Oilers are gone, but it’s Houston, we’ll get a team. I’ll hold out. Maybe I’ll be a Tennessee Titans fan for a minute.”

For me, it wasn’t like that. An 8-year-old kid doesn’t have that kind of patience and there’s no way I was going to support Bud “eff you, Houston” Adams. So I did what any respectable guy would do and jumped on the bandwagon of the other in-state team.

My dad has been a Cowboys fan his entire life so that made the transition fairly palatable. I thought, “They’re God’s team, America’s team, why not be a fan?”

When the Houston Texans arrived in 2002 I had no problem with them. I still don’t. They’re in a separate conference, why should I care which games they win or lose, unless of course they’re playing the Cowboys, which would have a direct impact on my happiness as a fan. Other than that, it doesn’t really matter. I can’t speak for everyone but the majority of my friends that are Cowboys fans are pretty apathetic to the success or failure of the Texans. We think Andre Johnson is a great guy/player and loved seeing him lay down the law on Cortland Finnegan. That’s pretty much the extent of it.

So I’m not sure why there seems to be such a passionate hatred for the Cowboys in my hometown. People are offended when I tell them I’m a Dallas fan. Legitimately upset, even after I explain the circumstances, as if I would be a better fan (or person) if as soon as my hometown got a new team I immediately rejected the players and franchise that I had come to know and love because of the close proximity of the new team.

But wouldn’t this make me a horrible fan, if I just up and switched teams and abandoned the blue and silver? I was barely cognitive when the Oilers left, and by the time the Texans had arrived, I was a fully indoctrinated member of Cowboys nation. I believe that my only duty as a former Oilers fan is to passionately hope for the demise of the Tennessee Titans. Beyond that, I’m absolved of devotion.

So this year, when the Texans and their startlingly good defense anchored by man-beasts like Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt make a deep run in the playoffs, I’ll still be my Cowboys side hoping we fix our O-line woes in time for next season. I won’t be rooting against Houston, nor will I be torn up if they lose. We’ll call it maintaining a respectful distance.

I guarantee that if the fortunes are reversed, and the Texans go 8-8, and the Cowboys make to the NFC championship game, Houston will be sporting their Green Bay or New York Giants or Atlanta Falcons Jerseys.

Is it because they hate Jerry Jones? Probably, but then again so do most Cowboys fans. Is it Dez Bryants controversial nature or Jason Witten’s sappy All-American demeanor? Who knows? I’m sure of one thing, they’re not threatened by us.

The only thing we do know is that this lop-sided aggressiveness will likely never end. As the Texans continue to grow as a franchise, their fans will continue this unnecessary prodding.

They are like the little brother who’s gone on to a multimillion dollar salary, rubbing his money in the face of his middle-class older brother because of some psychological damage done by losing at too many games of pickup basketball as a child. Maybe it makes them feel better, but they don’t need it. Likely, the season will speak for itself.

So yes, I’m from Houston. And yes, I’m a Cowboys fan. No, I don’t care if you hate me, but at least be aware of how it makes you look.


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  • Mitch

    I agree completely. I’m a Texans fan and see no reason to hate the cowboys. I am all for an all Texas super bowl. I can seethis inner state rivalry in basketball why the spurs, mavericks, and rockets all hate each other and baseball because the rangers-astros play yearly(even more so now that the Astros are moving to the AL) but I don’t understand why should i hate the cowboys. I hate the Colts, Titans, and Jags more and I’m sure its the same for most cowboy fans with the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins.

  • Charles

    Most of the hate comes from the firing of Bum Phillips. At that point many people jumped to the Cowboys bandwagon. This caused the die hard Luv ya Blue fans to hate those that jumped ship. Everything just escalated from that day.

  • steven benson

    Thanks for putting that article together ive been saying this for along time we nevered cared about the Texans!!! What they does not affect our cowboys!! They have a long way to get where we’ve been!!! Come holla at us when you win aleast five SUPERBOWLS!!!

  • Jeff Shull

    I’m not a fan of either team but grew up in Houston. I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that Texans fans would actually wear other team’s jerseys. That’s just a little over the top. Texans fans do hate Cowboys fans, and I have run into a ton of Cowboys fans who feel the same about the Texans, especially after they played in 2010.

    • Ian Jacoby

      Figurative jerseys.

      • Jeff Shull

        well doesn’t every fan base that hates another team do that figuratively? Most of the hate comes from the inferiority complex Houston developed during the years without football, that doesn’t mean it’s not justified. In-state rivalries are common.

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  • G-dub

    In my experience, Cowboys fans have been more thin-skinned than any other sports franchise on the planet. I’ve seen it on the Texans’ side too, but not to the degree of cursing out the other supporter like I do with Cowboys’ fans.

    Anyway, the Cowboys suck, Texans are the best thing ever…

  • Gil Rodriguez

    Well i can see where you’re coming from. When the Oilers left Houston (yes Die hard fan here)I was of course disappointed, but not lost that I had to root for another team. Of course I rooted for the Titans for the first yr and our Oilers made the super bowl.. Anywho, the problem with the Cowboys is the fan base is that every Cowboy fan I’ve ever met is obnoxious and think that they are always the best even when they suck. Yea, every die hard does it to an extent, but The cowboys fan base have always been annoying along with their coach Jerry Jones..
    Well guess what cowboy fans the Texans have made the playoffs and now our very own HOUSTON team is relevant. I wouldn’t suprise me if a lot of these Houston cowboy fans have a Texans jersey or shirt in their closet…

  • Kez

    Its more about the great people of the city of Houston hating Dallas as a city and populous- Houston doesn’t like any of Dallas’ sports teams or basically anything the city stands for. It’s just a good ole hating just for the sake of hating.

  • Chris

    You don’t get out of Texas much do you? If you did, you would realize it’s most NFL fans not just Texans that hate the Cowboys. It’s not really the team fans don’t like (really, there’s nothing important enough there to love or hate) it’s most of your fans.  The fact that you & other Cowboys fans are under the impression that you’re part “God’s team” is simply entertaining.  Don’t you think that if you were God’s team you would be relevant on ESPN not TMZ?  Most Cowboy fans are hotel bar happy hour tshirt type fans who think they’re good because they have 5 rings from a long lost time (which they can’t name anyway).

  • Sean

    I am a texan fan and I will tell you why we hate the cowboys. Its more because of the cowboys fans. Everytime i talk to a cowboy fan about how excited i am for my team and how i think we are a better team i hear yall have only been to the playoffs once we have all these superbowl wins. Its so annoying i swear half of the cowgirl fans are idiots. Hello we are a new team. Plus we u are a die hard fan you are suppose to hate every other team, especially your closest in state rival

  • April Gonzales

    I agree completely with this!! I’m from Houston, born and raised, but I was raised as a Cowboys fan. My entire family are nothing but Cowboys supporters. I respect other teams and their fans, but the Texans hate is overwhelming. So overwhelming and uncalled for that I am seriously thinking of deleting all of them from my FB. What is the need for this? To top things off, many of these Texans fans sound and look so ignorant. So, you have your Team, the Texans and I have mine, the Cowboys. Get over it.

  • TexFan

    It’s not as bad as you make it out to be. We rate Titan fans as something akin to J. Dahmer. But we view Cowboy fans as merely sub-human.

  • Corey

    I hate you. No, I dislike you with such a vehemence that I want to throw up. It sickens me to think of a Cowboy’s fan polluting the air of Houston with their pro-cowboy pestilence. I am looking out of my window and I see the leaves on my tree wilting, oh yes, I just saw you drive by with your window open. Save the trees! Close your window and keep your wretched exhaled poison in your car! I farted once in Dallas and 3 Cowboys fans dropped to their knees to suck in the booty smoke, then holding their breath they got on in their trucks and drove to Houston to exhale the stench on people wearing Texans jerseys. Cowboy fans in Houston. I’m truly saddened.

    I hear ya man. I rooted for the Titans during the hiatus. I didn’t give a flip about Bud, but I was attached to the players. I just couldn’t root for the Cowboys. The Oilers had a pretty good rivalry with them during the Moon era and honestly if the Oilers/Titans had ceased to exist when they left Houston and the Texans didn’t come to be I wouldn’t have watched a single game other than MAYBE the Superbowl over the years.

    I am a hometown guy. Pure and simple. I don’t hate the Cowboys, and honestly, I’m not offended by what most of the Cowboy fan rabble yammer on about…saying “your team sucks” isn’t something that will get under my skin. It’s too small and irrelevant. I have bigger worries in my life, like paying the bills, to worry about what someone says about my team.

    So, in summary, THE COWBOYS SUCK AND SO DO YOU TRAITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO TO DALLAS YOU COMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO TEXANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Houston Local

    Cowboys fans are a bunch of babies & think its their entitlement to bash other team’s fans but when its done back to them then its a problem. Look Houston and Dallas have never really liked each other lets be serious. Mavs fans dont like Rox fans & vice versa. We had the Oiler/Cowboys rivalry. The two cities just dont like each other & are in constant competition. The cowboys had their time, you got your Super Bowls we know we know. As long as yall got Jerry Jones running the circus its over for you guys now. The Texans are a up & coming team & one of the teams considered favorites to win the SB. Dallas is envious of that, cowboys aren’t even on our radar right now. Their just not relevant as of right now, we weren’t relevant in the first 9 years of our existence in the league but last year we got on the map. And now people are noticing & even saying the best team in Texas is us the Houston Texans, deal with it. Besides everybody all over the USA hates the cowboys anyways

  • Midnite Cowboy

    I’m with you Ian. I really have no disdain for the Texans at all. That’s a one-sided hatefest. I like seeing the Texans win. I like seeing the Astros win (except when facing the Rangers). In the big picture, neither of these Houston teams are relevant to Dallas sports. With the Spurs and Rockets being in the same division as the Mavs, there is NO love for either. It’s the nature of the beast. How can you possibly spend energy hating what is not a threat??

    Cowboys and Texans are only a rivalry during the 60 minutes of an occasional game. Every fan in the NFL hates the fan base of popular teams with skins on the wall. So go ahead and hate down there, Houston. In the big picture, it’s meaningless, and one-sided. Oh, and good luck this season in the AFC South! Baring catastrophic injuries, Texans should breeze through the division with ease, maybe even a first round bye in the playoffs.

  • Clinton

    Not every fan is the same and the same can be said about cowboy fans about the texans. Iunderstand the pride y’all have for your team but using rings that are 17+ years old as your only argument is over played. ya its taken the texans 10 years to get to the playoffs…it took y’all 11. sayin y’all were the texans first is like sayin the texans were the oilers. the Dallas texans were pre merger and moved to Kansas city, just like oilers moved to Tennessee. In fact the cowboys first names were steers and rangers before cowboys. my point is the hate is there on both sides of the ball, some more than others but still there. my only issue with some of the cowboy fans is the my s*** don’t stink attitude even though the team does. get jerry Jones to be an owner and not a coach and a lot of your issues will fix themselves. good luck cowboys would love to see a Texas bowl in new orleans this year.