Week 2 of the NFL preseason ramps up on Saturday, including a battle over the Lone Star State between the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys. At home in Arlington, the Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites over the Texans. The game also has an over/under of 36.5 points.
Of course, Dallas has had an extra preseason game after playing in the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alas, the Cowboys have lost both of those games, falling to Pittsburgh 16-3 and letting last week’s game in Glendale slip away, losing 19-16 to the Arizona Cardinals. However, the Cowboys will have home-field advantage for this week’s showdown with the Texans.
As for the Texans, they were victorious in their preseason opener, visiting the Green Bay Packers and winning 26-7. Even if it was mostly the backups playing, it was good for the Texans to get a win. Keep in mind that most projections have them as being one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.
The Kid from Stanford
Rookie Davis Mills was one of the Houston Texans’ standout performers during that win over Green Bay. The former Stanford quarterback took most of the snaps and looked good at times, although the Texans scored both of their touchdowns on the ground. However, keep in mind that Tyrod Taylor should start to receive more of the snaps at quarterback this week after completing all four of his passes last week, although Davis offers some promise for the second half when preseason games are decided.
Defensively, the Texans will be pleased with what they saw last week, albeit against a Green Bay team that didn’t have Aaron Rodgers. The reserves on Houston’s defense played well against the run, limiting the Packers to 49 yards on 21 carries. On the other hand, Green Bay’s backup quarterbacks had plenty of success, completing 20 of 29 passes while averaging 7.2 yards per pass, which is a concern after Houston’s play defensively last season.
With lingering concerns about Dak Prescott’s health, the Dallas Cowboys have a serious quarterback competition for the backup job going on right now. Garrett Gilbert was the best against the Steelers, while Cooper Rush had the more impressive game last week against Arizona. Given the situation, look for the Cowboys to throw the ball a lot, giving Gilbert, Rush, and Ben DiNucci a lot of opportunities to show what they can do.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys struggled against the run last week after looking solid against the Steelers in the preseason opener. There was a lot to fix on the Dallas defense after last season, so it’s not surprising to see the Cowboys struggle a little with their backups in the game. However, things should pick up this week, with more starters seeing significant snaps along with most of the team’s top draft picks seeing more of the field.
Winless in Big D
Through two preseason games, the Cowboys have scored exactly one touchdown, which isn’t a good sign with Prescott still sidelined. Meanwhile, with Taylor and Mills getting a majority of the snaps for the Houston offense, the Texans are in good shape, especially with their defense look good last week. Bet on the Texans as road underdogs to win the Lone Star State showdown.
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