By Alex Al-Kazzaz
When it comes to longtime historical and traditional rivalries, anything can happen. Even in a scenario that features the league's worst team squaring off one of the league's best, even the weaker and inferior team is capable of pulling off the upset. Yesterday, the Houston Texans came very close to upsetting the Dallas Cowboys. But miraculously, the Cowboys found a way to get it done.
Very late in the game, the Cowboys trailed 23-20 and Dak Prescott threw an interception that immediately put the Texans in the red zone. But somehow, the Cowboys managed to prevent Houston from taking advantage. A crucial stop on a fourth-down at the two-yard line afforded Dallas one final chance at a win. And Dallas capitalized.
Dallas wasted no time in jumping a quick 7-0 lead in the opening drive. After immediately forcing Houston to punt, KaVontae Turpin fumbled the punt, allowing Houston's offense to have good field position and Houston went on to tie the game. That's where the struggles started. Dallas committed a total of three turnovers, and Houston were able to score two touchdowns off those turnovers.
Houston deserves credit for giving Dallas a run for their money. Coming in with a 1-10-1 record and scoring 20+ points for the first time in seven weeks is good for Houston. Houston's defensive efforts were definitely respectable up until Dallas' triumphant game-winning drive. The Texans went into the half with a 20-17 lead. In their opening drive in the second, the fumbled but Dallas only got three points out of it. Therefore, it's safe to say that resiliency was a huge part of Houston's performance.
Chris Moore for the Texans had ten catches for 124 yards. He came very close to scoring what would have been Houston's game-winner that would have put his team up by ten. Regardless, he had a good day and he deserves credit for challenging a tough Dallas defense. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott each averaged close to four yards per carry. Both scored and it was Elliott's touchdown that was the decider. CeeDee Lamb was quiet as he finished with five catches for 33 yards. Dalton Schultz stood out the most as he had six catches for 87 yards. Houston finished with over 33 minutes of ball possession. Interestingly enough, Dallas was the less penalized team.
Dallas will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road this week. Jacksonville just picked up a huge win on the road against the Tennessee Titans. Dallas is determined to improve to 11-3 and draw closer to a playoff berth. Dallas will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve, which will be a crucial must-win for Prescott & Company. Philadelphia already clinched a playoff spot and they remain two games ahead in the NFC East race.