Dallas 21, Houston 14: Cowboys Retain Governor’s Cup…and Preseason Is Finally Over!

This is not the actual Texas Governor's Cup.

(This is not the actual Texas Governor’s Cup.)

[Do not take any apparent melancholy below over the Governor’s Cup seriously. Really.]

The Dallas Cowboys trailed the Houston Texans 7-0 at halftime after barely moving the ball all game. It looked as if this was the same team that had not won a preseason game since 2013. It looked like the team that had held a lead in only one of the previous three preseason games. It appeared to be the same team that had only scored 27 points in the previous three games combined.

But less than five minutes into the second half, Dallas came to life. A cornerback named Corey White stepped in front of a Tom Savage pass and ran it all the way (three yards) for a touchdown. The game was tied, and the Cowboys might live.

Just two plays later, Savage was sacked, and the Texans appeared to lose a fumble. Although referees called the play dead, the Cowboys challenged and won. Dallas had the ball at the Houston 21.

It took just one play for the Cowboys to take the lead. A 21-yard touchdown run by Gus Johnson put the Cowboys ahead 14-7.

Head coach Jason Garrett showed his faith in quarterback Dustin Vaughan, because the coach left the probable third-stringer in for the entire game.

But Dallas didn’t need a great game from Vaughan because the Cowboys had Johnson and Ben Malena. Johnson had a good game with 68 yards on 16 carries, but it was Malena who stole the show with 88 yards on 15 attempts.

Lucky Whitehead returned a punt midway through the fourth quarter into Houston territory, and Vaughan and Malena took over from there. In eight plays, Dallas moved the ball 48 yards, and when Malena scored from five yards out, Dallas had control.

The Texans could not move the ball. Dallas ran out the clock. And the Governor’s Cup stayed with the Cowboys.

* * *

So really, I missed the first half thanks to my attendance at a jiu jitsu seminar. I did record the game and tried to catch up by watching the first half. Thank goodness for a fast-forwarding option.

* * *

No live blogging last night. And given that nobody but me read my live blogs, only I was disappointed.

* * *

As for the players on the field last night, just a few thoughts—

  • Looks as if Malena and Johnson could be a practice-squad players.
  • I did not know who Corey White was until the pick-6. I need to learn more of the names, given that he might make the team.
  • Can’t remember the last time a single Dallas QB played an entire preseason game. When I ran a poll a few weeks ago, the majority thought Vaughan should be #2 instead of Brandon Weeden, but Vaughan did not look great in any of the last three games.I would not be surprised if Dallas went with two QBs.
  • Jameill Showers only played on special teams last night. Nice having you.



Thursday’s Then and Now: The Governor’s Cup

A picture from the first Governor's Cup in 1967.

A picture from the first Governor’s Cup in 1967.

The Dallas Cowboys will face the Houston Texans on Thursday night for the Governor’s Cup. This marks the 12th time the Cowboys have faced the Texans for the Cup, with Dallas holding a 6-5 edge in previous games. The Cowboys beat Houston in overtime last year on October 5.

Of course, the Cowboys used to face the Houston Oilers for the Cup, with Dallas winning 18 of 31 games dating back to 1967.

Notwithstanding the nearly complete lack of interest in tonight’s game, here is a comparison of the first Governor’s Cup game and tonight’s matchup.

Then (1967): The Cowboys traveled to Houston to face the Oilers at Rice Stadium. A total of 53,125 came to watch the teams face one another in an interleague exhibition for the first time.

Now: Both the Cowboys and the Texans play in state-of-the-art facilities. Dallas will host tonight’s game at Cowboys Stadium, which has a capacity of about 80,000.

* * *

Then: The game between the Cowboys and Oilers was unofficially dubbed the Texas Championship. The game was not officially played for the Governor’s Cup until 1969.

Now: As noted above, the Cowboys have won the Governor’s Cup 24 times over the years.

For several years, however, the Governor’s Cup had gone missing. The Cowboys’ former vice president, Joe Bailey, told the press that he had given the Governor’s Cup to a Houston equipment manager, who then lost the Cup. It was found in a cardboard box in a Houston office building in 1987.

* * *

Then: The Cowboys beat the Oilers in 1967 thanks to the passing of Don Meredith and Craig Morton.

Now: Dallas will try to avoid its second consecutive winless preseason with Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers leading the way.

* * *

Then: Houston QB Don Trull had all sorts of problems with the Dallas pass rush, and the Oilers only managed 54 yards during the first three quarters. Another QB, Jacky Lee, had better luck, leading Houston to two touchdowns. Dallas, however, still managed the win, 30-17.

Pete Beathard ended up staring nine games for Houston in 1967. Lee started three games but could only manage one win. Trull completed just four passes all year.

Now: The Texans have named Brian Hoyer as the starter after he beat out Ryan Mallett for the job. Chances are pretty good that in 48 years, folks won’t remember the names Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett any better than fans remember the names Don Trull and Jacky Lee.

* * *

Then: The 1967 Houston Oilers were a good team, finishing the season at 9-4-1. They lost to Oakland in the AFL Championship Game. Dallas lost to the Green Bay Packers in the 1967 Ice Bowl for the NFL Championship.

Of course, this means that the Cowboys and Oilers were one win a piece from having a second Texas Championship/Governor’s Cup that year, only the teams would have faced off at the Miami Orange Bowl in Super Bowl II.

Now: Dallas has not been the Super Bowl since the 1995, but the Cowboys won the NFC East in 2014 with a 12-4 mark. The Texans finished the 2014 season at 9-7 after winning just two games in 2013. Nobody expects a Cowboys-Texans Super Bowl, but stranger things have happened.

Dallas Cowboys News: Preparing for the Houston Texans


The Dallas Cowboys will try to win their first preseason game since 2013 when they host the Houston Texans on Thursday evening.

It looks as if Brandon Weeden could play against the Texans, but chances are good that Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers will see most of action. Weeden is recovering from a concussion suffered against San Francisco.

(And, well, nobody wants to see Weeden play anyway).

Dallas made several cuts on Tuesday to reach the 75-man limit. Among those players cut was former Baylor receiver Antwan Goodley. With his release, the Cowboys put to rest any idea that Dallas was a landing spot for former Bears. The team had previously released running back Lache Seastrunk. Fortunately, Terrance Williams’ job is quite safe.

Thursday night’s game is for the Texas Governor’s Cup. The last time Dallas won the cup was 2010, and that was thanks to a regular-season win over Houston. Dallas has not defeated Houston in a preseason game since 2008.

Cheap Dallas Cowboys Tickets: Dallas vs. Houston


(No, this is not an advertisement. I was playing around on some sites looking for tickets, and this is what I found.)

If you want cheap Dallas Cowboys tickets and are willing to attend a preseason game, Thursday’s game against the Houston Texans would be the game to attend.

On StubHub, most of the party passes are running as low as 72 cents each. Yes, you must watch the game in standing-room-only, but 72 cents!

Of course, with fees, the price goes up a bit. I ordered two tickets at 72 cents each but would have had to pay $14.31.

The lowest price for an actual seat is not much more. On Stubhub, two tickets in section 419 are going for $4.24 each. Total amount with fees: $20.98.

Other sites are a bit more “pricey,” but it’s still cheap. Tickets in section 437 (end zone) are running for $10.06 each on SeatGeek.

On the other end of the spectrum, star suites are running for more than $4,000, while Hall of Fame suites are more than $5,000.

Obviously, tickets for the season-opener are a bit more. Party passes are running for $32 on the low end, while upper reserved seats are starting at about $100.

Preseason Week #3: Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings


The Cowboys host the Minnesota Vikings in preseason action on August 29. The Dallas starters should play much of the first half.

The Vikings enter the game with a 3-0 preseason record. Dallas is 0-2 after losing to San Diego and San Francisco.

Dallas Cowboys News: Orlando Scandrick Lost for the Season

The 2008 NFL Draft did not turn out to be kind to the Dallas Cowboys.

First-round picks Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins never made the impacts expected of them.

Tight end Martellus Bennett has accomplished more in New York and Chicago than he did in Dallas.

Tashard Choice showed a bit of potential but then faded out.

Erik Walden became a starter– with two different teams several years after the Cowboys cut him.

Among the team’s picks, only Orlando Scandrick remains. He does not have awe-inspiring numbers (7 career interceptions), but nearly everyone agrees that Scandrick has been one of the most consistent defenders on the team since 2008.

He suffered a season-ending injury during practice on Tuesday. The Cowboys will now rely on Morris Claiborne to overcome his own injury and prove that he has value to the team.

Below are the Scandrick stories.Also check out this sponsored

Preseason Week #2: Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Dallas Cowboys face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday, August 23.

Both teams enter the game with 0-1 records. Dallas fell to San Diego in the Cowboys’ first preseason game, while the 49ers lost to the Houston Texans last Saturday.

My live blog is below.

Dallas Cowboys News: Preseason Game #2

The Dallas Cowboys will face the San Francisco 49ers at 7 p.m. (central) on Sunday night.

Below are a few stories from the past week.

Dallas Cowboys News: Preparing for 49ers

The Cowboys will face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday evening at Levi’s Stadium. Below are some top stories

Neitehr Colin Kaepernick, left, nor Tony Romo is expected to see much action next Sunday.

Neitehr Colin Kaepernick, left, nor Tony Romo is expected to see much action next Sunday.

Who Should Back Up Tony Romo?

Backup QB Brandon Weeden.

Backup QB Brandon Weeden.

Brandon Weeden was so bad last November when he replaced Tony Romo against Washington that Weeden made my list of worst performance by a backup in team history.

He started against San Diego last night in the first preseason game of 2015. Although he completed 4 of 5 passes for 42 yards, he also lost the handle on a snap, and the fumble cost the Cowboys 35 yards (!) on 4th down (!).

Third-stringer Dustin Vaughan

Third-stringer Dustin Vaughan

Some grumblings on Facebook this morning suggest that Dustin Vaughan might be a better backup. Vaughan completed 12 of 18 passes for 106 yards last night and showed some ability to avoid the rush.

Not sure I have strong feelings about this. Here’s a poll for anyone else who does:

Who should be Tony Romo's backup?

View Results

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