Behind Enemy Lines: #DALvsHOU
Lindsay Draper goes Behind Enemy Lines with Drew Dougherty, TV Host of the Houston Texans.
AJ Mast via AP
1. Houston has had an up and down season so far, similar to the Cowboys’ start. Where do you see their strength going into Sunday?
The Texans’ strength, at long last, is in their quarterback. The franchise has never had a dynamic signal-caller like Deshaun Watson, and in each of the last three games he’s passed for 310 yards and pair of touchdowns, and also run for 35 or more yards. He can definitely hurt a defense with his legs, but it’s more a factor of him using his legs to buy more time to throw. He’ll scramble occasionally, but when he breaks the pocket, he’s always looking downfield for a deep ball, and so far it’s served this offense pretty well.
2. 1-3 isn’t a strong start, but the defense is strong. How have they looked so far?
J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney look ferocious. The former has five sacks, and the latter is coming off an AFC Defensive Player of the Week performance at Indianapolis. Over the last two games, specifically, they’ve really caused headaches for opposing quarterbacks. But on the flip side, Eli Manning and Andrew Luck combined to throw for 761 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions, all while completing 76 percent of their passes. The defense must get better against the pass. They’ve been solid against the run…except when they faced a team with a dynamic running back like the Giants with Saquon Barkley. He’s excellent, but Zeke Elliott’s better, so they’ll need to tighten up against Dallas.
3. Houston is REALLY big into this rivalry. How big?
The players understand that Texans fans, and Houstonians to a large degree, hate the Cowboys and their fanbase. But the players obviously aren’t as passionate about that aspect of this game. They just want to get a win.
4. Deshaun Watson seemed to return to form against the Colts. What is his biggest threat to the Cowboys defense?
Whether you want to call them chunk plays, deep balls, or explosive plays, Watson’s excellent at going downfield. He came into last week’s game against the Colts with 14 completions of 20 or more yards. That was a Top-10 mark in the NFL. Then at Indianapolis, he popped off a couple 30-yarders and two 24-yarders to DeAndre Hopkins, and tacked on a 22-yarder to Will Fuller, V. It’s something the Texans were without in between 2013 and 2016, but now with Watson, this is an explosive offense. He’s constantly looking downfield for a big gain, and thusfar he’s been able to produce those big gains in 2018.