FRISCO, Texas – From the front office to the roster itself, the Cowboys was in full support of the cancelation of their preseason finale on Wednesday.
The Cowboys had been set to host the Houston Texans on Thursday in a game that had been relocated to the Dallas area by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. On Wednesday morning, the Texans received word that they could get back to their homes in the Houston area, which has been hit by record-setting rainfall and flooding, and opted to return.
Given the hardships the region has undergone in the past week, and given that their AFC neighbors have been stranded outside of their hometown for the better part of a week, it was a decision the Cowboys understood.
"I know that they're probably anxious to get home and see their families and just assess the situation. I said it a couple days ago I, but this is bigger than football," said Jason Witten. "These guys have a great opportunity and platform to go back to the city and check on their own families and get involved in the community and rally in a lot of ways. I support that decision, and I know that they've got a lot of work to do moving forward."
Getting involved is a major theme of the past week. The proceeds from Thursday night's game were supposed to go to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. In light of the cancelation, fans can have their tickets refunded – but if they don't get a refund, that money will still go toward storm relief.
In addition, the McNair Family, which owns the Texans, pledged on Wednesday morning to make a donation that matches the revenue generated by ticket sales for the canceled game. At the same time, support continues to pour into the South Texas area from both Dallas-Fort Worth and across the world.
"This is going to go on I'm sure for weeks and months and years as far as that's concerned," said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones. "Certainly our compassion goes out to what's going on down there. It's a lot more than any sport, than any football game. We understand that."
As for the Cowboys, they'll likely organize a practice of some sort on Thursday – but there won't be a preseason finale this year. Given that they've already played four preseason games, though, that's hardly a priority during what has been a trying week.
"I think there's more important things than football right now and I think Houston being able to get home and see their families is a big deal," Sean Lee said. "To me, we've played in a bunch of preseason games and right now I'm excited for them that they can get home."