Skip to main content

It Could Be Worse

all did.  

"There were some bad things, but a lot of good things, too," Carter said on the following Monday afternoon at Valley Ranch. "I'm sorry I just don't have the same feeling as you guys do. It wasn't all my fault."  

Carter was right about that. He wasn't the only one who struggled that night. But I'm still looking for the "good."  

The Cowboys had a chance to nip this "rivalry" talk right in the bud. Squash it down like a bug on the cement.  

Instead, they let the Texans create a moment for their franchise that still ranks as the top club's top achievement.  

And that's not just me saying this. The quarterback who led the Texans to that magical win says it's frustrating the franchise doesn't have more than the one big win.  

"To have to look back at a game four years ago to get excited about something is a little disappointing," Carr said.  

And make no mistake, of the Texans' 19 all-time victories, the last 18 of which I have not witnessed, I still have no problems guaranteeing that any of them have been sweeter than beating the Cowboys in the first game.  

"That was really a great feeling," said Cowboys cornerback Aaron Glenn, who played for the Texans for three seasons from 2002-04. "Being the first year of the franchise and winning the first game, it was great. Everyone was just excited to get a chance to play since football was gone from football for about five years. To come out and win the game, it was not only big for the players, but big for Houston."  

You think? 

That was evident from the moment the Cowboys walked into Reliant Stadium that night. Maybe the term "hornet's nest" has been overused when playing in a hostile environment, but that's exactly what it was.  

Those Texans fans were ready to beat up on the Cowboys. They just weren't going to settle for anything less.  

"That's the loudest game I've ever played," said Andre Gurode, a Houston native who played his first pro game back in front of many friends and family. "That's why I'll always remember it. It was fun to go back to Houston for your first game. But that's about it."  

In fact, and let me preface by saying that in no way am I comparing a national tragedy to football returning to a big city again after a five-year hiatus, but watching that Saints-Falcons game a few weeks back definitely reminded me of that night back in 2002.  

It didn't matter what team had more talent. It didn't matter what team had more experience. The fact was, the Saints were just not going to lose that game to the Falcons. No way. Not unless the AFC Pro Bowl team lined up to face the Saints, they weren't losing.  

And that's pretty much the case for the Texans four years ago.  

"Oh, you could tell it was a big deal for the city of Houston," Glenn said. "They always want to beat Dallas, especially in the first game of the franchise. You could tell it was just a normal game. We all wanted it."  

And they got it. And now, they still remember it, too.  

Like Carr said, that win still ranks as the biggest moment in the Texans' still-young history.  

For the Cowboys, it has to go down as one of the worst.  

So why is this all relevant now? It's not. Remember, Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells always tells us that history means nothing in football. 

And definitely, the outcome of that game in 2002 won't mean anything on Sunday.  

But if somehow the Texans surprise us all and use that two weeks of rest and get Reggie Bush involved - oh wait, they didn't draft him . . . but you get the point. Even if the Texans come up here and hand the Cowboys another defeat and drop them to 2-3 on the season, just remember:  

It could be worse.                              

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.