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Houston Texans

5 Things to Watch: Texans at Cowboys

*Here are Five Things to Watch when the Texans face the Cowboys in Arlington on Sunday at noon CT on CBS-11/KHOU.

1. Romo & Fitzpatrick: This article can begin each week with quarterback play, but it usually doesn't.

This week, though, limiting mistakes at the quarterback position is key. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and

Tony Romo have been in the League for 10 or more years. Both have a wealth of experience. And both have struggled at various points in their career with turnovers.

Fitzpatrick's thrown five interceptions in the last two games, after playing cleanly to start the season. Romo, meanwhile, was picked off three times in the season-opening loss to San Francisco, but has thrown just one interception in the three wins since*.


Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is impressed with what Fitzgerald has done in his short time with the Texans.

"I think he has a good understanding of what they're trying to go regardless of what part of their attack their using," Garrett said. "He has a lot of weapons around him and they use them well."

As for Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, he scoffed at the notion that Romo isn't a good quarterback.

"This guy is a top-notch quarterback," O'Brien said. "He's smart, he's accurate. He's played a lot of productive football in this league. I think the guy is a hell of a quarterback."

Each needs to limit the turnovers if his team is to be victorious.

2. Stay Strong vs. Run: The Texans run defense was able to limit C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and the

Bills to 96 rushing yards in last Sunday's win. It was a nice rebound from Week 3, when Houston surrendered 193 yards on the ground in a loss to the Giants.

On Sunday, they'll face the NFL's rushing leader in DeMarco Murray, who enters the contest with 534 yards. They all know he and the Cowboys offense are a major challenge.

"They've seen just about every defensive scheme and they've had success versus it," defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. "They have a lot of confidence in their running game, and a lot of times if you have the confidence, you're able to get some things done that you're not able to do if you don't have confidence."

Murray's gained 327 yards before contact so far this season, and if he continues to get a lot of room to run, the Houston secondary will be tested.

"A guy like him, fast, physical and he'll make you miss," cornerback Kareem Jackson said. "We just have to do everything you can to take him down."


  1. Easy Dez it**: Murray's not the only playmaker for the Cowboys. Wide receiver Dez Bryant leads the team with 291 receiving yards, and he's also caught three touchdowns this season. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph said the Texans will try to limit Bryant's output by trying a variety of things.

"It's a tough task," Joseph said. "But you have to do everything you can to mix it up. Don't show him the same looks. Just keep him guessing."

4. Foster's Impact: Running back Arian Foster picked up just six yards on eight carries last Sunday

against the Bills, but he was an integral part of the passing attack. With a team-high seven catches, he picked up 55 receiving yards in the win over Buffalo.

How much he does on the ground will be a key thing to follow in Sunday's matchup, but regardless, he's a major component of the offense.

"Being able to catch quite a few balls last week, it really sparked the whole unit," quarterback coach George Godsey said. "I think as much as we can use Arian in different roles, I think that's what we'll try to do."

Foster's amassed 331 yards from scrimmage in three games this season, 257 of those have come running the ball.


  1. Watt's next**: J.J. Watt was limited during the week in practice with a thigh injury. But the defensive end leads the NFL in quarterback hits with 16 so far, and he's also tallied two sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and four tackles for loss.

On top of all that, he's scored a pair of touchdowns this season, and those 12 points have him third on the team in scoring behind kicker Randy Bullock and receiver DeAndre Hopkins. He's garnered attention from the NFL, and the Cowboys know their hands are full.

"I see a dynamic player that might be the best player that we go against all season," Romo said. "He's very disruptive. He makes the game changing plays every game I see. It's going to be a great test for us to somehow find a way—you're not going to stop him. You just have to hope that you minimize his chances to change the game."

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