The Texans defense came up with four takeaways, five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits in the 20-14 triumph over the Cowboys. Much of that was due to an active defensive front.
After the win in Arlington, head coach David Culley was pleased with the way the pass rush disrupted the Dallas offense.
The Texans defense held Dallas scoreless after the half, and allowed just 29 second half rushing yards.
"That whole front got after it," Culley said. "We talked last night in our team meeting about the three E's. Effort and energy and execution. The effort and the energy from those guys was unbelievable."
50 seconds into the contest, defensive lineman Jacob Martin registered a strip sack. He dislodged the ball from quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and defensive lineman Charles Omenihu pounced on the fumble at the Cowboys' 23-yard line. It was one of five sacks on the evening, as Omenihu finished with two, and Demarcus Walker and rookie Roy Lopez also dropped a Dallas quarterback.
Martin explained how he and the rest of the defensive linemen are competing to drop the passer.
"It's for sure a race to the quarterback," Martin said. "With Maliek Collins, Whitney Mercilus and Charles Omenihu. On third downs, it's 'Who can get there first?' It's a competition."
Safety Lonnie Johnson came up with an interception return for a score in the middle of the third quarter, and he was quick to credit the havoc caused by the Texans' defensive front. Whether it was the sacks by players from the first unit like Martin and Omenihu, on through to Lopez's in the fourth quarter, Johnson's noticed a "big difference" for the Houston defense.
"These guys are getting back there, and that's helping us," Johnson said. "It's our job to make them look good. Everybody gets back there. There's no dropoff."
The Texans will practice at the Houston Methodist Training Center this week, and they'll conclude the preseason next Saturday night at NRG Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Check out game action from Texans Preseason Game 2 in Dallas.