The Houston Texans fell 34-0 to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
“We’re on our way,” Deshaun Watson said. " Each and every day, it’s a process. We’ve got two weeks until Monday night in the Superdome. We could have gone out and played a half and scored 34 points, but I still don’t believe that we’re ready. It’s still a learning process. There’s always ways to get better all the way up until kickoff. We just need to correct our mistakes, learn from them and get ready for our next opportunity.”
The Texans got off to a rough start after two fumbles, an interception and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown all before halftime. Houston converted just 1-of-14 on third down and turned the ball over four times (two fumbles, two interceptions) in the loss.
“Obviously, it was a pretty big disaster,” J.J. Watt said. “You don’t want to lose 34-0, especially to your in-state team. You also have to look at it with perspective as well. It is the preseason. As difficult as it was we are going to learn from it, grow from it. We all know the ultimate goal is September 9, so we need to do what we need to do to get ready for that game. But, we definitely need to take a good, hard look at the film from today and get better from it.”
Watt made his preseason debut on the opening series and finished with two tackles, one solo and one tackle for loss. The Texans starting defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive, but struggled afterwards.
Watson and the offensive starters played just one series. On the second play of the game, Lamar Miller took a hit to the knee by defensive lineman Maliek Collins. After being evaluated by trainers on the field, Miller was carted off to the locker room.
"I’ll be honest with you, that’s really hard," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "That was hard. To be honest with you, I’ve got to do a better job there of getting the team back, ready to go. It’s tough. We weren’t going to play guys a lot in the game – certain guys. We’re not going play a lot of Hop (DeAndre Hopkins) and Watson and Watt and those guys but in the end when you saw that happen, it was a tough thing. He’s just an awesome guy. He’s meant a lot to me personally and it’s just a tough thing to see."
Taco Charton’s strip sack on Watson resulted in a seven-yard loss and another injury. Zach Fulton left the game and did not return.
The Cowboys converted the takeaway into points when Dak Prescott threw a 12-yard touchdown pass six plays later.
Joe Webb was under center for the remainder of the first half. The Texans were forced to punt after Webb’s first series of the game, but Trevor Daniel’s kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown for an early 14-0 lead.
Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu started the second half for the Texans, but Webb returned in the fourth quarter. Webb finished with 8-of-21 for 62 yards passing, two interceptions and rushed for 25 yards on four carries.
In the second half, the surprising news of Andrew Luck’s retirement broke on Twitter. The Texans AFC South opponent earned the respect of many throughout the NFL, including Watt.
“He is an incredible competitor,” Watt said. “I loved playing against him. I think it takes an immense amount of courage. An immense amount of self reflection. And a lot of guts to do what he is doing. I am sure people have their ways of looking at it and their ways of trying to say what they would do in his shoes, but the truth is, no one is in his shoes.”
The Texans will host the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night to close out the 2019 preseason.