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Houston Texans

Texans defense needed "nail in the coffin" vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Texans defense came up with some big plays on Sunday against the Cowboys. Ultimately, though, they said they needed a few more.

Houston dropped its 12th game of the season, 27-23, to Dallas at AT&T Stadium. Defensive back Tremon Smith picked off a pair of passes, fellow defensive back Jalen Pitre tattooed numerous pass-catchers with violent hits, and the defense as a whole put Houston in a position to win.

But Pitre explained how it wasn't enough.

"It's hard," PItre said. "But honestly, we just need to make more plays at the end of the game. It's that simple. I didn't execute as well as I wanted at the end of the game to help the team win. I have something to practice on this week."

Dallas took a 14-10 lead on Troy Pollard's 10-yard touchdown reception with 12:28 left in the first half. But they wouldn't find the end zone again until 40 seconds remained in regulation. In between those scores, Houston's defense allowed just two field goal drives, forced a pair of 3-and-outs, picked off two passes, and stopped the Cowboys on fourth down.

But the Cowboys drove 98 yards late in the game, and Ezekiel Elliott's two-yard scoring run gave Dallas the victory.,,

"The defense, when it was our time to win the game, we should have put the nail in the coffin," Defensive lineman Ogbo Okoronkwo said. "But we didn't, but that's on us. We are ready to get back to work and get this taste out of our mouth.""

Head Coach Lovie Smith and the defense entered the game without one starting cornerback in Derek Stingley, Jr. The Texans lost their other starting corner Steven Nelson to injury on Sunday.

"Losing our corners kind of took us out of some of our blitzes, but Dak Prescott is one of the best quarterbacks in our game and he's going to hit some," Smith said. "I think they kind of showed a little bit of the champion in them. They had to get a drive. There at the end, unfortunately for us, they were able to."

Houston will host the Chiefs next Sunday at noon inside NRG Stadium.

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