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Why the Cowboys don't play Texans every year

The 2018 NFL Schedule is out, and the Texans host the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 5.

But why can't those two play every year? Why is this the first time since 2010 the Cowboys have visited NRG Stadium?

For fans wanting a yearly crack at Dallas, the New Orleans Saints, or the Oakland Raiders, for that matter, we have the explanation.

Every year, each NFL team plays the other three teams in its division (Jaguars, Titans and Colts), and they do so at home and away. That eats up six games of the 16-game schedule. 

Additionally, every team plays one game against each of the four teams from another division within its conference. This year, the Texans face the AFC East, getting the Bills and Dolphins at home, and facing the Jets and Patriots on the road. This rotates and the Texans will square off with the AFC East teams again in three years.

Each NFL team also plays one game against each of the four teams from a division in the NFC. The Texans have the NFC East in 2018, which means the Cowboys and Giants will play at NRG Stadium, and the Texans will travel to Philadelphia and Washington, DC. 

That leaves two games. The final two opponents come from the other two divisions within the AFC, and the matchups are determined by their places in the division. Since the Texans were fourth in the AFC South last year, they'll face the fourth-place team from the AFC North (Cleveland) and the fourth-place team from the AFC West (at Denver).

Check out the opposing quarterbacks the Texans will likely face in 2018. (Photos via AP Images)

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