Governor's Cup (Texas)

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Governor's Cup (Texas)
Cowboys wordmark.svg
Dallas Cowboys
Houston Texans wordmark.svg
Houston Texans
First meeting1965
Latest meetingAugust 24, 2019
Cowboys 34, Texans 0
Next meetingTBD
Statistics
All-time series
  • Overall: Series Tied 8-8
  • Regular season: Cowboys lead Texans, 3–2
  • Preseason: Texans lead Cowboys, 6–5
  • Cowboys lead Oilers, 18–13
Largest victory
  • Cowboys (over Texans): 34–6 (October 15, 2006)
Current win streak
  • Cowboys: 1 win ( 0 reg, 1 pre)

The Texas Governor's Cup (also known as the Cowboys-Texans rivalry, Battle of Texas, formerly the Cowboys-Oilers rivalry) is the trophy awarded to the winner of the football game between the two National Football League (NFL) teams in Texas, currently the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Prior to the Texans' inaugural season in 2002 the Cowboys' opponent was the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans). In 1991, after 13 straight games at the Cowboys' Texas Stadium, the Cowboys and Oilers went to a home-and-away format for the preseason and this format more or less continues to this day for the games between the Cowboys and Texans.[1][2]

Since the very first meeting between the Cowboys and Texans in 2002 the two teams have met in the regular season every fourth year and meet relatively often (by NFL standards) in the preseason; from 2002 until 2008 and again since 2013, the Cowboys and Texans have been scheduled to play each other in the preseason whenever they are not scheduled to meet in the regular season. In 2010, the teams played both a pre-season and regular season game while in 2009, 2011 and 2012 they did not meet at all. The 2017 preseason game, scheduled to be played in Houston, was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. In 2018, the teams will play both a pre-season and regular season game once again, marking the first time that this instance of two games in one year has happened since 2010.

History[edit]

Preseason game between the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on August 24, 2019

The two cities of Houston and Dallas have a rivalry that goes way back before the team's founding. Both became the two largest cities in Texas, with Dallas being known for having wealthy elites of the Texas oil and gas industry in the early 20th century, while Houston was known for being a working-class city with the lower-tier workers working in making oil pipelines during the Texas boom.

In 1960, the NFL established the Dallas Cowboys, mainly as an effort to cut off the American Football League (AFL)'s Dallas Texans. (The cutoff effort was only a partial success, as the Texans were forced to move to become the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, but the AFL itself would thrive and eventually merge into the NFL in 1970.) The AFL would be the first league to place a professional team in Houston, and though the Houston Oilers and the Texans were in opposite divisions, they quickly became rivals. Their rivalry culminated in a double-overtime 1962 American Football League Championship Game that the Texans, in their last game in that identity, won, preventing an Oilers threepeat.

In 1965, the AFL's Houston Oilers and NFL's Dallas Cowboys both drafted Oklahoma tackle Ralph Neely. The Oilers sued the Cowboys over Neely's services. In the settlement of the case, the Oilers received three Cowboys draft picks in addition to a cash settlement. The Cowboys also agreed to play five preseason games, three in Houston, against the Oilers. Thus began the Governor's Cup series, a Texas tradition created by franchise free agency.[3]

In 1992 the Cowboys and Oilers met twice in the preseason. The first game took place in Tokyo as part of the NFL's American Bowl series, and the second meeting in Dallas for the Governor's Cup.

The 1994 Governor's Cup was not actually played in Texas but in Mexico City at Estadio Azteca as part of the American Bowl series. As a result of Estadio Azteca's unusually large seating capacity, a league record 112,246 fans watched the Oilers shut out the Cowboys, 6–0 on August 13, 1994.[4]

From 1997 to 2001 there were no Governor's Cup games played. This was because the Oilers moved to Tennessee after the 1996 season and the Texans wouldn't enter the NFL as an expansion team until 2002, leaving the Cowboys as the lone team in Texas for five straight seasons.

The only other professional football league to feature teams from Dallas and Houston at the same time is the 2020 incarnation of the XFL, which established the Dallas Renegades and Houston Roughnecks.

Governor's Cup win/loss to 1996[edit]

Up to the 1996 season, the Dallas Cowboys had won 18 of 31 Governor's Cup meetings leaving the Houston Oilers with 13 Governor's Cup wins.[5]

Governor's Cup results since 2002[edit]

The Texans joined the NFL as an expansion team for the 2002 season. Since then, the Texans lead in the series overall at 8–7 as of the start of the 2018 season. The Texans lead the pre-season series at 6–5 and the Dallas Cowboys lead the regular season series 3–2.

Game summaries[edit]

Date Score Stadium,
City
Attendance Regular season/
Preseason
September 2, 1967 Dallas Cowboys 30
Houston Oilers 17
Rice Stadium
Houston, Texas
53,125 Preseason
August 31, 1968 Dallas Cowboys 33
Houston Oilers 19
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
52,289 Preseason
August 28, 1969 Dallas Cowboys 14
Houston Oilers 11
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
55,310 Preseason
August 29, 1970 Houston Oilers 37
Dallas Cowboys 21
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
46,548 Preseason
December 20, 1970 Dallas Cowboys 52
Houston Oilers 10
Cotton Bowl
Dallas, Texas
50,504 Regular
season
August 26, 1971 Dallas Cowboys 28
Houston Oilers 20
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
49,078 Preseason
August 5, 1972 Dallas Cowboys 26
Houston Oilers 24
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
65,405 Preseason
August 23, 1973 Houston Oilers 27
Dallas Cowboys 24
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
46,942 Preseason
August 17, 1974 Dallas Cowboys 19
Houston Oilers 13
(overtime)
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
53,148 Preseason
November 24, 1974 Dallas Cowboys 10
Houston Oilers 0
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
49,775 Regular
season
August 30, 1975 Dallas Cowboys 17
Houston Oilers 14
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
46,951 Preseason
September 4, 1976 Dallas Cowboys 26
Houston Oilers 20
(overtime)
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
58,844 Preseason
September 3, 1977 Houston Oilers 23
Dallas Cowboys 14
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
49,777 Preseason
August 19, 1978 Houston Oilers 27
Dallas Cowboys 13
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
62,242 Preseason
August 18, 1979 Dallas Cowboys 16
Houston Oilers 13
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
62,803 Preseason
November 22, 1979 Houston Oilers 30
Dallas Cowboys 24
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
63,897 Regular
season
August 23, 1980 Dallas Cowboys 20
Houston Oilers 13
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
63,658 Preseason
August 29, 1981 Dallas Cowboys 28
Houston Oilers 20
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
63,799 Preseason
September 4, 1982 Dallas Cowboys 20
Houston Oilers 14
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
60,150 Preseason
December 13, 1982 Dallas Cowboys 37
Houston Oilers 7
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
51,808 Regular
season
August 27, 1983 Dallas Cowboys 34
Houston Oilers 31
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
54,363 Preseason
August 25, 1984 Dallas Cowboys 31
Houston Oilers 24
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
53,877 Preseason
August 31, 1985 Dallas Cowboys 20
Houston Oilers 10
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
53,812 Preseason
September 29, 1985 Dallas Cowboys 17
Houston Oilers 10
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
49,686 Regular
season
August 30, 1986 Houston Oilers 17
Dallas Cowboys 14
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
62,239 Preseason
September 5, 1987 Houston Oilers 18
Dallas Cowboys 13
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
47,043 Preseason
August 27, 1988 Houston Oilers 54
Dallas Cowboys 10
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
48,400 Preseason
November 24, 1988 Houston Oilers 25
Dallas Cowboys 17
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
50,845 Regular
season
September 2, 1989 Dallas Cowboys 30
Houston Oilers 28
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
63,582 Preseason
September 1, 1990 Houston Oilers 27
Dallas Cowboys 6
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
55,499 Preseason
August 18, 1991 Houston Oilers 30
Dallas Cowboys 20
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
53,314 Preseason
November 10, 1991 Houston Oilers 26
Dallas Cowboys 23
(overtime)
Astrodome
Houston, Texas
63,001 Regular
season
August 2, 1992 Houston Oilers 34
Dallas Cowboys 23
Tokyo Dome
Tokyo, Japan
51,058 Preseason
August 15, 1992 Houston Oilers 17
Dallas Cowboys 16
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
61,334 Preseason
August 21, 1993 Houston Oilers 23
Dallas Cowboys 20
Alamodome
San Antonio, Texas
63,285 Preseason
August 15, 1994 Houston Oilers 6
Dallas Cowboys 0
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City, Mexico
112,376 Preseason
September 11, 1994 Dallas Cowboys 20
Houston Oilers 17
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
64,402 Regular
season
August 26, 1995 Dallas Cowboys 10
Houston Oilers 0
Alamodome
San Antonio, Texas
52,512 Preseason
August 24, 1996 Dallas Cowboys 24
Houston Oilers 19
Citrus Bowl
Orlando, Florida
44,296 Preseason
September 8, 2002 Houston Texans 19
Dallas Cowboys 10
Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
69,604 Regular
season
August 15, 2003 Dallas Cowboys 34
Houston Texans 6
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
60,058 Preseason
August 14, 2004 Houston Texans 18
Dallas Cowboys 0
Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
70,431 Preseason
August 27, 2005 Dallas Cowboys 21
Houston Texans 9
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
54,288 Preseason
October 15, 2006 Dallas Cowboys 34
Houston Texans 6
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
63,186 Regular
season
August 25, 2007 Houston Texans 28
Dallas Cowboys 16
Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
70,512 Preseason
August 22, 2008 Dallas Cowboys 23
Houston Texans 22
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas
60,795 Preseason
August 28, 2010 Houston Texans 23
Dallas Cowboys 7
Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
70,725 Preseason
September 26, 2010 Dallas Cowboys 27
Houston Texans 13
Reliant Stadium
Houston, Texas
71,456 Regular
season
August 29, 2013 Houston Texans 24
Dallas Cowboys 6
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
76,856 Preseason
October 5, 2014 Dallas Cowboys 20
Houston Texans 17
(overtime)
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
91,159 Regular
season
September 3, 2015 Dallas Cowboys 21
Houston Texans 14
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
85,067 Preseason
September 1, 2016 Houston Texans 28
Dallas Cowboys 17
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
81,016 Preseason
August 31, 2017 Cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey[A] Preseason
August 30, 2018 Houston Texans 14
Dallas Cowboys 6
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
71,438 Preseason
October 7, 2018 Houston Texans 19
Dallas Cowboys 16
(overtime)
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
72,008 Regular
season
August 24, 2019 Dallas Cowboys 34
Houston Texans 0
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
85,636 Preseason

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The game was to be moved from its original venue, NRG Stadium, to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, due to public safety concerns regarding flooding in the Houston area from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.[6] The game was later cancelled to allow the Texans players to return to Houston after the storm.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NFL ANNOUNCES 2002–2009 SCHEDULE ROTATION". footballinjuries.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20.
  2. ^ Wangrin, Mark (August 3, 1990). "Governor's Cup game moved; Cowboys-Oilers exhibition series switches to Astrodome in '91". Austin American-Statesman. p. D7.
  3. ^ Texas Sports News Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The Worlds Biggests
  5. ^ "Express-News Archives : MySA.com".
  6. ^ "Cowboys-Texans game relocated to AT&T Stadium". NFL.com. August 28, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Epstein, Jori (August 30, 2017). "Cowboys-Texans game canceled to give Houston players chance to go home after Harvey". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 30, 2017.