EXCLUSIVE: Just Another Game, Huh?

IRVING, Tex. - The common suggestion among Dallas fans is that the Houston Texans, despite the fact that they are the only other team in the Lone Star State, are not much of a rival.

The Texans are a new team and their best season brought them nine wins — hardly the stuff that makes a heated rivalry with the Cowboys and all of their Lombardi Trophies, right?

Not necessarily, according to Dallas defensive end Jason Hatcher.

The cause of Hatcher's ire is the exhibition game the teams played Aug. 28 in Houston. The Texans, Hatcher said, broke the unwritten code that dictates NFL teams run the most vanilla game plans possible in the exhibition game, running basic plays without creative wrinkles.

"We didn't show anything against Houston," Hatcher said of the Texans' 23-7 victory. "But they schemed for us. They had a game plan in an exhibition game."

Pressed further on the issue, Hatcher insisted his reaction was not merely after-the-fact tough talk, insisting the result of a meaningless game in which the primary value is player evaluation really did get under his skin.

Hell yeah, I'm pissed off — I'm still pissed off," Hatcher said. "The way they get amped up to play us … and that was just a preseason game."

Hatcher said that the might be in different divisions and different conferences, but he expects Sunday's game to be played with the emotion and intensity of a showdown between longtime rivals.

"Someone is going to get their ass kicked," Hatcher said. "I just don't care for them, and they don't like us, either.

"If they whip the Cowboys, that's their Super Bowl."

CowboysHQ Top Stories