Texas Teams to Give Each Other a Helping Hand?

The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are in a unique position this week where they could help the others playoff aspirations.

Separated by a few hours of driving and always eager to fight for in-state dominance, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are like two brothers. They are always willing to kill the other, but given the chance to lend the other a helping hand they will do what they can to grab it.

That opportunity could very well come this week. Dallas is playing one of Houston’s division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday. The Texans travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, one of Dallas’ division rivals, on Thursday night. If both can win they stand to give their in-state rival a helping hand.

Dallas will need a lot of help if they are going to make the postseason. At 3-8 they can’t lose again, but then they also need a lot of other teams to start losing games too. The last time an 8-8 team made the playoffs was in 2008 when the San Diego Chargers won the AFC West with that record.

Houston still has a good chance of making it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but they could use a little help to get there. After the win against the Tennessee Titans and the Colts losing to the San Diego Chargers, the Texans are only a game behind Indianapolis. So even if the Texans were able to win out they still need some help in order to make the post season.

That could very well be where the Cowboys come in.

Four weeks ago the Dallas Cowboys looked like the doormat of the league, a team that the Colts would be able to run (or pass) wild over. Fast forward to the days before the game and the outlook is much different. Ever since Dallas put Jason Garrett in charge the team has been playing more like the Super Bowl contenders they were expected to be at the start of the season. With the onslaught of injuries that the Colts have suffered Indianapolis and their vaunted passing attack is looking pretty mortal.

Should Dallas beat the Colts on Sunday that would drop Indianapolis to 6-6. Assuming that Houston wins on Thursday against the Eagles that would mean that the two are tied either on top of the division or in second depending on how the Jacksonville Jaguars do (who are currently tied with Indianapolis at 6-5).

Beating the Eagles will be no small feat though. The Texans did get some good news already this week when they found out that wide receiver Andre Johnson will not be suspended for his role in the fight with Tennessee Titans DB Cortland Finnegan last Sunday. Had he been suspended, the Houston passing game would have lost its most valuable weapon next to Matt Schaub.

With Johnson it will still be a tough game for the Texans to win. Michael Vick has been absolutely electric this season, and has been lighting up the scoreboards. The lone exception was last week’s outing against the Chicago Bears. While that game did show some vulnerability, the Bears also have a much better defense than the Texans do.
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