Cowboys shut out Texans 34-0 in preseason Game 3

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The Texans lost starting running back Lamar Miller for the season in a 34-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in their third preseason game Saturday night in Dallas. 

On the Texans’ second offensive play of the game, Miller took a handoff and was hit in the knee. The initial diagnosis was a torn anterior cruciate ligament which will keep Miller off the field for this season, and since he is in the last year of his contract, Miller may have played his last game for the Texans.

The Texans will miss Miller both on the field and in the locker room.

“It’s horrible. It’s the worst part of our game by far. He’s a guy who is obviously so talented, so important to our team. I feel for him,” defensive end J.J. Watt said. “He’s a great player. He’s a great running back. He can catch the ball; he can block well. He can do a lot of different things. It’s so tough. He’s an important piece of our puzzle and he’s a guy that we all love and love having him out there and competing with us side by side. You just hate to see it.”

“Miller is so special to this team. He’s one of the guys that brings a lot of energy and a lot of power to this team. It’s tough to see him go off on the cart. I prayed for him. He’s a big part of what we wanted to do this season,” quarterback Deshaun Watson said.

With the memory of Miller being carted off fresh in their minds, Watson fumbled on the next play, setting the Cowboys up for 12-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup. 

The Texans’ next series was as bad as the first as two holding penalties forced a punt which was blocked by Cowboys’ linebacker Joe Thomas and recovered by Thomas in the endzone for another Cowboys’ touchdown, and a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

“It was a big play. To block the punt and then recover it, that’s a huge play. It’s a momentum booster as well. That was my first touchdown since high school when I was a running back,” Thomas said.

The game was essentially over at that point as the Texans could not generate any offense, and they could not stop the Cowboys from scoring.

The best news for the Texans in the second half was the announcement that Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck is retiring.

“I am going to retire. This is not an easy decision. It is the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me,” Luck said.

Luck had suffered a calf injury and high ankle sprain this year which had prevented him from practicing this preseason. Luck had returned in 2018 to lead the Colts to the second round of the playoffs after sitting out the 2017 season with a shoulder injury to his throwing arm.

The announcement was a surprise to the league and the Texans.

“It’s mind-blowing. Of course, it caught everyone a little off guard. But hey, he can control his own future. He’s a great player. He’s a great quarterback. He’s a top-5 quarterback in this league. He’s doing it for the right reasons for himself,” Watson said.

For the game, the Texans had just 135 yards of total offense. The Cowboys sacked the Texans’ quarterbacks eight times for a loss of 38 yards and intercepted two passes. The Texans were 1-14 on third downs and had just eight first downs.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys had 362 yards of total offense, 113 yards on the ground, and 249 yards through the air.

The Texans complete their preseason schedule with a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at NRG Stadium.

Scoring Plays:

First quarter:

Dallas: Gallup 12-yard pass from Prescott

Dallas: Thomas blocked punt recovery in the end zone.

Dallas: Brett Maher 36-yard field goal

Dallas 17 Texans 0

Second quarter:

Dallas: Alfred Morris 1-yard run

Dallas: Maher 23-yard field goal

Dallas 27 Texans 0

Third quarter:

Dallas: Jordan Chunn 12-yard pass from Mike White

Dallas 34 Texans 0

Fourth quarter:

No score

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