Houston Texans Governor's Cup

Texans, Cowboys vie for trophy, state's bragging rights

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by Tom Wancho, Exhibit Planner

Texas’s two NFL franchises play every four years during the regular season and occasionally during the pre-season. The Governor’s Cup has been awarded to the winner since the Houston Oilers hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Rice Stadium on September 3, 1967. In that game, the Cowboys snagged a 30-17 victory.

Following the 1996 season, the Oilers franchise moved to Tennessee, and, three years later, the city of Houston was awarded the NFL’s 32nd franchise on October 6, 1999. In 2002, the Houston Texans took the field for their first regular season game against … the Dallas Cowboys.

The game was promoted heavily beforehand. Sports Illustrated featured Texans quarterback David Carr on its August 19, 2002 cover under the headline “WAR for Texas.” The game aired Sunday night, September 8, 2002, on ESPN before a national television audience and 69,604 fans in the new Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium).

Carr tossed two touchdowns as the Texans became the first NFL expansion team in 41 years to win its regular season debut. The final score of 19-10 is engraved on the Governor’s Cup pictured above, which was re-established before this historic meeting of two Texas NFL teams.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Houston Texans Governor's Cup Artifact from Houston, Texas
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