St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

A Texan stunner: win over Cowboys

©Associated Press
September 9, 2002

HOUSTON -- The Texans didn't just win their opener. They won their Super Bowl.

Rookie quarterback David Carr came out with a touchdown on his first completion, then hit Corey Bradford for a 65-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to beat the Cowboys 19-10 on Sunday night in the first game in franchise history.

"I wouldn't say we ambushed them," Houston nose guard Seth Payne said, "but I don't think they expected what they got."

The Texans became only the second expansion team to start 1-0. Minnesota did it in 1961, beating the division rival Bears.

This one, though, was for Texas bragging rights in a state where football is king.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue called the game "the Texas Super Bowl," and it felt that way to 69,604 who had waited since the Oilers left for Tennessee after the 1996 season. They started arriving 41/2 hours early, many with their faces painted and carrying anti-Dallas signs.

Carr spoke for all of them on draft day when he said he wanted "to beat up on the Cowboys more than anyone else." That certainly was the sentiment of owner Bob McNair, who got the expansion rights for $700-million in October 1999 and made it clear he wanted to open against his northern neighbors.

Playing with the roof of their $449-million stadium closed because of threatening clouds, the Texans got the decibel level going when Carr took the first snap of franchise history and threw long down the right sideline to Bradford.

"We wanted to come out and set a tone," Texans coach Dom Capers said.

Dallas cornerback Bryant Westbrook was flagged for pass interference, moving Houston 43 yards to the Cowboys 21. Three plays later, Carr hit tight end Billy Miller at the 6 and Miller dove for the first touchdown 1:14 in.

Penalties plagued Dallas all night, making the Cowboys look like the expansion team. Through three quarters, they had been penalized eight times for 112 yards, while the Texans had gained only 106.

Dallas got a 33-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 56 seconds left in the second quarter and a 46-yard touchdown run by Michael Wiley in the third to tie it at 10.

On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Carr threw deep to Bradford, who reached behind his body in the air and hauled it in and outran two Cowboys to the end zone.

With 2:37 left, Payne sacked Dallas quarterback Quincy Carter for a safety.

As the Texans celebrated, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones picked up a towel and used it to wipe his hands in disgust.

"We did nothing good," said Dallas running back Emmitt Smith. "We have a long way to go and a short time to get there."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

U.S. Open tennis
  • Comeback king
  • Delay for football doesn't deter men

  • College football
  • Gators looking for new identity
  • Buffs unsure of QB's future
  • 'Canes leave little in doubt by answering key questions
  • Bulls take control before big games

  • Boxing
  • Wright, Jones keep their titles

  • Softball
  • Australia jells fast to capture World Series

  • Triathlon
  • Winner flies past pack in run

  • Motorsports
  • Hornish beats Unser in IRL's closest finish

  • Baseball
  • AL: Glaus joins the fun for Angels
  • NL: Braves blanked in bid to clinch
  • Yanks say farewell to Harwell

  • Golf
  • 3-way playoff ends in Rollins' first win

  • Et cetera
  • Sports briefs

  • NFL
  • RB Martin: Injury not too serious
  • Packers beat heat, Falcons
  • Panthers win first in nearly a year
  • Miami runs streak to 11 in openers
  • Broncos 23, Rams 16
  • Bears 27, Vikings 23
  • Dungy wins Colts debut in familiar way
  • Raiders 31, Seahawks 17
  • Chargers 34, Bengals 6
  • Titans 27, Eagles 24
  • Jets 37, Bills 31 (OT)
  • Taunting calls open door for Kansas City
  • A Texan stunner: win over Cowboys
  • Redskins need all of prolific offense
  • Champions open new stadium

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report: Tournament insider

  • Rays
  • Win doesn't change big picture for McRae
  • Up next: Red Sox
  • Rangers shift can't stop streaking Huff

  • Bucs
  • Flip, flop
  • Offense woes continue
  • Harsh words from Walker
  • The Saints march in to 'get the win'
  • Defense's arrival too little, too late
  • Sound bites
  • Bucs chat
  • Team quotes

  • Gary Shelton
  • Bucs' new start could not have gone worse

  • Lightning
  • No mental or physical respite for Lecavalier

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts