Governor's Cup (Texas)

The Texas Governor's Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the football game between the National Football League (NFL)'s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. The two teams meet in the regular season every fourth year and occasionally in the preseason. In 1991, after 13 straight games at Texas Stadium, the two teams went to a home-and-away format for the preseason when the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) were still based in Houston.[1][2] This has not held in the modern era of the meetings.


In 1965, the American Football League (AFL)'s Houston Oilers and NFL's Dallas Cowboys both drafted Oklahoma tackle Ralph Neely. The Oilers sued the Cowboys over Neely's services. In the settlement of the case, the Oilers received three Cowboys draft picks in addition to a cash settlement. The Cowboys also agreed to play five preseason games, three in Houston, against the Oilers. Thus began the Governor's Cup series, a Texas tradition created by franchise free agency.[3]

In 1992 the Cowboys and Oilers met twice in the preseason. The first game took place in Tokyo as part of the NFL's American Bowl series, and the second meeting in Dallas for the Governor's Cup.

The 1994 Governor's Cup was not actually played in Texas but in Mexico City at Estadio Azteca as part of the American Bowl series. As a result of Estadio Azteca's unusually large seating capacity, a league record 112,246 fans watched the Oilers shut out the Cowboys, 6-0 on August 13, 1994.[4]

Governor's Cup win/loss to 1996

Up to the 1996 season, the Dallas Cowboys had won 18 of 31 Governor's Cup meetings leaving the Houston Oilers with 13 Governor's Cup wins.[5]

Governor's Cup results since 2002

The Texans joined the NFL as an expansion team for the 2002 season. Since then, the Cowboys lead the series overall at 7-6, as of the start of the 2016 season. The Texans lead the pre-season series at 5-4 and the Dallas Cowboys lead the regular season series 3-1.

Game summaries

Date Visiting team Home team Stadium Regular season / Preseason
September 8, 2002 Dallas Cowboys 10 Houston Texans 19 NRG Stadium Regular season game.
August 15, 2003 Houston Texans 6 Dallas Cowboys 34 Texas Stadium Preseason game.
August 14, 2004 Dallas Cowboys 0 Houston Texans 18 NRG Stadium Preseason game.
August 15, 2005 Houston Texans 9 Dallas Cowboys 21 Texas Stadium Preseason game.
October 15, 2006 Houston Texans 6 Dallas Cowboys 34 Texas Stadium Regular season game.
August 25, 2007 Dallas Cowboys 16 Houston Texans 28 NRG Stadium Preseason game.
August 22, 2008 Houston Texans 22 Dallas Cowboys 23 Texas Stadium Preseason game.
August 28, 2010 Dallas Cowboys 7 Houston Texans 23 NRG Stadium Preseason game.
September 26, 2010 Dallas Cowboys 27 Houston Texans 13 NRG Stadium Regular season game.
August 29, 2013 Houston Texans 24 Dallas Cowboys 6 AT&T Stadium Preseason game.
October 5, 2014 Houston Texans 17 Dallas Cowboys 20 (OT) AT&T Stadium Regular season game.
September 3, 2015 Houston Texans 14 Dallas Cowboys 21 AT&T Stadium Preseason game.
September 1, 2016 Houston Texans 28 Dallas Cowboys 17 AT&T Stadium Preseason game.

Notes and references

  2. Wangrin, Mark (August 3, 1990). "Governor's Cup game moved; Cowboys-Oilers exhibition series switches to Astrodome in '91". Austin American-Statesman. p. D7.
  3. Texas Sports News
  4. The Worlds Biggests
  5. "Express-News Archives :".
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