NFL Teams From Texas (+ Football, Records +)

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In Texas, football is not just a sport, it’s a way of life. While we don’t like to generalize, it’s fair to say that many Texans are passionate about football, particularly their favorite NFL team. Currently, there are two NFL teams in the Lone Star State, the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans.

The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team, are the most popular team in the state and, arguably, the nation. Having only been established in 1999 (debut in 2002), the Texans haven’t reached the same level of popularity or on-field success, often living in the shadow of their cross-state rivals. 

Tony Romo Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. - Texas View

NFL Teams From Texas

The National Football League (NFL) comprises 32 teams and is represented in 22 different states. Texas, the largest state in the U.S., is home to two franchises: the Cowboys and the Texans. This is a testament to the importance of football in the state. 

The NFL is split into two divisions: The National Football Conference (NFC) and The American Football Conference (AFC). Interestingly, the Cowboys and the Texans play in different conferences. The Cowboys are part of the NFC, while the Texans compete in the AFC. 

This means that the teams aren’t scheduled to play each other in the regular season every year. Since 2002, they’ve only faced off six times during the season. However, when they’re not scheduled to play each other, they generally organize a game during the pre-season. 

Dallas Cowboys 

The Dallas Cowboys franchise was established as an NFL expansion team in 1960. The Cowboys are undoubtedly one of the most loved teams in the league and have fans from all over the country, not just Texas. While this isn’t uncommon, not many NFL teams have fans like the Cowboys. 

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Due to their considerable following, the Cowboys hold the NFL record for the most consecutive sellouts (190) at their home arena, the AT&T stadium. The main driving force behind their immense popularity is success. Although they’re not the most successful franchise, Dallas has always been competitive. 

The Cowboys have been perennial Playoff contenders since the 1960s. They’ve appeared in the Super Bowl eight times, the second most of any franchise (tied with the Steelers and Broncos). And the Cowboys have tallied eight NFC championships (the most in NFC history) and five Super Bowls. 

Their Super Bowl victories occurred in 1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, and 1995. The 90s team is hailed by many as “The Greatest Team Ever.” The Cowboys are also the only team in NFL history to secure 20 consecutive winning seasons (from 1966 to 1985). 

Unfortunately, for Dallas fans, the Cowboys have failed to clinch a conference championship since their Super Bowl-winning team in 1995. Despite reaching the Playoffs most years, Dallas has been largely unsuccessful for over two decades, especially compared to previous eras. 

The Dallas Cowboys Line Up Against the New York Giants - Texas View

Dallas Cowboys Accomplishments

Team Division ChampionshipsConference ChampionshipsSuper Bowl ChampionshipsSuper Bowl Championship Years
Dallas Cowboys241051971 (VI), 1977 (XII), 1992 (XXVII), 1993 (XXVIII), 1995 (XXX)
Dallas Cowboys Championship Record

Dallas Cowboys Notable Players

  • Roger Staubach (QB)
  • Troy Aikman (QB)
  • Michael Irvin (WR)
  • Emmitt Smith (RB) 
  • Randy White (LB)
  • Tony Dorsett (RB)
  • Darren Woodson (S)
  • Don Meredith (QB)
  • Drew Pearson (WR)
  • Deion Sanders (CB)
  • Tony Romo (QB)
  • Terrell Owens (WR)

Dallas Cowboys Notable Coaches

  • Tom Landry (1960-1988)
  • Jimmy Johnson (1989-1993)
  • Barry Switzer (1994-1997)
  • Jason Garrett (2010-2019)
  • Bill Parcels (2003-2007)

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans were established in 1999 after the Houston Oilers relocated to Nashville (to become the Tennessee Titans). They made their NFL debut almost three years later, in 2002, becoming the 32nd NFL franchise. The Texans are the youngest franchise in the league. 

Houston enjoyed a magical first game in 2002, defeating state rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, 19-10 in front of a home crowd at the Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium). They became the first expansion team to win their opening game since 1961 (when the Vikings beat the Bears).

As one might expect for a newly established franchise, the Texans struggled to be competitive in the early 2000s. However, since then, they’ve turned around their fortunes and experienced relative success in the last decade.

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After a largely fruitless 2000s, they amassed five AFC South Championships in the 2010s. The Texans have reached the Playoffs six times, in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019.

However, they’re the only NFL team never to win a Playoff game on the road. Consequently, they’ve never competed for a conference championship. They join the Browns, Lions, and Jaguars as one of four teams to never appear in a Super Bowl.

Houston Texans Accomplishments

Team Division ChampionshipsConference ChampionshipsSuper Bowl ChampionshipsSuper Bowl Championship Years
Houston Texans600N/A
Houston Texas Championship Record

Dallas Cowboys Notable Players

  • J.J. Watt (DE) 
  • Andre Johnson (WR)
  • Brian Cushing (LB)
  • DeAndre Hopkins (WR)
  • Arian Foster (RB)
  • Mario Williams (DE)
  • Matt Schaub (QB)
  • Jonathan Joseph (CB)

Dallas Cowboys Notable Coaches

  • Bill O’Brien (2014-2020)
  • Gary Kubiak (2006-2013)
  • Dom Capers (2002-2005)
Houston Texas NRG Football Stadium - Texas View

The Texas Governor’s Cup

The Texas Governor’s Cup is the name of the trophy given to the winner of the game between the Cowboys and Texans. Their rivalry is fondly known as the “Battle of Texas.” It’s particularly fierce when the franchises meet in the NFL competitive season, although this only happens around once every four seasons. 

In the six meetings between the Cowboys and Texans during the regular season, the Cowboys have won four out of six encounters, most recently in 2022. So, the Cowboys are the current holders of the Texas Governor’s Cup, giving significant bragging rights to their fans. 

While the Houston Texans only debuted in 2002, the franchise was previously called the Houston Oilers. In 1965, the Oilers and Cowboys drafted the same player, Ralph Neely, a tackle from Oklahoma. And so, a legal case ensued. 

As part of the settlement, the franchises agreed to play a series of preseason games against one another, helping generate collective revenue. Thus, the Governor’s Cup was born, albeit between the Oilers and the Cowboys. The first game was played in 1967 when the Cowboys beat the Oilers 30-17.

Football Teams In Texas

In addition to the NFL teams from Texas, collegiate football teams are extremely popular. Some fans are even more loyal to university teams than professional teams. Here are some of the most popular NCAA DI football teams in Texas with major followings:

  • Abilene Christian University 
  • Texas Christian University 
  • University of Texas at Austin 
  • Texas Tech 
  • Baylor University
  • Houston Baptist University 
  • Prairie View A&M University 
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Houston
  • Texas State University
  • University of Texas – San Antonio
  • Rice University
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Luka Doncic of Dallas Mavericks another popular Texas franchise - Texas View

It’s fair to say that Texas has a rich sporting culture. While football tops the list for most people, sports fans are aplenty, and their interests are far-reaching. Here are some of the most popular Texas teams among fans:

  • Texas Rangers (Baseball)
  • Houston Astros (Baseball)
  • Dallas Mavericks (Basketball)
  • Houston Rockets (Basketball)
  • San Antonio Spurs (Basketball)
  • Dallas Wings (Basketball)
  • Dallas Stars (Ice Hockey)
  • Austin FC (Soccer)
  • FC Dallas (Soccer)
  • Houston Dynamo (Soccer)
  • Houston Dash (Soccer)

NFL Teams By State

As mentioned, only 22 states have NFL teams. However, like Texas, other states have more than one team. Here’s a breakdown of NFL teams by state. 

StateNFL Team(s)
ArizonaArizona Cardinals
CaliforniaLA Rams, LA Chargers, San Francisco 49ers
Colorado Denver Broncos
FloridaJacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
GeorgiaAtlanta Falcons
IllinoisChicago Bears
Indiana Indianapolis Colts
LouisianaNew Orleans Saints
MarylandBaltimore Ravens, Washington Commanders
MassachusettsNew England Patriots
MichiganDetroit Lions
MinnesotaMinnesota Vikings
Missouri Kansas City Chiefs
NevadaLas Vegas Raiders
New YorkBuffalo Bills, New York Giants, New York Jets
North CarolinaCarolina Panthers
Ohio Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns
Pennsylvania Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Tennessee Titans
TexasDallas Cowboys, Houston Texans
Washington Seattle Seahawks
WisconsinGreen Bay Packers
NFL Teams in each State


What state has the most NFL teams?

California, Florida, and New York have the most NFL teams with three teams per state. Only four other states have more than one NFL team: Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. 

How many NFL teams are in Texas?

There are two NFL teams in Texas: the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. 


Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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