The Houston Texans joined the National Football League in 1999. The team played their first season in the year of 2002. After a few mediocre seasons, the team experienced its first winning record in 2009 (9-7). There have been many great teams since.
Throughout the brief 16 year history of the team there have been a few players that have truly contributed to the success of the organization. Below is the list of the 10 best players that have played for the Houston Texans. Some of them will even be helping the Texans win games this season.
10. Jacoby Jones (Wide Receiver/Return Specialist)
Drafted by the team in 2007, Jacoby had an instant impact on the Texan’s return game. Racking up the most overall return touchdowns for the organization, Jones also contributed as a wide receiver and deep threat. The numbers aren’t as impressive when compared to the Devin Hester-type of returners, but they propelled the Texans to a few successful seasons in a time of need.
9. David Carr
David Carr led the offensive attack for the Texans in their first full season. The quarterback was drafted out of Fresno State as the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. While Carr’s statistics remain mediocre at best, his impact as the quarterback and face of this new franchise will always live in infamy. Carr quarterbacked the Texans for 5 seasons with his best season ending with a record of 7-9.
8. Duane Brown
A quarterback cannot be successful without the support of solid offensive lineman protecting them. That is exactly what Brown did over his 8-year career with the Texans. Brown played left tackle for the team and was named to the Pro-Bowl during 3 of his seasonal campaigns. Offensive lineman often lack in recieiving attention or accolades, but Brown can be cited for helping protect offensive assets in order to reach winning seasons for 5 out of his 8 seasons played.
7. Owen Daniels
The tight-end position is a second position that hardly receives the attention it deserves. Daniels lead receiving by a tight-end for the Texans in each of his 8 seasons as a part of the team. He only failed to reach that accolade in one season due to injury. Daniels blocking ability can also be noted as it created for extra pass protection and run protection in times of need. Daniels was also promoted to the Pro-Bowl in 2 seasons as a member of the Texans.
6. Mario Williams
After a lack luster season in 2005, the Texans drafted North Carolina State defensive lineman Mario Williams with the first overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Williams kind of had a slow start with the team, but would eventually showcase his talents in receiving 2 Pro-Bowl invitations. He only played 6 seasons with Houston before being traded, but his defensive impact caused for him to be a quarterback’s nightmare each and every Sunday.
5. Brian Cushing
This linebacker out of USC plays with reckless abandon each and every Sunday. Cushing has provided the Texans with the ability to become diversified defense and to be unaffected by new defensive schemes/procedures. Cushing has played inside linebacker, middle linebacker, and defensive end for the team, proving that he can handle any challenge. Cushing has made one Pro-Bowl experience in his young career and if it weren’t for a few nagging injuries, that number could have been much larger.
4. Arian Foster
Arian Foster is the all-time leading rusher for the Houston Texans. The Tennessee product is featured heavily in the Texans offensive game plan, but has been hindered by a career of untimely injuries. A few rather successful seasons write the script for why Foster was so important to the team. He led the NFL in total rushing yards, touchdowns, and yards per game in 2010 and led the league in rushing attempts and touchdowns in 2012. His name will forever be recognized in association to the brief history of this organization.
3. Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub is the all-time leading passer in the history of the Houston Texans. Amassing a total of passing yards just north of 23,000, it is easy to see why Schaub is one of the most important players in the history of the team. As an offensive captain and leader he helped the Texans to a few winning seasons and a couple of division titles. His overall importance to the team renders him to be a priceless asset that will forever be recognized by the team.
2 & 1. Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt
Dividing the difference between these two individuals is truly next to impossible. Johnson is the all-time leading receiver for the team while Watt has written the record books for any measurable defensive stats category there is. Johnson played for the team longer than Watt, but Watt is the current face of the franchise and that won’t be changing anytime soon. Ranker went with Johnson second, I’m going with a split.
Both players had/have the greatest impact on their side of the ball each and every Sunday. Teams fear the threat of an offensive weapon that Andre Johnson is. Teams (and above all, quarterbacks) fear the defensive capabilities and takeaway capabilities that J.J. Watt possesses. It was amazing to see him on Hard Knocks last year and how hard he works.
Both of these players deserve the right to share the top spot in the eyes of the organization as both have provided an insurmountable amount of importance to the franchise as a whole.