There are three basic requirements for an All-Texas Super Bowl: Cowboys, Texans, with the game played at Cowboys Stadium or Reliant Stadium. It is a given that Super Bowl XLV will occur in Arlington on Sunday, February 6, 2011. Certainly the Cowboys are on the short list of competitors who have a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl from the NFC. However, they do have to contend with the toughest division in football as well as the Vikings, Packers, Saints, and which ever team will rise from the dismal NFC West. Vegas lists the Cowboys as 9:2 (for every 2 dollars you bet, if the Cowboys win the NFC conference, you get 9 dollars) to win the NFC Conference (only behind the Saints). Certainly the Cowboys have an opportunity to represent the NFC. If we eliminate the Saints because of the Madden Curse and Favre elects not to return, it could be a two horse race.
As for the Texans, they have been close the last few years. In 2009, the Texans were 9-7 overall. 6 of their seven defeats were within the margin of one score. In recent years, Peyton Manning and the Colts have used the Texans as a doormat. If the Texans are to contend both for the AFC South as well as make the playoffs, they need to defeat their own personal demons. The Texans play the Colts in the first game of the season in Houston. In general I hate the term “must win”, but this is a must win for the Texans. As Jimmy Johnson said, “The best way to hit a gorilla is to catch him in the face when he turns sideways! Hit him in the mouth when he isn’t expecting it! With a shot all the way from Georgia! And then just keep wailing on him!” Certainly this may be a down year for the Colts as most Super Bowl losers find that dealing with the heartbreak of the loss difficult. The Colts do have Peyton Manning, but the Cardinals had Kurt Warner, the Patriots had Tom Brady, the Seahawks had Matt Hasselbeck, and the Eagles had Donovan McNabb. Peyton may be a transcendent player and he may already be over the loss, but there are 50+ players who may not have his resolve.
Vegas lists the Texans as 15:1 to win the AFC Conference. This seems apropos since the Texans not only have to face the Colts, but the Chargers, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, etc. Each of those opponents are better on paper today.
Is there a chance for an All-Texas Super Bowl. Yes. Would I rush to Vegas to put money on either team, no. But I would call a few local hotels to see about availability.