National Football League cancels Dallas Cowboys-Houston Texans preseason game

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien walks up the sidelines during the first quarter of an NFL pre-season football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Saturday Aug. 26 2017 in New Orleans. ( Brett Coomer  Houston C

"At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are now sheltered", said a statement distributed by the Texans.

Watt was asked by reporters Tuesday if the game on Thursday could provide a distraction for the people in Houston.

"Nothing has to happen". It's a home game at NRG Stadium. For safety reasons, they flew into Dallas rather than back to Houston. "We also hope our actions will encourage others to do whatever they can to help their neighbors in need right now". "We're not going to play the game".

Watt said he's been moved by watching everyone that has helped out in the crisis so far and is looking forward to pitching in. "It's very hard. It's very hard not only because we have family and friends back there, some guys have young kids, some guys have wives and families. Just stay safe for now, and once it's over we'll rebuild".

Cowboys' officials began selling tickets to the game Tuesday for $25, with all proceeds from the ticket sales and parking fees - also established at $25 - going directly to Houston flood relief. The Texans ownership group will be making a donation equal to the amount of money that would have been generated from ticket sales.

The Texans have been using the Cowboys' facility at The Star to practice this week, and the two teams' preseason contest - original slated to be played in Houston - was relocated to AT&T Stadium.

"I think there's more important things than football right now", Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said from the Cowboys' kickoff luncheon.

Point of the cancellation is for players to get back to Houston, help out and be with their families.

This is much bigger and much more important than football.

The Texans have been in the Dallas area since early Sunday morning after flying directly from their preseason game in New Orleans on Saturday night.

The team, inspired by Houston, hope they can create a diversion for the city as it rebuilds in the months to come. We want to get home, been on the road and all that but it is what it is. I've seen numerous heroic acts, everything we've seen on the TV from the first responders to just neighbors helping neighbors.

This weekend Watt set up an online fundraiser to raise money for flood relief in Houston. Watt's fundraiser has raised more than $1 million in a day.



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