In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.
1. Each team roster will consist of the following:
Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C
Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S
Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner
Coach - 1 Head Coach
2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.
3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.
4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.
5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.
6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!
Houston Texans All-Time Team
First Season: 2002
Record: 139-182 (43.30 W-L%)
Playoff Record: 4-6
Super Bowls Won: 0
Passing Leader: Matt Schaub 1,951/3,020 | 23,221 Yds | 124 TD
Rushing Leader: Arian Foster 1,454 Att | 6,472 Yds | 54 TD
Receiving Leader: Andre Johnson 1,012 Rec | 13,597 Yds | 64 TD
Sack Leader: J.J. Watt 101 Sk
Interception Leader: Johnathan Joseph 17 Int
Scoring Leader: Kris Brown 767 Points
Winningest Coach: Gary Kubiak 61-64
QB: Matt Schaub (2007-2013)
Record: 46-42 | 64.6 Cmp% | 23,221 Yds | 124 TD | 78 Int | 229 Rush Yds | 4 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2009 (396) | Led League in Yds 2009 (4,770) | Led League in Yds/Game 2009 (298.1) | 2x Pro-Bowl (09, 12)
Deshaun Watson was on his way to claiming this spot, but I'm still going with Matt Schaub. Schaub led the Texans for seven seasons, where he had four winning seasons as a starter. Schaub had over 4,000 yards passing, and 20 touchdowns three times and his best season came in 2009 when he led the league in yards with 4,770 and had 29 touchdowns. Schaub is currently the franchise record holder in all major passing categories. He was also voted to the Pro-Bowl in 2009 and 2012.
David Carr (2002-2006) | Record: 22-53 | 60 Cmp% | 13,391 Yds | 59 TD | 65 Int | 1,235 Rush Yds | 8 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 2006 (68.3%)
Deshaun Watson (2017-2020) | Record: 28-25 | 67.8 Cmp% | 14,530 Yds | 104 TD | 36 Int | 1,677 Rush Yds | 17 Rush TD | Led League in Yds 2020 (4,823) | Led League in Yds/Att 2020 (8.9) | 3x Pro-Bowl (18, 19, 20)
RB: Arian Foster (2009-2015)
4.5 Yds/Att | 6,472 Yds | 54 TD | 249 Rec | 2,268 Rec Yds | 14 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 2010 (1,616) | Led League in TD 2010 and 2012 (16, 15) | Led League in Yds/Game 2010 (101) | Led League in YScm 2020 (2,220) | Led League in RRTD 2010 and 2012 (18, 17) | 4x Pro-Bowl (10, 11, 12, 14) | 1x All-Pro (10)
Arian Foster is one of the greatest undrafted players ever. He had a rather short career, but boy was it dominant. Foster had four seasons where he was healthy and the primary running back for the Texans. In all of those four seasons he went over 1,000 yards and had at least eight touchdowns. He led the league in rushing yards in 2010 with 1,616 and led the league in touchdowns in 2010 and 2012 with 16 and 15 respectively. Foster also led the league in yards from scrimmage in 2010 with an absurd 2,220 yards. He was named to the Pro-Bowl in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and named to the All-Pro Team in 2010.
RB: Domanick Williams (2003-2005)
4.1 Yds/Att | 3,195 Yds | 23 TD | 154 Rec | 1,276 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD
Domanick Williams (formerly Domanick Davis) was the first great running back for the Houston Texans. He only played three seasons due to a career ending knee injury, but still managed to rush for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. His best season came in 2004, where he rushed for 1,188 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Vonta Leach (2006-2010) | 2 Rush TD | 71 Rec | 518 Rec Yds | 4 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (10) | 1x All-Pro (10)
Lamar Miller (2016-2018) | 4.1 Yds/Att | 2,934 Yds | 13 TD | 92 Rec | 678 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (18)
WR: Andre Johnson (2003-2014)
1,012 Rec | 13,597 Yds | 64 TD | Led League in Rec 2006 and 2008 (103, 115) | Led League in Yds 2008 and 2009 (1,575, 1,569) | Led League in Yds/Game 2007, 2009 and 2010 (94.6, 98.1, 93.5) | Led League in Yds/Touch 2006, 2008 and 2009 (11, 13.7, 15.3) | 7x Pro-Bowl (04, 06, 08, 09, 10, 12, 14) | 2x All-Pro (08, 09)
I fully expect Andre Johnson to be the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame who spent the majority of their career with the Houston Texans. Johnson was one of the best receivers in the NFL for over a decade. He over 1,000 yards receiving seven times and led the league in receptions and yards twice each. Johnson also led the league in yards per game and yards per touch three times each. He obviously holds all the franchise records in receiving. Johnson currently ranks 11th in both receptions and yards in NFL History. He was voted to seven Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (2013-2019)
632 Rec | 8,602 Yds | 54 TD | Led League in TD 2017 (13) | 4x Pro-Bowl (15, 17, 18, 19) | 3x All-Pro (17, 18, 19)
DeAndre Hopkins was well on his way to potentially beating Andre Johnson's franchise records before he was traded before the 2020 season. Hopkins is second behind Johnson in every major receiving category in franchise history and was the main target for seven seasons in Houston. Hopkins had six seasons of at least 1,000 yards and three seasons of at least ten touchdowns. He led the league in touchdowns in 2017 with 13 and was voted to four Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams.
WR: Kevin Walter (2006-2012)
326 Rec | 4,083 Yds | 24 TD
After Johnson and Hopkins, there is a bit of a drop off at the receiver position, but Kevin Walter is the clear choice for the third receiver. He was never voted to the Pro-Bowl or the All-Pro Team, but he was a great complimentary receiver to Johnson for his whole career. He had at least 500 yards receiving in all but one season and went over 800 yards twice. His best season came in 2008 when he had 899 yards and 8 touchdowns.
TE: Owen Daniels (2006-2013)
385 Rec | 4,617 Yds | 29 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (08, 12)
There's only one tight end worth mentioning for the All-Time Texans. Owen Daniels is first among tight ends in every receiving category in franchise history. He had over 500 yards receiving in five different seasons and at least two touchdowns in all eight seasons. His best season in yards came in 2008 when he had 862 and he had 6 touchdowns in 2012. Daniels was voted to the Pro-Bowl in 2008 and 2012.
OT: Duane Brown (2008-2017)
Started 133 of 133 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (12, 13, 14, 17) | 1x All-Pro (12)
First up on offensive line for the Houston Texans in Duane Brown. Brown started over 130 games in Houston, including starting all 16 games in five seasons. He was voted to four Pro-Bowls throughout his time in Houston and also voted to the All-Pro Team in 2012.