Ben Malena ran 5 yards for the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Cowboys avoided their second straight winless exhibition season with a 21-14 victory Thursday night over Houston.
Texans third-string quarterback Tom Savage hurt his shoulder on the previous series, so backup Ryan Mallett was forced into the game. He handed off twice to third-string back Kenny Hilliard. But then the Texans tried to throw twice with Mallett, a pair of incompletions, and Dallas ran out the clock.
Savage threw a pair of touchdown passes, but gave up Corey White's 3-yard interception return for a touchdown and had a fumble that led to another quick score for Dallas.