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Texans HC Lovie Smith announces Davis Mills will return as starting QB vs. Cowboys in Week 14

Lovie Smith continues to yo-yo his starting quarterback.

Davis Mills will return to the starting lineup after being benched in favor of Kyle Allen the past two games, the Texans head coach announced Wednesday.

"Our quarterback this week will be Davis Mills," Smith said to the media Wednesday, per KPRC's Aaron Wilson. "Davis will start for us this week and we expect the two weeks of watching from the sidelines to help."

Smith turned to Allen in Week 12 after 10 mediocre performances by Mills. Somehow Allen was worse.

In two games versus the Dolphins and Browns -- both blowouts -- Allen turned the ball over five times (four interceptions and one lost fumble). Sunday against Cleveland, he threw a pick-six and had a fumble returned for a score. Houston's defense gave up six points to the Browns' offense yet still lost 27-14.

With Allen at the helm, an already struggling offense was clearly one-dimensional and couldn't move the ball until garbage time.

When benching Mills two weeks ago, Smith indicated the move wasn't necessarily permanent but an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense. The move didn't work.

Mills returns to the starting lineup ahead of Sunday's matchup against a menacing Cowboys defense. It could get ugly quickly in Dallas.

In 10 starts this season, Mills has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 2,144 yards with 11 TDs and 11 INTs (tied for second-most interceptions in the NFL despite sitting two games. His 78.1 passer rating in 2022 is 30th among 33 qualified QBs.

Frankly, at 1-10-1, it matters little who Houston starts under center at this stage. The offense has been woeful regardless, ranking last in the league in yards, last in third-down conversion rate, and 31st in scoring. But Mills is the better of the two options.

The second-year quarterback has stumbled in his chance to prove he could be more than a career backup. After a two-week layoff, he'll get another opportunity to turn things around before the Texans inevitably use the No. 1 overall pick on their future starting quarterback.

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