Houston Texans Stars Shine Brightly in 2010 Pro Bowl

Robert VegaCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans holds up the MVP trophy after the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Only four minutes into the Pro Bowl on Sunday night, NFL fans were treated to a sight that Texans fans get to see nearly every weekend.

Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson.

It was the beginning of a good night for Texans players and fans, which ended with Matt Schaub winning Houston's first all-star game MVP since Ralph Sampson took the trophy in the 1985 NBA game.

More importantly, though, the game highlighted a bright future for the Texans as the oldest of their four Pro Bowlers were Schaub and Johnson at 28.

Schaub continued his stellar play, leading the AFC to a touchdown in every drive in which he played, with the exception of the final one, which ended with him taking a knee to end the game.

Andre proved that he is nearly un-coverable with an amazing double move in the first and some other big catches.

There are many reasons to lament being a Texans fan, but Schaub to Johnson is one thing that makes it worth it.

But that's not all. 

On the defensive side of the ball, DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams also showed that the future of football in Houston is bright.

DeMeco played solidly and was credited with three tackles, but he really established himself in the 2009 Pro Bowl, where he played a stellar game.

Mario, on the other hand, had his dominant performance this year. 

He had two sacks and a key quarterback pressure late in the game, but he could have had at least two more sacks where he let up a bit so as not to hurt Aaron Rodgers.

Add in reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Brian Cushing, who couldn't play because of injury, and the Texans' future is looking very bright.

That's what this game really meant to the Texans.

It wasn't about numbers or trophies, but by excelling on a national stage, they were able to prove that they do belong among the game's elite.

And that brings us to probably the most important offseason in club history.

See, while Williams, Schaub, Cushing, and Johnson are signed for the next two, three, four, and five years respectively, Ryans and fellow 2009 Pro Bowler Owen Daniels are free agents this year.

Yes, they're only restricted free agents, but the Texans have a core of players who, if managed properly, can someday have the Texans competing for next weekend's trophy.

The Daniels situation is a little bit trickier as he's coming off a knee injury, but DeMeco has been the heart and soul of this improving defense since his rookie season of 2006.

Rewarding him now with a long-term deal can set the tone for years of prolonged success. 

Considering the likelihood of an uncapped season, the Texans should be in position to lock up their young stars.

In the meantime, however, the Texans and their fans can sit back and enjoy this moment when they stood tall amongst NFL giants.

And if they play their cards right, maybe one day they can shine in those late-season games that actually count.