NFL cancels preseason Houston game
© Getty

An NFL preseason game between the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys scheduled for Thursday has been canceled to allow players to help with relief efforts for communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

The game was originally moved to the Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, Texas, but was later canceled to allow players to return to Houston and help with relief efforts and be with their families, according to an NFL release.

"The Houston Texans have made the decision to travel back to Houston after local authorities have now found a safe route for the team to drive home today," the Texans said in a statement about the canceled game.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 currently sheltered. The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from devastation of Hurricane Harvey."

Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson announced earlier this week that the NFL Foundation would match a $1 million donation that the Texans made for relief efforts. Other teams and a number of NFL players and coaches made large donations for relief aid as well.

Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas's Gulf Coast last weekend as a Category 4 storm, causing extensive flooding from its record amount of rainfall as it turned into a tropical storm after going inland.

It is predicted that the storm will be the most costly in U.S. history, with estimated damages reaching $160 billion.

Congress is currently waiting for final assessments of the damage to appropriate emergency relief funding for the cleanup efforts.