Jason Garrett: Miles Austin’s “a work in progress coming back”

AP

The Cowboys got wide receiver Miles Austin back in the lineup against the Redskins on Sunday night, but it didn’t look like Austin was back at full speed after missing the two previous games with a hamstring injury.

Austin was targeted four times without making a catch and spent the game splitting time in two-receiver sets with rookie Terrance Williams. Coach Jason Garrett said that he thinks Austin may be lacking confidence in the condition of his hamstring and that clearing that hurdle is part of the process he needs to complete to get back to 100 percent.

“I thought Miles looked OK,” Garrett said, via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. “He’s clearly working his way back into it. I don’t think he looked as explosive as he did early on in the year. He’s clearly trying to get his hamstring healthy. He came through the game, looked like he was able to function, everything we asked him to do. But he’s a work in progress coming back.”

Williams had two catches for 27 yards and a touchdown against Washington a week after picking up 151 yards and a touchdown against Denver. If Williams continues to develop, he could push Austin out of Dallas at the end of the season. If Austin doesn’t work his way back to a higher level than “OK,” Williams could push him down the depth chart even sooner.

15 responses to “Jason Garrett: Miles Austin’s “a work in progress coming back”

  1. I just dont understand this. Dallas’ Offense looked great without him; Williams, Coale, and Harris filled in quite admirably.

    Instead of trying to rush Austin back, why not let him take extra time, ensure that he is 100%, and then ease him in?

    Pressing ALWAYS gets you in more trouble than it’s typically worth

  2. Austin has missed multiple games over the last 2-3 years with those hamstrings, and he’s got a pretty hefty contract. The majority of the fans in Dallas think Williams was drafted as Austin’s eventual replacement anyway. They put up 48 on Denver with Dez/Williams/Harris/Beasley last week, and 31 without Austin even having a catch on Sunday night. The offense seems to be fine without him.

  3. The issue for Dallas right now is that in addition to over-paying Austin (as you can see, yes I am a fan), they also restructured his contract this past off-season to push more money into future years.

    If Austin plays for Dallas in 2014, he will count $8.2 million against their cap. If they release him, he will count $7.8 million against their cap. Kind of a sucky situation, since you’ll spend at least the $400k you save by cutting him by adding another young receiver to the roster.

    Ultimately, they may decide that it’s still worth releasing him, but if I were the Cowboys, I’d rather pay Austin $8.2 million to be the #3 receiver in 2014 than pay him $7.8 million to play for somebody else. At the very least, he’s a high-character, hard-working guy who could teach a school on route-running. They could give him his one last year in 2014 and send him on his way after next season.

  4. He is completely anonymous in this offense. Doubt anyone, looking at his past 10 games or so, would be terribly interested in trading for him. Cowboys are stuck and he clearly isn’t the player he was when they signed him to that contract. A ding against the Cowboys.

  5. As a fan I like what I see out of Williams. For a rookie to get past that fumble mistake in San Diego and come back and play hard like he has, it says a lot on why he was drafted. I’d say rest Austin another week or two so he’s at full strength, because he just may be needed for depth if Dallas is in a position to make a playoff run. He’s too expensive to cut for someone else to benefit, so I expect him to finish his contract in Dallas, but it won’t be renewed. At least not for anything close to what he’s making now.

  6. Grulks,

    The reason why he rushed back is because he knows he about to lose his job and now he is expendable. In the past, Dallas didn’t have guys that would push him. Lorent Robinson would have if he stayed.

  7. Grulks:
    “…Williams, Coale, and Harris filled in quite admirably. ”

    That’s not Danny Coale, but Cole Beasley. Coale was cut before the season.

  8. another of Coach Jerry’s one year wonders..

    come to dallas have one good year

    get 7 year deals for tens of millons!!

    and be codled and loved by the coach (jerry)

    and be immortilzed as the greatest at your position by a fanbase to clueless to use their own brain.

  9. C’mon Miles! Eat your greens, take your Flintstone vitamins, stay healthy man! Dallas fans have a right to be upset with you. May T-Williams be your reflection of the past when the Great General Manager, Team President of NFL’s TOP NFL Team and Forbes Top list Jerral Wayne Jones SR aka “Jerry Jones” sent T.O packing due to his confidence in you.

  10. Maybe they should stop rushing him back and let him get healthy. Their offense is doing fine without him and he’s a monster that brings depth to the team. So instead of rushing him back let him get healthy so for when he does the team can be firing on from all cylinders offensively.

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