Miles Austin: The Final Numbers

Miles Austin & Dez Bryant | Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys cut Miles Austin, who has battled injuries since 2011.

It’s old news now that the Cowboys have released receiver Miles Austin. For two seasons, Austin looked like the next coming of Drew Pearson—a free agent receiver with first-round talent. He was a key part of the Cowboys’ playoff season of 2009 following his breakout performance against the Kansas City Chiefs that year.

He was less impressive though still dangerous in 2010. Since that time, he has battled hamstring injuries and has not produced as he did in 2009.

Here are some final stats related to Austin’s time in Dallas:

1. Austin was primarily a kick returner between 2006 and 2008. He averaged 24.1 yards per return on 89 kickoff returns. The biggest moment of his early career occurred in the 2006 playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks, when Austin returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to give Dallas a 17-13 lead. It marked the only time that Austin ever scored on a kickoff return.

2. Austin caught his first NFL pass on Thanksgiving Day against the Jets on November 22, 2007. He caught a 17-yard pass on the Cowboys’ opening drive. Dallas later scored on that drive en route to a 34-3 blowout win.

3. His first 100-yard game was against the Green Bay Packers in 2008. He caught passes of 63 and 52 yards to gain 115 yards that night.

4. Other than the Green Bay game in 2008, he did not surpass 45 receiving yards in a game until he started against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 11, 2009. The reason he started was an injury suffered by Roy Williams against the Broncos the week before.

5. His 250 receiving yards against the Chiefs in 2009 are the most in franchise history. He broke Bob Hayes’ record of 246 set in 1966.

6. He had less than 45 receiving yards in only eight games between October 11, 2009 and the end of the 2010 season. He had nine games in which he had more than 100 receiving yards.

7. Austin’s success was critical for the Cowboys in 2009. Dallas had released receiver Terrell Owens and needed a playmaker to emerge.  Despite starting only nine games, Austin caught as many passes (81) as Owens had in 15 games in 2007, which was Owens’ most productive season in Dallas. Austin finished with 1320 yards and 11 TDs in 2009. Owens had 1355 yards and 15 TDs in 2007.

8. Between 2011 and 2013, Austin had only three 100-yard receiving games.

9. In the three season finales against the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles in 2011, 2012, and 2013, Austin caught a combined total of four receptions for 42 yards.

10. Austin’s last 100-yard game with the Cowboys came on October 28, 2012, when he caught nine passes for 133 yards.

11. His last touchdown reception as a Cowboy occurred on December 23, 2012 against the New Orleans Saints.

12. Austin caught his last pass as a Cowboy in the fourth quarter of the season finale against the Eagles. The 16-yard pass from Kyle Orton to Austin gave the Cowboys a first down at the Philadelphia 49 with the Cowboys training 17-16. The Cowboys turned the ball over on downs, however.

13. Austin finishes his career in Dallas ranked ninth in receptions. Thanks to his two receptions against the Eagles in his final game as a Cowboy, he surpassed former tight end Doug Cosbie on the team’s reception list (301 for Austin, 300 for Cosbie).

14. Austin ranks seventh in receiving yards but is just 377 yards ahead of Dez Bryant.

15. Austin ranks tenth in TD receptions with 34. Bryant already has 40.

 

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Denver as a Landing Spot for Cowboys’ Linemen

Demarcus Ware | Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Ware is no longer a member of the Cowboys. He signed with the Broncos on Wednesday.

The news today is that DeMarcus Ware signed a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos. Ware thus joins a fairly short list of Dallas players who have eventually migrated to Denver.

Some relevant trivia:

  • The first noteworthy Dallas player to join the Broncos was Craig Morton, who led Denver to the Super Bowl after joining the team in 1977.
  • Of course, former Cowboy running back Dan Reeves became the Broncos’ head coach in 1981, and two of his assistants—Wade Phillips and Chan Gailey—later became head coaches in Dallas.
  • Former Dallas defensive back Charlie Waters was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator under Phillips in 1993 and 1994.
  • Ware is the highest-profile Dallas player to become a member of the Broncos via either trade or free agency since Tony Dorsett’s trade to Denver in 1988.
  • And for trivia that is beside the point—What did the Cowboys get for Dorsett? A conditional fifth-round pick. The selection? Defensive tackle Jeff Roth of Florida. He never played a game in the NFL.
  • As for Ware, he was scheduled to make $12.25 million with Dallas but will now make $13 million in Denver. Makes sense.

Now some trivia questions:

Two defensive linemen for the Cowboys during the 1990s joined the Broncos as free agents in the early 2000s. Who were they?

The scratch-off card below reveals the answer.

 


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