Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6'2, 215
Age: 26, 6/30/84
Drafted: Undrafted - 2006
Experience: 5 Seasons
Salary History and Contract Status - According to Rotoworld:9/9/2010: Signed a seven-year, $57.168 million contract. The cap-conscious deal contains $18 million guaranteed -- no signing bonus but all of Austin's whopping $17.078 million first-year base salary. 2011: $8.54 million, 2012: $1.15 million, 2013: $6.732 million, 2014: $5.5 million, 2015: $6.888 million, 2016: $11.38 million, 2017: Free Agent
2006 Draft Profile From Ourlads.com: 25th rated WR in 2006 - Miles Austin - Monmouth - 6'2 - 215 - 4.47 - Three-year starter. Big athletic receiver that was a mismatch in his league. Big soft hands. Uses his size and speed to separate from defenders. Raw in all skills. Inconsistent get-off, line release, and pass routes. Lacked effort in blocking. Caught several short and under patterns and got yards after the catch. Big target. Will catch the ball over the middle. Creates deep separation this level and runs away from corners. Good deep ball skills. Developmental prospect that has the size and speed but has inconsistent skills. Has not been challenged at this level. Productive and durable. Sixth/seventh round.
Pre-2010: The Miles Austin story is nothing short of remarkable. There are names on the end of the roster every year that most fans never concern themselves with. They are deep in the squad and never get a chance to make an impression. Miles Austin in 2006 was merely a kick returner (although his return TD in the playoffs did make an impression). In 2007, he caught 5 passes total, but also made an impression in the Green Bay game when he drew two long pass interference penalties in that showdown game at Texas Stadium. But, slowly he was being developed as a wide receiver option. The development was mostly not being televised - so he was one of those names that many fans wondered each year if he deserved a roster spot. But, to the Cowboys credit, they stuck with his upside and heading into 2009, he had every chance to grab the #3 spot. When Roy Williams was hurt in Denver, both Sam Hurd and Austin had a chance to emerge. And Austin did. With 421 yards in his first 2 starts, he had put the NFL on notice that he was ready to be a big time receiver. Despite hardly playing in the season's first month, Austin finished the year with a stunning 1,320 yards. The Cowboys had found the receiver they hoped the Roy Williams trade had addressed.
2010: Because of his service time, Miles was in a spot where he was needing a contract adjustment, and Jerry Jones wasted no time going into 2010. He was not about to develop a player for 4 seasons and then lose him just when the player was ready to be a star in this league. He signed and pocketed between $17m and $18m in his very first season as a full-time starter. It was not as good a year for Austin as it was in 2009, with fewer yards, fewer catches, and a very high number of drops (11). There were also 6 Interceptions on passes targeted to him and only Braylon Edwards (8) had more penalties than his 7. However, I would argue that no player was as affected by the loss of Tony Romo as Austin was. Jon Kitna did an admirable job as back-up QB, but it seemed very clear that he did not have the arm to throw many of Austin's trademark routes. Throwing deep sideline routes were Romo and Austin's bread and butter on the 18 yard outs and the go routes. Those almost completely disappeared with Kitna who instead worked the middle of the field and shallow edge routes (thus explaining the explosion of Witten's numbers), and Austin's numbers suffered. On the rare occasion that Kitna did throw the ball up top, he missed badly when Austin was open (the Green Bay game was the most obvious). One negative that is rather glaring to those who grade games would be his downfield blocking where he doesn't always seem totally interested or committed.
2011 Analysis: One thing we never were able to see in 2010 was a fully operational Cowboys offense. By the time Dez Bryant was able to participate in the offense, Tony Romo was lost for the season. In 2011, with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Tony Romo all available for 16 games (health pending) the results have a real chance to be something special. Austin demands a double-team, but with Bryant on the other side, there are some real classic conflicts that defenses will have to face. Safeties will be stressed and if pass protection is solidified, there is plenty of reason to believe in a bit of a fireworks show. Austin is not the best WR in football, but he is very good and quite explosive if he makes the first defender miss (which he often does with his strength). And the Cowboys dream of having co-#1's at WR may finally be coming true. At age 27 on opening day, look for Austin to bounce back to 2009 production.