IRVING, Texas – The minimum-wage receiver owned up to the inexcusable gaffe of not hustling back to the line of scrimmage with the game on the line.
The $54 million receiver who did the same thing just shirked responsibility the day after the Cowboys’ clock-management crisis played a critical role in their loss to the Ravens.
“Coach’ll handle that,” Miles Austin said when repeatedly asked for an explanation of why he jogged back to the line of scrimmage like it was the middle of the fifth day of practice in Oxnard, Calif., instead of the end of a Week 5 game in Baltimore.
Austin, a nonfactor against the Ravens with only two catches for 31 yards, said he’d talk to the media on Friday. That’s standard for Austin, whose sole goal with the media is to say nothing of interest, but it’s far from routine when Tony Dungy is ripping him on NBC for an epic failure to hustle.
Gee, can’t wait to hear Austin say over and over again that the Cowboys are just moving forward and focusing on the Panthers.
At least Kevin Ogletree stood up and accepted blame for an unfathomable lack of urgency during a potential game-winning drive.
“I know that’s my job to get there and get to the line,” Ogletree said. “I know Miles and I both feel bad about what happened, because we know the outcome. We know we missed the field goal and how close that was and how precious yardage was at the end of the day.”
Coach Jason Garrett said the problem started with his play call, pointing out that it wasn’t wise to have Austin and Ogletree run vertical routes if the Cowboys wanted to clock the ball after the play. Garrett also cited poor communication as part of the problem.
Why would veteran NFL receivers need to be told to hustle in the final 20 seconds of a comeback attempt? That’s something every Pee Wee player should understand.
“Trust me, we talked to them about that and the urgency they need to have,” Garrett said. “We have to do a better job in that situation. It starts with me, and hopefully when we’re in a similar situation in the future, we’ll get it done better.”
If not, Austin could at least accept some responsibility for his role in the debacle.