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Thursday, September 15, 2011
Five-star answer: No 100-yard game for Austin

By Calvin Watkins

This week's question: Is this the week Miles Austin gets 100 receiving yards?

Miles Austin is an excellent receiver and there will be stretches where the Cowboys will lean on him to carry the offense. But with Dez Bryant emerging and Jason Witten continuing to be a force, 100-yard games for Austin will be difficult to obtain.

At least this week against the 49ers, Austin most likely won't get a 100-yard game. The 49ers had seven pass breakups in the Week 1 victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week and cornerback Carlos Rogers is a big defender at 6-foot, 192 pounds who will be physical with Austin.

The Cowboys' young offensive line is still improving and there were times last week when Tony Romo had to rush throws due to pressure. Austin is at his best on those slants where he can use his speed to get away from defenders and he's strong enough to break tackles to get down field. Austin's yards-after-catch numbers should get better as the season progresses because once the offensive line finds a groove, Romo will have more time to connect with his No. 1 receiver.

Bryant is more talented than Austin, but not as polished. Austin knows how to run routes correctly and is able to adjust more on the fly when the defense makes coverage changes. Bryant is still learning that aspect of the game. Yet, the Cowboys will still make attempts to get Bryant the ball because he's so explosive.

Austin is very good, but his time will come soon.