Thursday, December 8, 2011
Cowboys can't expect O to take off
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- Tony Fiammetta has become something of a present-day mix of Walt Garrison, Ron Springs, Robert Newhouse and Daryl Johnston in his three-game absence due to an illness. Miles Austin’s stature has grown in his four-game absence even with the stellar play of Laurent Robinson in his place.
What the Cowboys have to guard against is thinking just because Austin and Fiammetta are back all will be well with the offense on Sunday at 7:20 p.m. against the New York Football Giants at Cowboys Stadium.
“You can’t make more than what it is,” said Jason Witten, who should benefit from Austin’s return. “At the end of the day you still have to execute and not think, ‘Oh, he’s going to get his.’ You’ve got to be ready.”
When Austin returned from a left hamstring injury at New England after missing two games, he caught seven passes for 74 yards. There is no doubt he and Tony Romo have a special connection that was built through years of practice.
Can he just step in and excel right away after a month-long absence?
“We’ll see,” Romo said. “He’s done a good job in practice and he’s a great player, so I hope so.”
While it looks doubtful that Martellus Bennett will play against the Giants because of a muscle strain in his rib cage, this will be the first time since that New England game that Jason Garrett has his mainstay offensive players available.
He will never admit that his playcalling was compromised by the absences of Austin and Fiammetta, but their returns should at least open up more dimensions.
“It’s nice to get your team back again,” Garrett said. “I think the teams that play the best are the teams that are able to absorb the adversities that happen and injuries are a part of this league. Every team has them. You have to be able to deal with them but it’s nice to get your guys back though.”