He's largely been able to stay productive, however, producing 20 touchdowns over the last three seasons, two 1,000-yard seasons and coming up just 57 yards short of another 1,000-yard season in 2012.
But the Cowboys know they need Austin healthy. Austin has had hamstring issues his entire career. And while he played in every game last season, his hamstrings were a constant topic of discussion because of his inability to practice at times.
Austin said he's doing different things this offseason to make sure his hamstrings don't become an issue again.
"I'm definitely strengthening my hamstrings a lot more than I have been," Austin said. "Just doing a different routine, a couple of extra exercises each day on our leg days. Just running hard and trying to compete at a higher level this time, that way it doesn't shock your muscles when you actually do it for real."
Coach Jason Garrett said Austin has to protect himself when he works out because he sometimes goes so hard and overdoes it. The Cowboys have to communicate with Austin on a regular basis when he does workouts, given his leg history.
Austin spent five weeks early in the season on the injury report because of his hamstrings. He was listed as questionable on the injury report in the season-opener against the New York Giants. Austin also spent 10 weeks on the injury report in 2011 for hamstring issues and missed six games.
"What he says about that, I assume at the end of practices we're working hard," Austin said. "And I'm going to continue to do that. I got to train as well as I can beforehand, but I can't be the player that I am (if I don't) practice hard, and I will continue to do those things."