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Cowboys' Austin checks in with Beast

4/13/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

For most of his career, Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin has flown under the radar, but that became virtually impossible following his visit to the Jets on Friday. The former Monmouth (N.J.) University star grew up in Jets country (Garfield, N.J.) and his high school basketball team's sneakers were donated by none other than former Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet.

Austin, a restricted free agent for the Cowboys, was back at Valley Ranch on Monday working out after spending the holiday weekend in New Jersey. He told me that he met with new head coach Rex Ryan and several of his assistants, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, wide receivers coach Henry Ellard and running backs coach Anthony Lynn. Austin said he doesn't know whether the Jets will make an offer, but he expects to hear something by "midweek."

"I've never been in this situation so I don't really know what to expect," Austin said late Monday afternoon. "It's a weird sort of limbo area to be in, but all I can do is let my agent (David Dunn) handle everything."

Austin also met with Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum who brought up the fact that his mentor, Bill Parcells, was also a "Jersey guy." Parcells grew up in Bergen County and Austin was always on his radar. That's why the Cowboys signed him as a free-agent rookie in 2006 out of Monmouth. The Jets had brought Austin in for a pre-draft visit that same year. So what did Austin tell the Jets this time around?

"I just told them that if they throw me the ball, I'm gonna catch it," he said. "And I let them know that I'm a good locker-room guy."

And you won't find anyone in Dallas to disagree with that last part. Even as players such as Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams were drawn into the growing T.O. camp, Austin refused to take part in the controversy.

"There's just no sense in getting into all that stuff," Austin said Monday. "I just kept trying to become a better player. And plus, I don't care for a lot of drama."

Austin said the Jets' "numbers system" on offense is very similar to the Cowboys' and he doesn't think there would be a steep learning curve. It sounds like he has mixed emotions right now. On one hand, he's extremely loyal to the team that gave him an opportunity in the league. On the other, he knows how fun it would be to play close to his family and friends. But for the record, Austin wasn't a Jets fans growing up. He grew up rooting for the Raiders.

Austin's promised to keep the Beast informed throughout the process, so stay tuned.