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Thursday, September 9, 2010
Jerry: We want to build around Miles Austin

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Austin

Austin


Unlike some teams, the Dallas Cowboys don't mind signing players to new contracts during the regular season. Owner Jerry Jones waited to see how Tony Romo performed in '07 before throwing a huge amount of guaranteed money at him. But with Miles Austin coming off a breakout season in '09, the Cowboys decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

It's a six-year contract extension worth $57 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. When we get the guaranteed amount, we'll have a better understanding of just how much of a commitment the Cowboys have made. With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding rookie Dez Bryant, I think it was important for Jones to show how much he appreciates Austin, his No. 1 receiver.

And make no mistake. This contract pretty much confirms that Roy Williams won't be on this roster in 2011. I realize that's not breaking news, but thought it was worth noting. Austin has done a really nice job of letting his agent deal with the negotiations while he concentrated on football.

He sent a little message by skipping some of the voluntary workouts in the offseason and then he quickly returned to Valley Ranch.

"He's what we want to build our franchise around," Jones said of Austin.

Update: The guaranteed portion of the contract is worth $18 million, according to ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins.