Dec 9, 2012; Cincinnati, USA; Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Nate Clements (22) breaks up a pass against Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (19) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Cowboys won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA Today Sports

Time For The Cowboys To Wave Goodbye To Miles Austin

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (19) runs after a catch against Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) and safety Robert Golden (21) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With ten wide receivers currently on the roster and the ability to keep around five of them, the Dallas Cowboys have some tough decisions ahead.   Always a tough decision is when to let a veteran go and embrace the upside represented by a talented rookie.

The talented rookie, in this case, is third round draft pick from Baylor, Terrance Williams.  It’s not that the Cowboys can’t keep Austin and work with Williams to be ready to eventually replace him, it’s that there are several other talented receivers on the roster as well.  And if the Cowboys keep Austin, one of these receivers no longer has a job with the team.  But the reason why I am presenting this as a choice between Austin and Williams is because Williams would likely become a starter as the second wide receiver if Austin were to leave.

An absolute fact that comes into play when discussing Austin is that the health, or lack thereof, of his hamstrings has caused him to no longer be the player that signed the huge contract after a breakout season.  In watching him play in the 2012 season, it appeared to me that he protected his hamstrings by no longer running at full speed.  So, as a result, a second absolute fact comes into play, Austin is being overpaid for his production.

That doesn’t mean that the Cowboys couldn’t trade him to a team that needs and experienced receiver and get some value in return, which would be better than cutting a less experienced receiver and getting nothing in return.  But even if the Cowboys were to just cut Austin, they would still be better off.  There would be a lot of money saved against the salary cap and, as mentioned previously, they would be able to keep a talented, but less experienced, receiver.

Getting back to Williams, who is somewhat of a mini-me to Dez Bryant, why not start him as a rookie, just like they did with Dez?  The development of Williams would come along much more quickly if he were to be on the field most of the time.  After all, you want your picks from at least in the first three rounds, to be starters don’t you?  And recent history has shown the NFL stage is not too big for these Baylor receivers.

Receivers currently on the roster that I don’t believe will make the cut are: Anthony Armstrong, Tim Benford, Jared Green and Carlton Mitchell.  Receivers the Cowboys should keep are: Cole Beasley, Dez Bryant, Danny Coale, Dwayne Harris and Terrance Williams.  That’s five receivers.  If for some reason the Cowboys were to decide to keep six of them, then there is a spot for Austin.  However, if they keep only five and one of them is Austin, then they’re burning Co(a)le, because Danny Coale or Cole Beasley loses a job.

Injuries kept us from seeing anything from Coale last year.  But he should show us this year why the Cowboys selected him when they did.  And Beasley has shown enough for us to know he can succeed as a niche receiver in the NFL.  The NFL success of Wes Welker and Danny Amendola (that the Cowboys let get away) shows us there is a place for receivers like Beasley in the NFL.  If Beasley doesn’t make this team, I fully expect him to haunt the Cowboys in the future when they play the team he ends up with.

In all the years of watching the NFL, I have not seen as many veteran player cuts as I have this year.  General Managers in the NFL finally understand aging veteran’s salaries quickly eclipse their performance on the field and are doing something about it.  The end result is salary cap relief and the opportunity to receive big time performances from younger and less expensive players.

Austin has been a loyal soldier for this team and has no doubt played in pain on numerous occasions.  But there is not enough time, or money, for sentimentality in the NFL.  When it’s time, it’s time and I think it’s time for the Cowboys to wave goodbye to Miles Austin.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin Terrance Williams

  • Keith Ranson

    Get Rid Of Miles; Just WHAT Are you Smoking?

  • Old Frog

    Agreed…hopefully GMs (including JJ) are figuring out big contract extensions aren’t necessarily in their teams’ best interests.

  • Eazy

    Clearly you know nothing about the cap. The cowboys restructured miles deal once again this offseason. He is basically on the team for the next two seasons. He would cost 10.6 million against the cap this season if cut or 7.8 against the cap if cut next season. There is no massive savings

    • Eazy

      Same goes for trading him except there is no option for spreading the hit over 2 seasons

  • Rick Dose

    Michael Huff is a complete moron who is not a Dallas fan. No one should read this blog. I didn’t, I just read the title and knew he was a r.e.t.@,r.d just from that, alone.

    • fgoodwin

      That explains why you’re here, right?

  • Juanito Juanito

    this guy huff, allways write stupid stuf

  • MillaRed

    Free, Austin, Ratliff, Scandrick. We are whiffing big time on these second contracts. If we cannot learn something from this we are, well, Jerry Jones.

  • MOSH

    williams has to beat out harris b4 he can even be in the debate to challenge miles smh

  • kameleon_o

    If Williams shows any good signs in camp, and especially if Coale or Harris does, Austin is long gone!!

  • Cowboy1976

    First yes if we just cut Miles it would cost us big time against cap, however if we could trade him it would free up alot of money on the cap this year and next. And I can almost promise Williams will be starting by week 3 even if we keep Miles so why not see if we could get a 2nd or 3rd rounder for him. That way we get more draft picks next year plus free up enough money to sign another D-Line and another O-Line player this year

  • Cowboy1976

    I would LOVE to wake up and read Dallas Cowboys trade Miles Austin to the Houston Texans for J.J. Watts :)

  • ta

    1st of all, you save nothing by cutting him now. He is restructured so look up the deal before writing such an article. 2nd, starting rookies just to say you are starting rookies to “develop quickly” because they were 1st, 2nd or 3rd round picks is ridiculous. Why don’t you see if they can actually play better than your other WR that have been “developing”. That’s what TC is for. Finally, Austin is actually meant to be a slot guy. Having a #2 on the outside would make Austin a beast in the slot and give him some huge opportunities. Could you imagine him having a healthy year for another team? At least do some research before trying to cut a guy that had nearly 1000 yards in 9.5 games.

  • ctcowboy1968

    This is ridiculous. Miles is the 2nd best WR on this team. When he plays, he consistently gets the job done with Tony. 1st year WRs always struggle (ie, chemisty, limited routes, knowledge, speed of the game, talent of CBs, etc). BTW, Harris is the #2 WR (note that Miles is the slot receiver). Harris has earned that spot. I am looking forward to Harris getting more opportunities next year. His determination and hussle is what this team needs.
    Forget Beasley. He is one gust of wind from being retired. I remember one or two hard hits he took last year and he barely got off the turf.

  • Cosby’s Dougie

    Just came to the blog looking for a Cowboys’ fix and stumbled upon this inane post. Beyond cap implications, Austin is a blue chip talent who can change a game whereas these other fellas are unproven commodities. Unless you’re resigned to the fact we’re rebuilding, and judging by the recent actions of management, we aren’t, this move makes no football sense. Sit down you suck Huff.