SAN FRANCISCO – Wearing a hat instead of his helmet, Miles Austin did the only thing he could with an aggravated hamstring: he delivered words of encouragement, one by one, to the entire offense before they took the field for overtime in Sunday's 27-24 comeback victory over the 49ers.
Austin did plenty to get them into a winning situation.
The Pro Bowl wideout caught a career-high three touchdown passes, the fourth multiple-touchdown performance of his career and the first three-touchdown game by a Cowboys receiver since Terrell Owens' in 2007.
Austin had a game-high nine catches for 143 yards, including six in the second half after he and quarterback Tony Romo misfired on a couple of early third-down throws. His 5-yard TD from Jon Kitna – with Romo briefly sidelined by a fractured rib – tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter, and his diving 25-yard TD pulled the Cowboys within three midway through the fourth quarter.
Romo called it a "phenomenal" effort.
"I know it sounds cliché or whatever, but I am solely about wins and losses," Austin said. "I'm happy we won this game. I didn't feel like I had my best game to be honest with you. I messed up a bunch of times. So happy that we won."
The Cowboys just hope Austin won't miss much beyond Sunday. After missing time in preseason with a strained hamstring, he said he felt discomfort again during the game and really appeared to aggravate it on a running attempt with less than a minute remaining.
Austin left the game for good after that play -- a fumble that left tackle Doug Free recovered -- and will be re-evaluated Monday.
"That was the one where I kind of felt it the most," he said.
Without Austin, Jesse Holley stepped up with the 77-yard catch in overtime to set up Dan Bailey's winning field goal.