Health, Not Role, Most Important For Austin

Sunday's game at Arizona, Dec. 4, will be just shy of one month since Miles Austin injured his hamstring against Seattle, Nov. 6, and the hope is it will have been enough down time to get himself right.

Already this season Austin got a similar length rest - hurting his other hammy in San Francisco on Sept. 18, then returning at New England on Oct. 16. That same leg had been injured in training camp. 

Austin did not work out on Monday, but cornerback Mike Jenkins, who was hurt against Seattle as well, was back on the field at Valley Ranch. With the stretch run approaching, the Cowboys are hoping Austin, plus any and all of their other injured players, will be ready to return as soon as possible, perhaps even this week.

"We have to see how those guys progress as the week goes on," Jason Garrett said. "We will have a full practice on Wednesday and see what their role is in that based on the work they do tomorrow. And again, we are hopeful they will be active participants and be ready to go on Sunday. We don't know that yet."

Already this season one of the Cowboys' opening day starters has been Wally Pipp'd by a newcomer, DeMarco Murray taking Felix Jones' job. At receiver, Laurent Robinson has used Austin's absence as an opportunity to show he deserves a role of some kind.

Given the impressive roll Robinson is on of late, plus the Cowboys' win streak and Austin's trouble staying healthy this year, the team will have to consider the wide receiver rotation whenever Austin returns. But they aren't crossing that bridge just yet.

"The biggest thing with Miles is evaluating his health and what he is able to do in practice leading up to the game," Garrett said. "He is one of the best players we have, and has been for the last few years, so we want to get him back going as quickly as we can. But we have to monitor how he is doing, how he is feeling and how he is practicing to be ready for a role in the game."

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