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Mailbag: Is Austin More Valuable Than People Realize?


What do you guys think of the growing perception that the Cowboys are going to get rid of Miles Austin? I hear many fans clamoring for this move, but how many #2 receivers in the league are better than he is, injury history aside?

Nick: You've got a good point there about the No. 2 receiver. The problem is, he's not really getting paid like that. He's making $9 million per season and I'm sure there are probably half of the No. 1 receivers in the league not even making that. But I think I'm on your side here. I can see both sides of this, but if you get rid of Miles, whatever you end up saving you've got to pay someone else. I just think I keep him around but know going in that he's had hamstring issues and he's going to do frustrating things on the field at times that doesn't help his quarterback.  

Rowan: I probably agreed with you entering last season that at his best he's among the better receivers in the league, particularly as a No. 2 threat. The hard part is you can't really put injury history aside at this point. He's missed too many important contests or played visibly injured through them that you start to wonder if he'll ever be his former self. He suited up for all 16 games this year, but missed the majority of both Redskins contests without a catch in either. Look around the league and see most teams who rely on the passing game need a reliable No. 2.


Everyone seems to be speculating that Jon Gruden will coach the Cowboys in the near future, but after listening to Monte Kiffin, he mentioned Lovie Smith a couple of times. Is it possible or realistic that if Jason Garrett doesn't work out this year, Lovie Smith could be a strong candidate to be the Cowboys' next head coach?

[embedded_ad] Nick: He could be. Just like Gruden could be. Just like 5-6 other coaches that do well this year. You're right that Lovie Smith knows these coaches. But it's also possible this staff helps the team get 1-2 more wins and we're not talking about any changes. So who knows, other than it's late February.  

Rowan: I actually think Smith would make more sense as a fit than Gruden. Rod Marinelli left Chicago only because Smith was out, and the two are close friends. I would have to think that Smith doesn't have a job right now only because he's waiting for a head coaching spot, and not because teams looked over him as a position coach or coordinator. Still, I think the Cowboys' front office really wants Jason Garrett to succeed and be the coach to lead the team.

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