Chris Johnson, on the other side, is quite a drop-off. But Austin basically went anywhere he wanted to last Thursday, and did so to the tune of 145 yards and a touchdown. Even when he thinks he's got a touchdown but the replay officials ruled his calf and ankle down, Austin gets back up and scores again.
To me, this past game was the most impressive performance he's shown so far because it was against a good defense with good cornerbacks. And Austin straight lit them up.
Don't look now, but the pace that Austin is on is pretty remarkable. Through 11 games, he has 824 receiving yards with eight touchdowns. We'll get back to that stat in a moment. But Austin has done most of this after being named a starter. He's averaging 106.1 yards in the seven games he's started.
So at that rate, if he were able to keep this up, Austin is looking at about 1,350 receiving yards, which would be the fourth-most in club history, only behind three different seasons Michael Irvin had in the 1990s.
And let's talk about touchdowns, which Austin has eight right now. Do you realize in the last 25 seasons, only two Cowboys receivers have had at least eight touchdowns in a season? I'm sure you could come up with Irvin and Terrell Owens, and they both did that a few times each.
But that's it. Not Joey Galloway, Rocket Ismail, Jay Novacek, Alvin Harper or even Jason Witten have come up with eight in a year. And Austin is sitting at eight right now with five games to play?
Because he's burst onto the scene so fast, I think we have to slow down every once in a while and check out these numbers. Whether or not he keeps this pace up, it's been rather incredible.
In fact, unbelievable would be a better word for me, considering I was one who doubted that he was ready to take it to the next level.
If you thought differently, well, good for you. You were right. I wasn't so sure. But I'm changing my tune now. Forgive me, for arriving late to this party, but I've just seen it too many times before.
But I really think Austin is different. And that doesn't mean he will continue to have 100-yard games every week. He'll have a few clunkers in there like they all do. But the difference with him now, and something this offense definitely needed, is that Austin has now done enough to scare defenses. And that has its own value.
Late or not, I'm with the program now.