GRAPEVINE, Texas --Miles Austin made two straight Pro Bowl appearances after he became a starter midway through the 2009 season.
In 2011, though, season-long problems with both hamstrings limited him to 10 games and 43 catches for 579 yards and seven touchdowns. He had averaged 75 catches, 1,180 yards and nine touchdowns the previous two years.
"I feel like it's pretty much the same mindset of focusing on getting better, focusing on working hard," Austin said. "But I wouldn't be happy . . . there's times you might have had a good season that you might not have been personally happy with because you didn't do certain things the right way. I'm just focused on doing the right thing as often as possible every time."
Last month, Austin made comments to Men's Health that some interpreted as a dip in his preparation for the lockout-shortened season. Without a normal offseason, many equated players' injuries to the lockout.
From what coaches and staff members say, Austin's work ethic has never been an issue. If anything, it's the opposite -- the team has to hold him back and make sure he's not overextending himself if something is physically bothering him.
One thing is certain: Tony Romo and the offense needs a full, productive 16 games out of him in 2012.