IRVING, Texas – Quarterback Tony Romo first made a joke about Miles Austin as the receiver sat down next to him while Romo spoke Tuesday from his locker.
Immediately after, though, Romo had some candid remarks about Austin and rookie receiver Terrance Williams and what they can bring to this offense when both are healthy.
"Honestly, Miles has gotten to a point where he's invaluable for us, just because he can play multiple positions, and his strength inside really gives him an advantage," Romo said. "But his knowledge of the game and his explosiveness allow us to do a lot of different things offensively."
It's no surprise Dez Bryant leads all Cowboys receivers in the preseason with 13 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. Second on that list is Austin, who has eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown and was a valuable source to move the sticks in last week's dress rehearsal preseason game.
Austin finally appears healthy and ready to contribute in a major way this year. He has the ability to play outside in a two-receiver set and inside if the Cowboys bring Williams on the field.
Williams' stats aren't staggering this preseason, with two catches for 16 yards, but he's gotten open deep and drew a defensive pass interference penalties. Romo spoke to Williams on a couple occasions after what looked to be some miscommunication or timing issues, but Romo said his trust in the rookie is good.
"He continues to grow and each week he gets better and better," Romo said. "We just have to keep doing the things that come up over and over at his position and what specifically he's going to see a bunch. Just the little things, but he's doing a good job, and he's grasping it, and each time I communicate with him he seems to get after that, so that's a real good thing." [embedded_ad]
Romo hasn't been shy this season about directing Williams after the rookie's done something he doesn't like. The veteran quarterback said he's going to be tough on anyone playing in the Cowboys' offense, because every player needs to be doing his part.
"I'm going to be tough on myself, and I'm going to be tough on those guys, and they know that," Romo said. "If you're going to run with the first team out there, you have to know what you're doing, you have to do it the right way. The guys do a great job of coming out there ready to go every day."