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Tavon Austin Moving Past Punt Return Talk


FRISCO, Texas – Tavon Austin is focused on the Detroit Lions this week – not the much-discussed fair catch he made prior to the final drive of last Sunday's 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm done talking about it," Austin politely told reporters after Wednesday's practice.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett reiterated Wednesday that he and the coaching staff didn't communicate clearly enough to Austin that returning the punt was a viable option as long as it didn't take too much time off the clock.

It did appear that the veteran receiver had a chance for a decent gain. By fair catching instead, the Cowboys' offense took over at their own 46-yard line with 17 seconds left. Four plays later, Dak Prescott's Hail Mary attempt from the Minnesota 45 was intercepted.

"In that situation, you want to err on the side of fair catch," Garrett said during his daily press conference. "You don't want to spend a lot of time pulling time off the clock by having a return that gets you five or six yards. You want to go in the with the mindset of, 'Let's fair catch this thing around midfield and give ourselves a chance.'

"The discussion should have been more complete in saying, 'If you get to a situation where you do have a low kick and you can get north and south quickly and gain yardage, do that.' We didn't communicate well enough with the player."

Based on the instruction he was given, Austin made the correct decision. Garrett said he spoke with Austin this week about the staff's miscommunication.

"Absolutely," Garrett said. "He understood you should fair catch in that situation."

Austin said he was "definitely comfortable" with their conversation.

Now, all eyes are on Detroit.