IRVING, Texas - Miles Austin hasn't played in a preseason game the last two seasons.
Yet after another hamstring injury, wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said Sunday he still anticipates Austin playing at his highest form against the Giants.
"You hope for the best," Robinson said. "You always expect that, certainly. Miles wants to be the Miles that he's been in the past. We're counting on that to happen."
Austin practiced fully this week for the first time since training camp. Robinson said the Cowboys wanted to be sure Austin was completely healthy before he returned. Robinson didn't indicate whether the receiver was held out of the end of the preseason as a precautionary measure.
"It's never fun to deal with players with injuries," Robinson said. "This guy has worked so hard to get himself in condition that this one in particular was disappointing from the standpoint for him, not really for me. We all want him out there, but just that he really, really worked hard as compared to a year ago when you had the lockout."
Robinson said it's not difficult to manage Austin or any of the other receivers' reps. The Cowboys script practices beforehand and it's easier to monitor playing time with six receivers on the 53-man roster and two more on the practice squad.
"The more guys, the less you have to have your guys that you're counting on in the real games, in the season games, to have to take a lot of reps on the scout team," Robinson said. "We're trying to spread that out as much as we can. It definitely helps."
After missing the entire preseason last year, Austin returned Week 1 against the Jets and recorded five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Tony Romo said he expects Austin to bounce back and be healthy for this year's opener.
Austin followed last's year's return against the Jets with nine catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns against San Francisco, before another hamstring injury, which held him out of six games.