Miles Austin, a native of Garfield, New Jersey, will experience his third NFL homecoming on Sunday, as the Dallas Cowboys head to the Garden State to take on the Giants at the Meadowlands. The differences, in those visits and this upcoming one, are obvious.
Since his last visit, in December of 2008, Austin has become a star. He has become the Dallas Cowboys' preeminent big-play threat, a fan-favorite, a media-darling, and very arguably, Tony Romo's favorite target. Hell, the Monmouth product may even find himself Honolulu-bound this February if he's not careful.
Last season, to put it bluntly, the "sudden-star," as Al Michaels so dutifully took to calling him, was merely a name on the roster.
Austin has no catches in his previous two meetings with the G-Men; he hopes that, after Sunday, this will be changed as well.
"Every next game is the toughest game, but this one especially because it's the Giants," Austin said on Monday. "For me especially because I'm from that area so I've got a lot of family and stuff in that area, so it's cool. For me it's the same thing, same approach. I don't try to stress any situation, I'm just going in, trying to run the play, whatever the play is, and do it to the best of my ability."
Austin, according to the Dallas Morning News, is on the hook for 18-20 tickets for family and friends, not particularly adroit at blocking.
"It makes you feel good when you have people out there,'' Austin said. "That being said, they're not going to be helping me out on the field. They're not going to be blocking for me. You've got to go out there and execute the game plan.
"But it's great to see them before and after the game.''