ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 25: Miles Austin (C) #19 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a touchdown with Martellus Bennett #80 and Patrick Crayton #84 against the Atlanta Falcons at Cowboys Stadium on October 25, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
When you stack up 482 yards and five touchdowns over your first three NFL starts, forgiveness for a post-touchdown-gaffe or two comes easy. Which is good for Miles Austin, because after a three-yard touchdown grab on Sunday, Austin went after the time-honored crossbar dunk, made famous by Dallas's own freaky-sex loving No. 2 of yesteryear, Alvin Harper.
The move, much like the flying-chest-bump, is cool when executed properly. Austin, unfortunately, failed in this regard, looking more like Steve Nash than Shawn Marion; more Wally Szczerbiak than Kevin Garnett; more Woody Harrelson than Wesley Snipes.
"Yeah, uh, I need to work on my vertical," said Austin. "I'm going to get some strength shoes, and work on that... No, I was just running up, and, I don't know, I just didn't have it in me to jump so I just laid it up instead."
Before making his ill-fated approach, Austin grabbed the attention of Martellus Bennett, who played basketball at Texas A&M and often insists that he is summarily better than Tony Gonzalez (who played at Cal), Julius Peppers (who played at North Carolina), and Antonio Gates (who was all-conference at Kent State). Not surprisingly, the always-boisterous, always-jocular Bennett was a harsh critic after the fact.
"He pointed at me and I thought he was going to throw me the alley-oop, I didn't know what Miles was doing," Bennett said. "You know, he's 50 percent white, so white men can't jump and that showed today when Miles was going out there, trying to dunk the ball on the goal post and he ended up doing a finger roll."
"He was not on fire with that," Bennett added, an allusion to the popular (and awesome) NBA Jam video games.
Bennett continued the onslaught on Twitter, saying, "Miles proved white men can't jump today. Hahaha"
Considering the nature of professional sports teams (in baseball, Austin would likely get the max-fine in kangaroo court for this misstep) the friendly ridicule is understandable, and fairly predictable. But as long as Austin's catching touchdown passes on such a frantic pace, the Cowboys, fantasy owners and Woody Harrelson would likely agree: a finger roll is just fine.