NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after his 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
It seems it would only be fitting for Miles Austin's 2009 season to end in a trip to Miami for the 2010 Pro Bowl. After beginning the year as the no. 3 receiver on a team rife with questions at that position, Austin is now tied for the league lead with 11 touchdown receptions.
But more important than statistics is the undeniable timeliness of the Monmouth product's emergence. Let's not forget that before this season, with Roy Williams slated to receive $9 million a year as the no. 1 receiver, people were predicting all hell breaking loose at the void of receiving talent.
In fact, Deion Sanders used those exact words. The fire and brimstone, by Deion's prediction, was to start raining down over Arlington in week 7 or week 8. Due in great part to Austin, such a catastrophic personnel deficiency never befell the Cowboys.
Despite what Williams' paycheck might have you believe, Austin is now the Cowboys' no. 1 receiver, at least insofar as he--not Williams--is the one over which opposing head coaches and coordinators lose sleep.
This may explain why he, Austin, Dallas's "no. 2 receiver" is the source of gushing praise from coaches around Valley Ranch. Receivers coach Ray Sherman said in a recent interview in the Dallas Morning News, simply, "I haven't had anybody like this guy."
Wade Phillips echoed this sentiment, and added that, in his mind, Austin was a no-brainer for the Pro Bowl. "I don't think there's any doubt about it," Phillips said. "He's played outstanding."
Austin, as he always seems to when the topic turns to him rather than the team, skirted the question of postseason accolades.
"That's great for them to say that, I appreciate it, but we've still got a lot of work to do as a team, so after that, I'll deal with all the rest," Austin said. "I would like to, I think anyone would like to make the Pro Bowl...But if you do you do, you don't you don't. Either way we've got to win games and we've got a long road ahead of us."