DENVER - OCTOBER 04: Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys rushes returns a kick off against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 17-10. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
With talk of DeMarcus Ware's contract floating around the landscape of the Metroplex and NFL message boards nation-wide, the next logical step in these usually illogical conversations is "who's next?"
Considering the team's last two games, that Miles Austin has emerged on top of the get-him-signed-now pile is no surprise.
Austin, over two starts this season, has emerged as Dallas's most dynamic receiver, with 16 catches, 421 yards and four touchdowns--in this span, he has performed like a no. 1 receiver, while the actual no. 1 has performed like a no. 3, and an unimpressive no. 3 at that.
Currently signed to a one-year tender worth a little more than $1 million, though, Austin will have to wait for his big payday.
"You don't ever want to speculate because you don't know, but probably in both his case and our case, he needs to put games together and seasons together,'' said Stephen Jones in today's Dallas Morning News. "Some of the biggest mistakes that are ever made are when you pay a guy off of one year.''
This is true. At the risk of unnecessarily bringing baseball into a football conversation, remember Carl Pavano? George Steinbrenner shelled out $40 million for the injury-prone hurler after an 18-win season for the Marlins in 2004. Pavano rewarded him with a 4-6 record and a 4.77 ERA in 2005. He didn't pitch in the majors at all in 2006. And that was with no concern paid to a salary cap.
Jones continued that in-season dealings are likely over for 2009. For fans who have seen Austin's flashes of brilliance, this might be a scary proposition, but then, it is in all likelihood a wise business move.
"For right now, I'd be surprised if we are doing any more business this year in term's of during the season,'' Jones continued. "Let the season play out and see where we go next.''