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)
It would be tough for Miles Austin to match the leviathan, record-breaking effort seen in his first career start two weeks ago in Kansas City--near impossible, in fact, which might explain why he didn't. What was encouraging, certainly, for Cowboys fans, was that he came as close as anyone could reasonably expect.
With six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, Austin fell four catches and 79 yards short of his production in Kansas City, while, perhaps, silencing the critics who inferred that his first start was an aberration; this was a categorically better defense in a decidedly bigger game, and Austin held true.
So did the man he replaced.
Patrick Crayton, in his first game since being demoted, kind of controversially, grabbed a modest two catches for nine yards and a touchdown. But his performance could hardly be accurately described by a box score. Crayton proved a deft blocker and, in the fourth quarter, with Dallas nursing a 13-point lead, Crayton took a punt 73 yards for a touchdown, all but icing the win for Dallas.
The absence of Roy Williams, however, was a bit curious. Williams caught one pass for 16 yards, dropped at least two (that I counted) and caused the great majority of Dallas to once again second-guess Jerry Jones' decision last year to bring him in from Detroit in exchange for a heap of draft picks.
Since that deal--since Terrell Owens was given his walking papers--Dallas has discovered a legitimate threat at receiver, but his name isn't Williams. It is Miles Austin, and he seems to have a rapport with Tony Romo, something that Williams, seemingly, does not.