IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.
Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.
As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.
With 19 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today’s question centers on a receiver with past injury concerns.
A quick glance at Miles Austin’s statistics last year would make it seem as if he stayed healthy throughout the season.
He suited up for all 16 games, nearly recorded his third 1,000-yard season and found the end zone six times. But there’s a reason he had no stats in two games against the Redskins.
Hip, ankle and recurrent hamstring problems limited Austin last season, with the first two injuries forcing him out before he could finish either game against Washington.
The hamstring problems have recurred throughout his career, though he appears to be healthy heading into training camp this season. Austin has said he’s worked during the offseason on specific exercises to try to ensure his hamstrings stay as loose as possible.
Sometimes, the best cure for his ailments is to just slow down. Cowboys coaches have said that Austin’s propensity to train diligently and intensely could also lead to more injuries, so monitoring how and how much he works out is important.
So far, the Cowboys have been careful with how they’ve used Austin, holding him out sporadically through Organized Team Activities and minicamp as a precaution. That’s allowed him to be as healthy as possible when he does take the field during team drills.
When completely healthy, Austin is one of the most explosive receivers in the game. But after putting together two 1,000-yard seasons, he played in just 10 games in 2011 and missed the majority of two games last season.
The key to his game is keeping him healthy, and the Cowboys will take careful precautions to make sure he’s as healthy as possible when he takes the field in the preseason.
Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let’s take a closer look at the number 19:
- Since 2000, only receivers have worn the No. 19. Before Miles Austin took the number in 2006, Keyshawn Johnson wore it in 2004 and 2005.
- Romo recorded career highs last season with 425 completions, 648 attempts and 4,903 passing yards, but he also tied a career-high with 19 interceptions.
- In addition to 19 assisted tackles,
Bruce Carteralso had 51 solo stops last year to place second on the team in tackles.
- The Cowboys have played two games in 19-degree weather in their history, and both occurred in the ‘90s. The first resulted in a 31-27 win at Denver in 1992, and the other was a loss at Philadelphia in 1995.
- Dallas only lost 19 games when Emmitt Smith ran for 100 yards, which he did 76 times, equaling a 75 percent winning rate.