The Cowboys gave Miles Austin a day off during the mandatory mini-camp last week, and he sat out some of the voluntary practices before that.
It was by design. The Cowboys were trying to protect Austin from himself, getting him off the field every now and then to keep him from overworking his hamstrings.
He said he thinks it helped.
“It’s one of those things where, you can’t not do it and then do it and tell the difference,” he said last week at Valley Ranch as the team wrapped up the offseason. “But I feel good now.”
Austin has been slowed by hamstring problems each of the past two seasons. He missed six games in 2011, and last year he missed part of training camp because of hamstrings. He played in all 16 games, but he couldn’t finish either game against Washington because of hip and ankle injuries.
“During the year, there’s going to be injuries,” he said. “You’re going to be banged up here and there, but you’ve just got to fight through it. I felt like last year, I might have been banged up a few times throughout the season, but I kept going back with it, kept practicing, kept playing.”
Austin said he would have rather practiced every day during the OTAs and mini-camp, given his choice.
“I want to go,” he said. “When Coach says you can’t, you just kind of have to sit there and not go. But it’s tough for me, sometimes, just to watch the other guys going and not be out there, especially in this heat and knowing how it is to play wideout. You’re out there running. You get tired, and you want at least a few more bodies in there to take some of that load off.”
-- Carlos Mendez