Last week's loss to the Broncos wasn't much fun for receiver Miles Austin. Out with a hamstring strain, Austin stood on the sidelines and watched as the Cowboys lost 51-48 on a last-play field goal.
"It’s frustrating, obviously, but your heart is out there," Austin said Friday. "You’re emotionally involved in the game, because you know how hard the guys work and what they’re doing out there. Sometimes it’s a tough deal at the end. You get the highs and lows in every game, and then it going down like that wasn’t the best ending."
Austin expects to return to the field Sunday for the first time since he injured his hamstring against the Rams on Sept. 22. He said he is "fired up" and "excited" after missing the past two games.
Austin returned to practice this week.
"It’s a hard deal not being out there," said Austin, who missed six games in 2011 with hamstring injuries. "Definitely feels good to be practicing again, being able to run again."
Austin has 15 catches for 125 yards this season. Terrance Williams has 11 catches for 222 yards and a touchdown the past two games. But Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Austin will return to his familiar role as a starter.
Austin played in 129 of 141 plays in the first two games.
"If he’s good to go, he’s good to go," Garrett said Friday. "There’s no question about that. Having said that, we want to just make sure that we handle that situation the right way. A lot of that is up to him preparing himself the right way. We’ve talked about Miles. He’s one of those guys who’s a product of where he came from. He’s a college free agent from Monmouth University, and he has that mentality every day, and sometimes you have to protect him from himself in those regards. So I think he’s learning to practice better and smarter, and he did a good job with his rehab. He ran well early on in the week and has had a couple of good practice days, so we’re hopeful he can play in this game, and we’ll make sure we use him the right way."
Austin said he is good to go for whatever the Cowboys ask him to do.
"I’m not in control of the rep management," Austin said. "I’m going to go out and go every time I get a chance to."
-- Charean Williams