Dallas Cowboys

Miles to Go Before We ... Believe in Austin?

Turns out Miles Austin is Mr. Fix It.

Who knew?

Wade Phillips' job insecurity. Jason Garrett's credibility. The Terrell Owens supporters. Tony Romo's playmaking.

Don't look now, but the undrafted receiver from Monmouth took care of all those and more the last two weeks of the Dallas Cowboys' season. And he's done it with a single Super Power:

"Speed," owner Jerry Jones said of Austin before Sunday's 37-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

With another six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, Austin now has the most dynamic, productive two-game stretch in the history of the franchise: 16 catches, 421 yards, 4 touchdowns.

"Want me to say I told you so?" quarterback Tony Romo joked after the game. "Miles is a great weapon. He's really worked hard. It was just a matter of time before he got his opportunities and now he's showing everyone what he can do."

Added offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, "We're only scratching the surface with Miles."

Follow-up question: Is Miles a two-hit wonder, the guy who managed only 5 catches for 81 yards in the first four games and who inexplicably fumbled the ball in the open field on Sunday? Or, suddenly, is he the best Cowboys' receiver since Michael Irvin?

No doubt he's Dallas' No. 1 receiver. (Two-touchdown games will force us to overlook his resemblance to A-Rod, especially when he slaps on a Yankees cap in the post-game locker room.) Give Jones credit, he singled out Miles' potential as one of the reasons for releasing T.O. last spring. Give Romo credit for trusting Miles even after the miscommunication in Denver that might've cost the Cowboys a game. (Just imagine if Romo would've looked Austin's way in Denver instead of Sam Hurd's on those two final throws into the end zone? Miles, remember, was wide open on slants to the opposite side.) And give Garrett credit for finding a way to maximize Austin's talent.

The Cowboys practiced all week on the exact scenario that unfolded on Austin's 59-yard touchdown catch.

"When I saw it, I thought "Oh, wow, this is exactly how it's supposed to look'," said Romo.

The key to the play, and perhaps the Cowboys' season: Speed. The new Mr. Fix It's speed.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt