OXNARD, Calif. -- As the Cowboys worked through punt-return drills Monday, they had a surprise returner: wide receiver Miles Austin.
Austin has not returned punts in games. He has not returned a kickoff since 2009, his first Pro Bowl season.
“Hey, I’m willing to do whatever it takes,” Austin said.
Dwayne Harris is the primary punt returner, but with B.W. Webb and Cole Beasley injured and Joseph Randle struggling to field punts, maybe the Cowboys were just looking at Austin as an emergency option.
He caught one punt and let two drop as he faked a fair catch and saw them bounce into the end zone.
Last season, the Cowboys took Dez Bryant off punt returns in part for fear of injury and in part because Harris became a dangerous returner. Austin’s history of hamstring injuries makes him a curious choice, but if it is just a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency type of plan, maybe it makes sense.