Cowboys defend Miles Austin

IRVING, Texas -- Miles Austin has chosen to stay mostly quiet during his absence the last three weeks because of a hamstring strain. He said he will talk Friday.

As I wrote before, Austin found himself in a no-win situation with his recent injury. Fans, media and former players believe Austin shut it down once he got paid in 2010 with a $54 million contract extension, but Austin has decided to stay mostly silent about the charge.

He does not believe it would help him to get involved in the back and forth, just as he did not think it would help him to discuss the severity of the strain he suffered against the Rams.

Jason Garrett offered up defense on Wednesday.

“His issue is the opposite,” Garrett said. “He is so committed and so hungry that we have had to help him dial it back a little and channel it and focus it so he doesn't do too much work. He is a great football player and great for our team. I have an immense amount of respect for Miles Austin. He has had some injuries. We have to find a way, him and organizationally, where he stays healthy. We tried to do all the right things to do that coming into this season. Again he got banged up after a couple of games. But he was playing really well for us and hopefully is back to his old form.”

Austin has not caught a pass since the 9:15 mark of the second quarter of the Sept. 22 win against the St. Louis Rams. He strained his hamstring in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He missed the next two weeks and did not catch a pass in the games against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles before the Cowboys decided to sit him out through the bye week.

On Wednesday, Austin went through his first full practice since getting hurt. He is viewed as a big part of a much-needed offensive resurgence for the Cowboys in the final six weeks.

“It frustrates him more than anybody when he's hurt and can't be out there,” tight end Jason Witten said. “Yeah, you couldn't say more that is the complete opposite about a guy. I think we all know that. He's everything you want as a teammate and player. He does everything you can ever ask. I don't know that there is a better guy in the locker room than him. To get him back, the energy, the veteran ability, he's seen a lot of ball, a lot of defenses. I think that will help us.”