<
>

Cowboys cut veteran Miles Austin

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have opted to release eight-year veteran wide receiver Miles Austin, the team announced Wednesday.

The Cowboys will designate Austin a post-June 1 cut, which will free up $5.5 million against the cap in 2014. The Cowboys will not have access to the room until June 1 and likely will need it to sign their draft picks. Austin will count $5.236 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Austin will be the second former Pro Bowler the Cowboys have cut ties with in as many days, joining DeMarcus Ware, who was released Tuesday, saving $7.4 million against the cap.

Austin, who turns 30 in June, joined the Cowboys in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from Monmouth and returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in the wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He did not become a regular offensive player until 2009, when he burst on the scene with a franchise-record 250 yards on 10 catches against the Kansas City Chiefs. Austin scored two touchdowns, including the 60-yard game winner in overtime.

Austin finished the season with 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns, and was named to the Pro Bowl.

The Cowboys signed Austin to a six-year, $54 million contract in 2010 that included $18 million in guaranteed money. He was named to the Pro Bowl again after finishing with 69 catches for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns.

The NFL, however, penalized the Cowboys $10 million in salary-cap room over two seasons in part because of how the deal was structured in what was an uncapped year.

Hamstring injuries plagued Austin from 2011 to 2013, causing him to miss 11 games. He caught 66 passes for 943 yards with six touchdowns in 2012, but he had only 24 catches for 244 yards and no touchdowns in 2013 as he missed five games.

With the emergence of Terrance Williams and Austin's big contract, the Cowboys decided to move on from what was one of their better undrafted free-agent finds.