IRVING, Texas — The person least fazed about Miles Austin’s breakout game against Kansas City is Miles Austin himself.
Austin was an unknown, undrafted wide receiver in his fourth year with the Cowboys in 2009 when he exploded with 10 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
“It was the first time I started,” Austin said. “It was a big game, personally and for our team. From that point, I’ve been starting since then. It was a moment at some point, but at the end of the day, we’re here now, four years later.”
Four years later, Austin and Cowboys will return Sunday to face the Chiefs atArrowhead Stadium, site of the biggest moment of his NFL career.
That 2009 game not only established Austin as a starter, it set him up for a six-year, $54 million contract extension before the next season, 2010.
For him to downplay one of the biggest moments of his life, not just his NFL career, is odd.
But that’s the easy-going Austin, who said he doesn’t remember having much of a reaction when told he would start that day in place of an injured Roy Williams.
“I probably just was, like, all right,” Austin said. “There was no crazy feeling or anything. It was just, you’ve got to get prepared to go.”
Austin said he wasn’t particularly nervous leading up to game.
“I knew I was going to start, so I wanted to make sure I was on top of all my assignments,” Austin said. “Pretty much the same thing I’m doing now. But I just knew I was going to play in the game more that week.”
Everyone else had a much bigger reaction during the game, especially the stunned Chiefs. Not only did Austin have a big game, numbers-wise, he was impactful.
Austin caught a 59-yard touchdown pass with 2:16 left, then a 60-yarder in overtime to snatch a 26-20 overtime win on the road.
Newly-signed Cowboys offensive lineman Brian Waters was on the Chiefs’ sideline that Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and remembers it well.
“You better believe it,” Waters said. “We just had this conversation the other day. I told him we didn’t have a clue who you were. All of a sudden we’re looking at each other like, ‘Who in the world is 19?’
“We had no idea who this guy is, but he hit us for 250 and 11 catches and I hope he has that type of day again. I hope I’m on the right side of that one.”
Quarterback Tony Romo said he wasn’t that surprised because Austin had shown flashes of potential leading up to the Kansas City game in 2009.
“I remember we were trying to figure out a way to get Miles on the field because he practiced so well, and in his opportunities in the game he had shown a good burst and just his ability to get open,” Romo said. “He went in that game and they played a certain couple of coverages that we were able to attack back then, he took advantage.
“I think he just needed his opportunity and once he got it, he ran with it.”
Austin will get another opportunity to stun the Chiefs, although this time it won’t be a surprise. Austin hasn’t had a game as big as that one back in 2009, but maybe there’s something about Arrowhead that brings out the best in him.
“We’re about to find out, one way or another,” Austin said. “We’re just all going to go out and play hard, play our best and see what happens.”