Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (19) dives for the goal line in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Dallas Cowboys WR Miles Austin be Traded?


Oct 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver MIles Austin (19) catches a pass against the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium. The Giants beat the Cowboys 29-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Around this time every year, virtually every NFL fan dreams of a trade scenario which would put their respective team “over the top”. Typically this trade scenario involves a package of garbage in exchange for a misunderstood/misused/non-contending all-star.

It’s certainly no different here in Dallas. With the October 29th trade deadline fast approaching, everyone and their brother is eager to ship the Dallas Cowboy’s oft-injured WR, Miles Austin, out of town. What do they ask in return? The answers range from  game-breaking RBs to accomplished defensive linemen. Sometimes draft picks are involved. Sometimes the requests are modest and sometimes they are preposterous.

The reality is, Miles Austin holds essentially no value in the league today. And he’s worth much more to the Cowboys, than to anyone else.

Don’t believe me?

Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) cannot make a catch while defended by New Orleans Saints safety Rafael Bush (25) and cornerback Johnny Patrick (32) during the game at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Why No One Else Wants Him

First of all he’s injured. He appears to be just going through the motions and he’s clearly nowhere close to 100%. The Cowboy’s may have been attempting to showcase Austin by rushing him back on Sunday. If their intentions were to increase his value then they probably failed. Austin looked like the 5th or 6th best receiver on the field falling behind Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten. Even Dwyane Harris looked better than Austin on Sunday.

The only thing dumber than trading for an injury prone player is trading for an injury prone player who is currently INJURED! If a GM trades for Austin he might as well kiss his career goodbye.

Even if a team is in desperate need of a WR, Austin isn’t a very good solution. Look who is all rumored to be on the market: Josh Gordon (CLE), Hakeem Nicks (NYG), and Kenny Britt (TEN) are just some names. You can bet there are talks for twice as many accomplished WRs currently taking place around the league right now.

Finally there’s a little thing called money. Austin is owed a metric butt-load of cash over the next 3 years ($8M, $9M, $12M). No one wants that contract – not even the Cowboys. There is never a shortage of inexpensive #2 WRs in today’s NFL. Austin will only be desirable under a new contract. And a very short, low-dollar contract at that.

Why He’s Worth More to the Cowboys

The reason everyone want to trade Austin is quite simple. His injury history and clutch disappearing acts have become frustrating to say the least. And with Terrance Williams stepping up, Austin’s role on this team is being reduced. Factor in Cole Beasley’s emergence in the slot, Dwyane Harris’ versatility and that further devalues Austin’s worth on this team.

But he’s still worth something if healthy. The Cowboys would be wise to deactivate Austin for a few weeks and just let him heal. If, God forbid, Dez Bryant falls to injury at some point this season, Miles Austin is the only WR on the roster with a chance of stepping into a #1 role this season.

Basically Austin is a big expensive insurance policy.

Sure, the Cowboys could probably trade him for a conditional pick or something almost worthless (Consider Anquan Boldin was traded for a 6th). But with such little value why not just hold him for the rest of the year?

Look, he does nobody any good half-assing it around on one leg. Especially since the Cowboys have viable options on the roster. The Cowboys are now discussing resting him until healthy – which is a solid plan. It’s not like they really have any options with him anyway…

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin Trade Deadline

  • Old Frog

    Ratliff, Spencer, Austin. Should have traded them all before this year’s draft. Now they’re stuck.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Spot on Reid. Let Miles heal on the bench or inactive list.
    Old Frog, Rat is already gone. Spencer won’t be resigned. Those help on next year’s cap issues. We are stuck with Miles for the next three years.

    • Reid Hanson

      CT, I’m looking into the cap situation the Cowboys face next year. I’ll do an article on it shortly but basically the Cowboys are $30M over and will need to make cuts. They wanted to cut Rat next year for savings but were forced to this year. He doesn’t save much because the guaranteed money is all still due.

      You are correct about Spencer too. He’s as good as gone. After looking at the structure of Austin’s contract I think he’ll really be gone next year. He will finally be cheaper to cut than to keep so unless he restructures like Doug Free did – he’s gone.

      There will be more moves but I’ll save it for an upcoming article! Shameless teaser I know. I’d love your feedback when I post it. Look for it in the next couple days.

      • ctcowboy1968

        Looking forward to your article. While I was out today, I had the same idea on Miles. Doug Free him. 50% pay cut or else.

        • JoeDaBeast

          Unless Austin has two or three “break out” games (with or without Dez), he would be more likely to make a Doug Free-type deal. But how low would he go before he just banks on getting cut and having someone else pick him up? Good article Reid.