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Cowboys @ Broncos: What They're Saying (w/ Miles Austin update)

 

Time to crank up the quote machine for a segment of “What They’re Saying.”

Miles Austin was having a beautiful preseason, until he covered a kickoff last night right after scoring a TD. Austin suffered a sprained right MCL on the play and will miss at least the rest of the preseason and is very questionable to play in the regular season opener. Mickey Spags says this in his morning article: 

And while the news on wide receiver Miles Austin isn't likely to be year-ending, chances are Sunday's MRI is going to reveal a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, which likely will keep the greatly-improving third-year player out four to six weeks.

Uggh. He didn’t need this, right as he was putting it all together and on the verge of getting serious playing time. Austin says:

"I had expectations for myself. It's early and any injury I'm going to be upset or down. I'm just going to get back in rehab and see what the problem is and try to fix it."

Let’s hope for a speedy return from our speedy receiver. Other injuries included Chris Canty’s hip that appears to be nothing, Deon Anderson returned to the game after getting his bell rung, Ronnie Cruz dislocated his shoulder and Justin Rogers also sprained his shoulder.

Brad Johnson had a better game. And Mickey Spags goes to great lengths to let you know that. His love-letter includes Brad saying:

"I've fought (the perceptions) from middle school to high school and for 17 years in the NFL," Johnson said. "I'm used to it. Nothing I do is ever good enough, but I sleep well at night because I know how hard I work, and that's good enough for me."

Johnson doesn’t even pretend he’s not a bus driver.

"What you hope for," Johnson said of when the backup comes in, "is you hope to stay away from penalties, manage the huddle, manage the game and make the plays you're supposed to make."

I feel better about Johnson after that performance but I’m still not settled.

The Dallas Cowboys be lovin’ them some penalties in the preseason. Romo explains how bad they can be for a team.

"It's like a turnover," quarterback Tony Romo said. "When we get a penalty on third-and-long after we've stopped them, it's like we forced a punt and just threw a pick. It's the same thing. We have to stop that. Eventually, penalties catch up with you."

Preach on, brother.

Romo also puts forth the Vanilla Theory as a good reason not to worry. 

"

It comes down to executing. If they man up or play zone, we still have to make plays," Romo said. "We still have a vanilla offense and don't want to show our hand this time of

year."

But man, if Romo could had just hit Sam Hurd on that bomb.

Last year we blitzed the bejeezus out of Denver and that led to some vocal complaints by them after the preseason game. Apparently this year, we decided to play vanilla on defense, too.

"I talked to [Brian Stewart] and last year we got after those guys and blitzed them a lot," linebacker Bradie James said. "He said that he got some E-mail from some offensive coordinators saying this must be you're first time being an defensive coordinator because you broke the etiquette of just playing vanilla. We did a lot of base stuff. I would have loved to really get after them. But we played what was called."

Martellus Bennett made a nice catch and run and a special teams tackle. He’s happy.

"How do you like me now?" Bennett joked in the locker room afterward. "I told people I was going to beast out."

Hard Knocks, here we come.

So while the game wasn’t all bad, it was definitely a poor showing overall. There is a lot of room for improvement and the Miles Austin injury is a real drag. But, the show goes on and Romo is ready to work.

"We definitely have things to work on," quarterback Tony Romo said, "but there is still some time for that."