Laurent Robinson will replace Austin in the starting lineup opposite Dez Bryant. His play and emergence is comforting to the Cowboys, especially considering he only joined the team in Week 2 and after being cut by the Chargers in camp.
Yet, Robinson has developed a quick understanding of the offense and the trust of quarterback Tony Romo. He is the only Cowboys receiver with two 100-yard receiving games this season.
"He's done a very good job for us," coach Jason Garrett said. "He came in without training camp and really has kind of stepped in and really provided a spark for us, the consistency for us. The quarterbacks like to throw to him. He understands what we're asking him to do and he consistently makes plays. He gets open. He made contested catches. He's made some big plays for us but he's also made some little plays for us that have kind of made the difference.
"His role will continue to get bigger and bigger in Miles' absence and hopefully some of the other receivers will emerge as well."
Still, Robinson and Bryant need help from demoted third receiver Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley, who is mainly a special teams performer.
Garrett said the team might consider looking at free-agent receivers for help. However, owner Jerry Jones quickly shot that down saying any help would be coming from within.
The Cowboys have four receivers on the practice squad, led by sixth-round pick Dwayne Harris.
"We've got (Dwayne) Harris on the practice squad," Jones said "That'll be where we limit it to. It won't be away from the roster."
* The biggest subject of conversation in Dallas is no longer quarterback Tony Romo but whether rookie running back DeMarco Murray has become the team's No. 1 running back.
Murray has certainly been impressive since replacing an injured Felix Jones three weeks ago. His 466 yards are the most by a Cowboys running back in a three-game span. Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett nor Emmitt Smith had that much in three games.
The Cowboys are not ready to talk about a starting job even with Jones expected back this week. All they know is they have two good backs to work with.
And they are certainly impressed with Murray, who has done it despite missing training camp with a hamstring injury.
"His quick development is not a surprise, but it's certainly something that is very impressive," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "We thought he was a very complete back coming out of school. His track record shows that. He started early there. He has all the rushing records and receiving records, scoring records there at such a great school with so many great players who have come through there. So we felt really good about him as a player.
"Again, with him missing so much of training camp and not having an offseason, his development to get to that form as quickly as he has has been very impressive."
The Cowboys like his work ethic and humble demeanor as well as his work ethic.
"He had the big game a couple of weeks ago against St. Louis (when he rushed for a team-record 253 yards), and then Wednesday, he's out there playing scout team," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said Monday. "It's like, 'I don't think you need to be the scout-team back any more, DeMarco. I love the mentality that you have but get some rest. We need you over here.'
"But I think that mentality pays off for him. He's been great. He's been a dynamic player for us. Our offense, and really our team, has been better and had success because of the way he plays."
Austin out two to four weeks
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