WR made Pro Bowl in breakout season
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones doesn't want to make it too complicated, though. He saw enough in Austin's spectacular 11-game stretch as a starter to try to sign the Pro Bowl receiver to a long-term deal.
"Yes," Jones said Thursday. "That's all I'm going to say, but the answer is yes."
In late October, on the day DeMarcus Ware signed his six-year deal, executive vice president Stephen Jones expressed hesitation about entering negotiations with Austin. At the time, Austin had just finished setting an NFL record with 421 receiving yards in his first two starts.
"Some of the biggest mistakes that are ever made are when you pay a guy off one year," Stephen Jones said then.
Austin finished his breakthrough season with 81 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns. He set a franchise record with 250 receiving yards on 10 catches against the Kansas City Chiefs in his first career start, including the game-winning 60-yard touchdown in overtime. He averaged 16.3 yards per catch this season.
Austin eventually became the team's top wideout this season, taking the role previously held by Roy E. Williams, whom the Cowboys traded for last season and signed to a five-year, $45 million deal.
But that doesn't mean Jerry Jones is giving up on Williams.
"You look at his talent, you look at his potential, you look at his contract," Jones said. "You look at how he came early and stayed late, tried to improve, looked for ways to maximize his value. All of those things are a major consideration. His contract is a major consideration.
"Do you compromise your football team? No. I've done far more than that financially in thinking at the time I've compromised the football team. I do not think that is the case with Roy. ... We've got a player that has the will and has the ability."
Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas contributed to this report.