Cowboys' Miles Austin, Felix Jones give back at Tulsa camp
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, July 01, 2012
7/01/12 at 5:13 AM
On his 28th birthday, Miles Austin could be found on a Tulsa football field in 100-degree heat.
The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was in town to help teammate Felix Jones conduct his fourth annual Football and Life Skills Academy at Booker T. Washington on Saturday.
"It's an amazing thing he's doing out here," Austin said. "He's giving back to the community, which is so important. I'm so blessed to be a part of it."
The free all-day camp, which was attended by close to 100 area high school boys, teaches about football but also the importance of choices off the field.
"The things that are being said and explained to these young men at such a young age are good things to hear," Austin said. "I hope the message gets through to everybody now, when it means the most."
One of Austin's biggest pieces of advice for the boys was to be persistent, a lesson he has learned through going undrafted in 2006 out of Monmouth and having a breakout season in 2009.
He led the NFC with 1,320 receiving yards that year and blossomed into a star. Last season Austin was nagged by hamstring injuries and produced his lowest stats since 2008 as the Cowboys went 8-8 in Jason Garrett's first season as head coach.
"It was a tough thing to go through," Austin said. "A hamstring injury ... is kind of a rough deal. You can run, you can jog and you're fine, but once you kick it up a notch it will shut you down.
"I'm out there working out as much as I can now. ... It's felt great so far. Hopefully it's going to continue to feel great. I can't predict the future, but I'm doing as much as I possibly can to get back and help the team out as much as I can."
After disappointing results in recent years, Dallas is ready to put the past in the past.
"We're not going to talk much about it," Austin said. "We're just going to go in and prepare and look ahead to the future."
For Jones, a running back who attended Booker T. Washington and the University of Arkansas, the upcoming season is important for different reasons. When his rookie deal ends in 2013, he will become a free agent.
"I'm excited about this season," he said. "I just can't wait to see what's going to happen. Just let everything else play out after that."
Injuries have been a problem for Jones during his four years in the NFL. He missed four games last year with a separated shoulder, an ankle sprain and a pulled hamstring.
Jones said Saturday he feels good heading into the fall. His goals are "staying healthy, trying to win each game and contribute as much as I can. Definitely have a great running back season as far as yardage and just each and every stat get better at it."
Regardless of what path his career takes, Jones will continue to return to his hometown to give back in any way he can.
"My community supported me when I was down and out, and they supported me when I was at the top of my game," he said. "Without their support it would have been tough for me to get make it this far.
"It just feels so much better when you have a chance to change somebody else's life, and that's what we're here for."
Original Print Headline: Cowboys' Jones, Austin give back at camp
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