Aligning The Stars: Will Miles Austin Outdo Wes Welker Again In 2010?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26:  Wide receiver Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowoys at Cowboys Stadium on November 26, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When it comes to comparing players in the NFL, there are simply no limitations. It's something we all love to do, and whether it's gathering around the water cooler and comparing Peyton Manning to Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson to Chris Johnson or Joe Montana to Dan Marino, comparison in sports is simply one of the more pleasant sides of being a fan.

However, as the new decade of NFL football approaches, many new and upcoming players take center stage as they look to once again have a breakout year and keep writers such as myself occupied.

For the most part, these up and coming players are all fairly young. Sure, they were drafted several years ago, but like a young child at a new school, they've taken a few years to come out of their shells and really shine in the NFL.

In 2009, there were several players that we enjoyed watching. But perhaps the most explosive and dynamic players that we were all privileged to watch was Dallas' Miles Austin and New England's Wes Welker.

Looking back, I think I speak for a few people in saying that no one really expected the majority of Dallas' points and New England's points to come from these questionably talented guys.

However, touchdowns were a constant, and just when we thought both of these guys were in for a quiet game or two, they once again showed us all why they could quite possibly be the next Randy Moss' or Michael Irving's of this league.

So now that we are all familiar with these two men, who is poised for the bigger 2010 season? It's quite a debate able issue, and trust me, I am well aware that this may spark quite a debate between loyal Cowboy and Patriot fans.

Miles Austin

2009 Stats: 81 receptions, 1,320 yards, 11 touchdowns

As you can tell from the above stats, Miles Austin had an exceptional year. As a partial Dallas Cowboys fan, it was an absolute delight to watch this man expose safeties and cornerbacks on his way to posting another six points on the board.

The most significant game in my mind for Miles Austin, was against the New Orleans Saints. Dallas was by far a heavy underdog, and it was quite a surprise to see Miles Austin step his game up and play so consistently.

In the early goings of the game, Tony Romo managed to seek out Miles Austin and deliver quite an accurate pass. Some may this was a mere fluke, but there is simply no denying that Miles Austin gets open, calls for the ball and delivers nine times out of 10.

The other ability that Miles Austin possesses is speed. Unlike some other NFL wide receivers who rely on their hands and footwork to do most of the talking, Miles Austin's uncanny ability to jump out of the starting blocks and gain a considerable amount of space between a cornerback is outstanding.

However, perhaps Miles Austin's biggest accomplishment in recent years is his leadership ability. It is rare to find a young talent so willing to take on the role of the number one wide receiver, and seeing as though there is quite a bit of competition in Dallas, Miles Austin is still a heavily favored starter.

In 2010, expect Tony Romo to target Miles Austin. This is Austin's year to really breakout and possibly set the Cowboys up for the Lombardi Trophy. The NFC East is a tough division, yes, but Miles Austin has the talent to overcome the odds.

Wes Welker

2009 Stats:123 receptions, 1,348 yards, 4 touchdowns

It was a shock to see Wes Welker go down with a knee injury toward the end of the 2009 season. I remember immediately after seeing Wes Welker cringe in pain thinking "Well there goes the Patriots postseason".

Unfortunately, I was right, and the Baltimore Ravens stomped all over the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. 

As negative as this injury seemed at the time though, perhaps now looking back it is quite a positive in the career of Wes Welker.  Now I know your all probably thinking, "How is an injury ever positive?" Well, of course the injury itself isn't positive, but perhaps the layoff from the NFL will rejuvenate Wes Welker a little.

We saw it with Vince Young in 2009 when Kerry Collins stepped in as a starter.  Did Vince Young not come back and win the starting role convincingly and prove to everyone he is a true athlete?

Your damn right he did. So maybe it is wise for us all to take a positive spin on Wes Welker's injury.

Aside from the past though, the future looks ever so bright for Wes Welker. He has one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game throwing to him, and is surrounded by a strong coaching staff that will help him if he is to fall into a slump.

We all know that Wes Welker is more than just a capable wide receiver, and his ability is well documented.  After a catch, Wes Welker has an uncanny ability of turning and running full steam toward the end zone.

It isn't typical Patriot football, but it gets the job done, and with Randy Moss aging, it is important that Wes makes a full recovery and steps in ready for the 2010 season.

So Who Is Poised For the Better 2010 Season?

Right now the obvious answer is Miles Austin. He's a Dallas fan favorite, he's won over just about everybody, and he doesn't have an injury that he has to make a successful comeback from.

With this said, there is still a lot that Miles Austin must learn, but seeing as though Dez Bryant is the newest Cowboy, Miles' "leader" type role will be in full affect this upcoming season.

Will Miles top his previous 11 touchdowns? All factors point to yes, but it is of course a very long season.  Dallas is a Super Bowl favorite, and love them or hate them, there is no denying the fact that Miles Austin is a future star, if he isn't one already.