5. The Web Back
Finally we have Tavon Austin. The 5’8” RB/WR combo, figures to play a major part on this offense. While he may not get the ball all the time, he WILL make an impact every time he’s on the field. Tavon offers two things to Dak Prescott:
Tavon, the security blanket
Ezekiel Elliott is going to get a ton of carries in the running game but it’s Tavon who’s going to see more passes out of the backfield. While Deonte Thompson stretches the ball vertically, Austin will stretch the field horizontally.
Screens, jet sweeps, and drag routes will be Austin’s primary modes of attack. If the Dallas Cowboys can get the ball in his hands on the run or in open space, Tavon has the speed and quickness to score from anywhere.
Ideally, we want Dak delivering the ball quickly from the pocket or rolling outside and creating plays with his arm and athleticism. But if he does get caged up in the pocket. And if receivers are blanketed and unable to get open. The ultimate safety valve is likely just a few yards away.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys wisely decided against signing Dalvin Cook
- West coast, Texas coast, burnt toast: Cowboys don’t need more runs
- Brandin Cooks will change the way defenses play the Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys defensive X-Factor is EDGE Sam Williams
- Dallas Cowboys: 3 head coach options if McCarthy fails in 2023
Tavon, the field stretcher
When Tavon is on the field, the defense will be forced to stretch out (like a “web”, perhaps?). Whether it’s a running play to Zeke, a passing play downfield, or an RPO (which is kinda both), Tavon will stretch the defense in another direction.
His 4.34 speed means more than just a lowly LB can account for him, but an additional DB will need to keep an eye on No. 10 from the next level. This opens things up for opportunities elsewhere.
Like discussed before, Tavon Austin has the ability to take the ball to the house on any given play. Even if a play is clearly flowing in one direction, opponents will be scared to death a backside screen to Tavon is in the works. The open field is not where they want to see Tavon with the ball in his hands.
Tavon’s existence in this offense means defensive ends must think twice about him sneaking past them on a screen or a jet sweep. He’ll force the defense to pause, just a moment, while they assess the play. And that is a heck of a lot better than what we saw last year when they just pinned their ears back and went hunting for Dak.
The Dallas Cowboys did all they could to better the situation for Dak Prescott. But it’ll be up to him to take advantage and build on what made him so promising his first 24-games in the league.