Dallas Cowboys: Is Tavon Austin the Cowboys secret weapon?

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Wide receiver Tavon Austin #11 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball past inside linebacker Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter of a game at FedExField on September 20, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Wide receiver Tavon Austin #11 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball past inside linebacker Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter of a game at FedExField on September 20, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys acquired Tavon Austin via trade during the offseason and now he is looking like one of the teams most productive contributors.

The Dallas Cowboys have been faced with a lot of questions recently. But one of the more pressing issues for the team has been who will lead the Cowboys aerial offense as the number one wide receiver. Tons of speculation has been made however one player is seemingly standing out more than the rest.

Tavon Austin has been one of the surprises of offseason workouts and training camp as no one really believed that he would be as productive offensively as he has been. The Dallas Cowboys have used him in reverse and sweep plays but have not yet fully utilized him as a runner.

When OTA’s began Austin was labeled as a running back/receiver now that description has seemed to flip. Austin has been purely a receiver and has even been running deep outside routes. The Dallas Cowboys could be planning to use Austin as what he was drafted to the NFL to be, a receiver.

Austin’s mind-boggling speed help him create mismatches and separation where there should not be and maybe that is the point. The Dallas Cowboys went all out on speedy wide receivers this season and only three receivers (Allen Hurns/Michael Gallup/Mekale McKay) on the roster really have the physical prowess and attitude like a taller Dez Bryant-like receiver would.

Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, KD Cannon, and Austin are all players who only find separation through speed and precise route running.  So maybe this is the Dallas Cowboys goal to get faster and more efficient through the air. Throwing contested balls is not exactly Dak Prescott’s best situation anyway so of course, the coaching staff wants to stay away from that as much as possible.

Austin gives the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff some breathing room as he can basically be a viable option whenever Dak needs it. Austin also is not a one-trick pony either, he has the vertical jump to make some difficult catches and there are flashes as to why he was drafted eighth in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Many people thought of Austin as a gadget player who was there to field kick/punt returns and be a passing down running back, that has not been the case at all. Instead, Austin has shown an incredible ability to fire up his teammates and make difficult down the field game-breaking plays. 

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At first, I wondered if Austin’s success was on the lack experience held by the Dallas Cowboys secondary as a whole but that is not the case. He continues to make acrobatic catches and has a veteran knack for being in the right place at the right time. Austin has been Dak’s most prolific weapon so far and that only shows that the veteran wide receiver is fully embracing his fresh start with the Dallas Cowboys.

For a long time, Austin was mainly utilized as a gadget player with the Los Angeles Rams. This was primarily due to the fact that during the Rams down years, they primarily relied on Austin to make plays and no one else. They did not have a quarterback that they could really rely on when it came down to getting Austin the ball.

In 2013 Austin had Kellen Clemens and Sam Bradford, 2014 Austin Davis and Shaun Hill and in 2015 Nick Foles and Case Keenum. Now I know what your thinking Foles just won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles, while that may be true the offensive play calling did not help matters.

A quick note though, during the 2015 season Austin had the most receiving touchdowns he had seen in a single season. He also recorded the second most single-season receiving yards total of his entire career. When you tack on the 434 yards he gained on the ground along with the other four touchdowns he racked up, that is pretty excellent production.

After 2015, Austin was relegated to the gadget role he had become known for with the Rams and under a new head coach, he was pretty much removed from all major aspects of the offense. This was not because he did not have the talent to be a quality receiver, the Rams just became a more run-focused offense especially with Jared Goff at the helm.

Now he is with the Dallas Cowboys looking to prove that he is more than just a gadget player and so far he has done just that. If Austin could somehow have a similar season as his 2015 performance the Cowboys will have gotten exactly what they wanted out of adding the former Ram to the roster.

Prescott has a lot more talent and awareness than Foles or Keenum so he should give Austin the best chance at having one of the most memorable seasons of his career. At first, I was skeptical of just how much Tavon could help this offense succeed but after seeing the way he has performed during OTA’s and training camp I can easily say he will be one of the most exciting and productive players on this roster.

dark. Next. Dallas Cowboys: Three players who have impressed during training camp

Expect Austin to be a major focal point for the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2018.

  • Published on 08/06/2018 at 19:00 PM
  • Last updated at 08/06/2018 at 06:52 AM