The Dallas Cowboys face some big questions heading into the 2018 season. On the offensive side of the ball, that question is undoubtedly the wide receiver position. Gone are Dez Bryant, Brice Butler, and Ryan Switzer. In comes Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Deonte Thompson, and Tavon Austin. The latter of the new guys quietly could be the most important.
The trade acquisition of Tavon Austin on draft day brought wide eyes to the fan base. Austin a former top 12 pick known for his blazing speed, fizzled out with the Rams under their new head coach Scott McVay. Many wondered if McVay couldn’t find a consistent use for Austin how could Scott Linehan – whose offense was coming off a dismal second half of the season.
However, coming out of camp and into the season the 5-year veteran has separated himself as the leader of the wide receiver group. His speed and quickness have been on display. His downfield ability has even shown up as evidenced by the video below. Austin may also have the biggest chip on his shoulder.
Austin’s swiss army knife likeability opens him up to be used all over the field. From outside the numbers, to in the slot and even in the backfield. He is at his best in the open field, right up there with anyone in the league. If you give Austin an inch he can take a mile. Given his stature, he isn’t one that will see many downfield passes. Although he leads the team in 30+ yard touchdowns over his career with nine, most of that has come from underneath routes and or return touchdowns. Further proof of his elite explosiveness.
With each receiver bringing something different to the table and no one true go-to guy, it would not shock me to see Austin by years end being the teams top player at the position. He doesn’t necessarily have to lead the team in yards or even catches, but Austin could once again separate himself, as being the most effective and explosive of the group. Linehan has kept him and the offense in general under wraps the last few preseason games. That could end up playing into Austin’s favor as no one knows how he will be utilized.
“The way our style of play and people not knowing what they have ahead of them.” Tavon Austin
If Austin can provide that explosive sparkplug to counter Elliot out of the backfield, that may just open up a part of the offense we have yet to see. The million dollar question is can Scott Linehan make it happen?
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