Just about every July and August we see the same story play out at Dallas Cowboys training camp. A wide receiver strings together a few good practices, makes one or two “Twitter-worthy” plays, and flashes at the Blue-White Scrimmage.
Then, Cowboys Twitter jumps into action, falling over themselves to claim credit for finding the receiver and suggesting he could be a sleeper to watch during the season. Then by the time week one comes around, we've all forgotten about said receiver.
During 2018 Cowboys training camp, the ultimate hype train has already left the station, one known to move so fast at times due to dazzling highlight reels dating all the way back to his high school days. This train, of course, is in support of Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin.
The former first round pick of the Rams has had a rocky start to his NFL career, riddled with misuse and inconsistency. The Cowboys sent a sixth round draft pick to Los Angeles in exchange for Austin, deciding to take a flier on the electrifying talent he clearly possesses.
So far in the NFL, however, that talent hasn't resulted in much production. Coaches have struggled to find a permanent role for Tavon Austin within their offense, delegating him to become a gadget player who often doesn't see many snaps per game.
It's possible that the Cowboys can crack the Tavon Austin code, though many fans may consider it unlikely. Still, Tavon Austin is off to a fantastic start in training camp, and the hype heading into the preseason opener is real.
Best play of training camp: Tavon Austin pic.twitter.com/SOP8Trdvlp
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 6, 2018
During practice yesterday, Tavon Austin made what many are calling the play of training camp, going up over the defender and snagging the ball from him. Typically thought of as a slot or hybrid type player, it's exciting yet strange to see Tavon Austin win vertically like he does here.
But according to those close to training camp, Dak Prescott and Austin have connected vertically on a few separate occasions. Considering his pure speed, Austin being used as a deep threat could be dangerous for opposing defenses.
The problem is, we simply haven't seen him produce in that role thus far in the NFL. That doesn't mean it isn't possible, but it is certainly fair to be skeptical.
Still, I am with the rest of Cowboys Nation in feeling excited to see what Tavon Austin can do within the Cowboys offense this season.