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Tavon Austin’s Return Should Make Cowboys Offense More Dangerous

Brian Martin

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Will Tavon Austin Make Cowboys Offense More Dangerous Upon Return?

If you need a reason to get more excited about the direction the Dallas Cowboys offense is going, then look no further than the inevitable return of Tavon Austin. He has supposedly rejoined practice on a limited basis, which means we could see him back in action sooner rather than later.

We unfortunately haven't seen Tavon Austin on the field since Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he sustained a pretty serious groin injury. He opted for rest instead of surgery for the chance to suit up once again with the Cowboys this season and it's looking like he could do just that as early as this week against the Indianapolis Colts.

I don't know where you stand, but I truly believe Austin can make the Cowboys offense even better. What his offensive role be upon his return is unknown at this point, but he brings an entirely different element to the table than any other playmaker Quarterback Dak Prescott has at his disposal.

Tavon Austin's game is all about speed. The Dallas Cowboys don't currently have a player with his kind of game changing ability, although Wide Receiver Amari Cooper's current play makes that a rather weak statement. But regardless, even Cooper can't do some of the things Austin can bring to the Cowboys offense.

Tavon Austin

Dallas Cowboys RB/WR Tavon Austin

Tavon Austin isn't a prototypical wide receiver or running back, although he is dangerous playing either position. He is best described as a "gimmicky" playmaker, who is at his most dangerous when he can get the ball in the open field. Any time that happens he's not only going to pick up some chunk yards, but threaten the end zone just about every time as well.

Offensively, the Cowboys were using Austin as their deep threat in the passing game and as their motion player on jet sweeps and reverses as well. Before his injury he was averaging 18.6 yards per reception and 9.2 yards per rushing attempt. It was a small sample size, but something the Cowboys would gladly welcome back into their game plan.

You see, it's his ability to stretch the field both vertically and horizontally that would benefit the Cowboys offense the most. It forces opposing defenses to cover the entire field because of his ability to go deep in the passing game and capture the corner on those jets sweeps and end around's. It's tough for defenses to guard against.

Just having Tavon Austin back on the field is threat enough to help the Cowboys offensively. Opposing defenses have to play more disciplined so that they don't get burned deep or around the edge. That's a huge advantage for Dallas and their playmakers.

No longer will defensive ends crash down in the hopes of containing Ezekiel Elliott in the running game. That could be all the difference Zeke needs to break a long run. The same can be said in the passing game as well. Austin's ability to get deep means extra attention devoted his way, creating an opportunity for someone else.

I'm personally really excited about Tavon Austin's return and how it should impact the Cowboys offense moving forward. What do you think?

Do you think Tavon Austin will make the Dallas Cowboys offense better?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ethan Chazin

    December 12, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Austin can’t be a game changer if he isn’t in he field so it sure would be nice to see him get back ON the field and do something to contribute. 99% of productivity is availability, right?

  2. DevilDog58

    December 12, 2018 at 8:05 am

    And it all depends on Linehan. How will he employ Austin’s playmaking ability? Using him on sweeps, reverses, as a wide out or how about something we haven’t seen in a long time in Dallas; as a dangerous punt/kickoff returner? Another thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen Linehan utilize is the old flea flicker. Of course that play depends on how well the OL blocks since it takes time to develop. Whatever, as long as he gets Austin the ball in open space. Should be interesting to see.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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Dallas Cowboys

Breaking: Scott Linehan and Dallas Cowboys Part Ways

John Williams

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Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan have mutually agreed to part ways following a tumultuous season that saw the Dallas Cowboys offense finish outside the top 12 three out of his four seasons in Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Sources: The #Cowboys are firing OC Scott Linehan. Taking their offense in a new direction. An announcement is coming.

Scott Linehan was brought in prior to the 2015 season and saw his offenses finish 31st, fifth, 14th, and 22nd in his four years as the Cowboys play caller. The 2015 season can be excused as the Cowboys rolled out Kellen Moore, Matt Cassell, and Brandon Weeden for 13 starts after Tony Romo was injured twice during the season, but the team 2-11 in those 13 starts and the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs despite a strong performance on the defensive side of the football.

The Cowboys saw an offense that finished fifth in the NFL in points in 2016 decline each of the last two offseasons and Linehan has been continually criticized by analysts, fans, and players as well.

Many believe that the reason that Dez Bryant and Brice Butler weren't brought back in the offseason was because of the public criticism of the offense and the play caller instilling the offense and that criticism has carried over to this season when Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper acknowledged that the Philadelphia Eagles were sitting on the slant routes that they had run all game. Dak mentioned that he changed Amari's route to a go route, which led to a 75 yard touchdown that helped open up the offense.

Cole Beasley has been frustrated with his role for much of the season and deservedly so. He was often non-existent in the offensive game plan until the final five minutes of football games.

In the running game, the offense had become too predictable and reliant upon jumbo formations that led to Ezekiel Elliott having to run against eight in the box anywhere from 25-30% of the time. For perspective, Todd Gurley only ran against eight-man fronts around eight percent of the time. Scott Linehan never looked to attempt to take players out of the box, instead insisting on motioning more players into the box for the offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to run against. It's amazing when you think about it, that Ezekiel Elliott was able to win the rushing title when facing loaded fronts as often as he did.

This was a move that needed to happen and the Dallas Cowboys didn't need to waste anymore time to make it happen. The offense had become stale and frustrating for the players as well as the fans. While Jason Garrett started the offseason saying he "didn't expect any changes," this was a move that absolutely had to happen for the offense to take a step forward. Below, you can read Jason Garrett's announcement on the move.

Mike Garafolo on Twitter

Cowboys have fired Scott Linehan

Even after the move for Amari Cooper, the offense looked better, but it still struggled at times to move the football.

The Cowboys have a young team with especially young players on the offensive side of the football. They have a quarterback who can throw from the pocket, but has excellent movement skills and capabilities of throwing the ball on the run. He's an excellent runner on designed runs. Despite us knowing all that, Scott Linehan looked reluctant to use him on designed quarterback runs that weren't read options or speed options. What you saw on designed runs in the Seattle game is what this team should be doing five times a game.

Now the question becomes, who should the Cowboys next offensive coordinator be? Our own, Staff Writer Brian Martin, laid out 5 Options to be the Next Offensive Coordinator earlier this week. I suggest you give it a read.



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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