I don’t want to hear the word vanilla for this Dallas offense. Yes Steven Jones talked up 15 touches a game which was never going to happen, but Tavon Austin was shaking things up in Jason Garretts “vanilla” offense. The Dallas Cowboys are 3-4 and while Austin hasn’t necessarily set the world on fire, his big-play ability is just enough to make the difference in a team fighting for the playoffs.
No, he’s not Antonio Brown. Nope, not DeAndre Hopkins either. But Tavon Austin has a package and gives defenses something to think about every play. If you think you know if they are giving it to him or faking it to him on a jet sweep then you can see into the future. Austin has made some nice plays and the threat of those big plays on jet sweeps and reverses are enough to keep defenses guessing and on their heels. Don’t forget he is also a burner with 4.3 speed and can get behind defenses too.
Austin has lined up all over the field. He’s been in the slot, out wide, and even in the backfield occasionally. The last thing a defense wants is to match up a slower linebacker on Austin in open space. He is a matchup problem and this team needs all the help they can get to keep putting up points on the scoreboard.
Austin has been one of the few players giving the offense chunk plays. Versus the Giants, he hauled in a 64 yard Td reception and also added a 15-yard run. Austin also had an 18 yard run against the Seahawks and a 44-yard reception at Houston. These chunk plays are crucial to a team that is being carried by their defense and struggling to keep the chains moving.
Austin also opens things up for other players because of his playmaking ability. Against Houston, the Cowboys faked it to Austin on a jet sweep near the goal line which was just enough to freeze the defender. Dak hit Allen Hurns who was wide open in the back of the end zone for six.
Austin is out with an injured groin and while the Cowboys went into the season knowing they would use a receiver by committee of sorts, he was the much-needed wrinkle the passing offense needed. But the Boys just traded for Amari Cooper and rookie receiver Michael Gallup has progressed. Cole Beasley’s got his sauce back and once Tavon Austin gets healthy, this team might be good enough for a shot at the NFC East Championship and a playoff run.
Now you know Broe @broeham