The Dallas Cowboys put together an interesting 2018 NFL Draft. Not only did they draft new young players, they also were aggressive on the veteran trade market. Rumors were flying about the Cowboys trying to acquire Earl Thomas from the Seattle Seahawks, but Jerry Jones and company made another trade that could end up being a big move for the franchise.
As ESPN reported, the Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for wide receiver Tavon Austin. It was a trade that shocked the league a bit, but one that the Cowboys definitely needed to make.
Last season with the Rams, Austin struggled to find a role. He caught just 13 passes for 47 yards on the season. Austin did rush for 53 yards on 12 carries as well.
Those numbers were a huge bump down from the 509 yards and three touchdowns through the air that Austin had in 2016. Los Angeles simply didn’t have a place for Austin to fit in. That led to the decision to go ahead and move on from the wide receiver that was drafted with the No. 8 overall pick back in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Dallas, on the other hand, was in need of some help at the wide receiver position. After cutting former superstar receiver Dez Bryant, the Cowboys needed more playmaking for Dak Prescott. Austin may not have shown star ability, but there is no denying that his speed and quickness will give Jason Garrett some options.
Austin isn’t going to make a superstar style impact for the Cowboys. Standing in at 5-foot-8, Austin is more of a deep threat or slot wide receiver. Dallas will likely use Austin across the middle of the field or in screen plays, although he might be used down the field as well in certain situations.
All of that being said, what can the Cowboys expect from Austin this coming season?
Quite simply, he is going to be a jack of all trades type of receiver. Prescott will be able to throw him short passes and watch him run with them. Dallas will also likely use Austin out of the backfield at times.
Without Bryant and possibly even Jason Witten, who is considering retirement for the broadcast booth, the Cowboys will need more weapons for Prescott. Austin may not be the star that many thought he’d be when he entered the NFL back in 2013, but he does have the opportunity to become a major playmaker for the Cowboys in 2018.
At 28 years of age, Austin has a fresh start and a chance to prove that the Rams did not know how to use him. He has been viewed as overrated throughout the majority of his career and the last few years have not helped that perception. Dallas fans shouldn’t expect him to catch 80 passes or exceed the 1,000-yard mark, but they should expect multiple big plays and a much bigger season than he has had the last few.
Expect to see the Cowboys end up winning this trade. Austin is going to be a nice weapon for the Cowboys and will begin turning his reputation around after a rough tenure with the Rams.