The Cowboys didn’t trade for Tavon Austin the receiver. They traded for Tavon Austin the web back.
The Cowboys plan to use Austin the way they used Lance Dunbar.
Dunbar had 94 rushes for 422 yards and a touchdown and caught 68 passes for 646 yards in 54 games with the Cowboys when he wasn’t injured.
“We’re talking about a web back here that is supersized in terms of how explosive he can be,” Stephen Jones said. “We intend to use him just as we’ve used Dunbar in the past. We feel like with Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] and Rod [Smith] that they fill their roles, and that Tavon can really do some special things for us in addition as well as being a nice threat in the return game.”
The Rams called the Cowboys on Thursday about a possible third-day trade for Austin. The Cowboys did their homework and came to the conclusion that Austin could add “juice” to their offense.
Dallas hopes to get Austin around 12 touches a game, Jones said.
“Obviously, he’s a really talented guy,’ Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He was the eighth player taken in the draft in 2013. Dynamic college football player. One of the issues for him has been his size and how you use him in the NFL. We probably see him as a guy who can be versatile for us. Stephen reference a web back, kind of a dynamic mismatch, running back out of the backfield. Obviously, he played slot. He’s a returner. And so what you try to do is you try to get the ball in his hands a number of different ways. When we played the Rams this year, they lined him up as a running back. They tried to hand it to him, to throw it to him throughout the year, and that’s what people have tried to do throughout his career. He’s certainly a dynamic guy, and we just felt like for the value he could come into our football team and help us, and add some explosiveness to our offense.”