The Dallas Cowboys have been fighting through a lot of issues on offense. Now that the offensive line is settling in, the players around Dak Prescott are finally getting opportunities to showcase what they are capable of, growing into true assets on that end.
Right now, they still do not have any kind of number one wide receivers. Prescott has done a solid job of looking for different options in the passing game, but no one has really taken over and separated themselves.
The volume is still not there, largely because there is no volume in the passing game at all. That being said, the Cowboys are discovering just how versatile he can be and that is forcing defenses to change their approach.
Austin is a player that the Cowboys know they can move around, to try and help manipulate matchups for other weapons. Austin is showing that if he is not respected by defenses he will burn them, and the moment he gets that respect everything gets easier for the players around him.
The Cowboys love to move Austin around, getting him in the backfield and looking for space and blockers in the passing game. On top of everything, we have seen him get deep separation with his speed and blow the top off a defense.
With the way the Cowboys function on offense, it will be hard to expect consistent production from Austin. What they need from him now, however, is to help create more space for the others around him. Even if the production is not coming at all times, the defense needs to be paying attention to where he is on the field, and respect the kind of plays he can make.
As the season goes on, he should become more and more involved. This offense is largely undefined in many different areas, but getting another reliable weapon can make all the difference.
Austin can also be the exact kind of utility weapon that Prescott needs. He is doing more with his deep ball, but he needs quick and easy options to find a rhythm and get consistency in the passing game.
Austin is the exact kind of receiver that can turn easy completions into big plays, and take a tremendous amount of pressure off of Prescott. The Cowboys have a long ways to go before they discover everything all their young talent can do, but Austin is clearly the closest right now.
The coaches have shown a willingness to adapt so far, and that means the more effective Austin is the more opportunities he will get. Everyone knows that Elliot will be getting all he touches he can handle. After him, however, Austin is becoming the kind of player that needs to be involved in every single drive.
When you add on a potential impact in the return game, Austin can add another level of explosiveness that would otherwise be impossible for this Cowboys offense.
It will be interesting to see how well he holds up, and whether or not he and Prescott can develop the kind of relationship that will make him a clear number one passing option.
For now, it will be fun to see how many different ways the Cowboys are able to use Austin, and the offensive line is playing in a way that will make sure he gets chances in space, where he can do the most damage for this team.
Austin is the one option that looks like he can take pressure off Elliot and Prescott, because it was clear that just the two of them will not be able to carry a reliable and consistent offense without more help.
The season is young, and Austin is yet to prove he can consistently produce on the football field. This opportunity on the Cowboys, however, might be the best position he has been in to showcase the kind of damage he can do, and how important he can be to a team that desperately needs more weapons.