Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch lands at the Star via helicopter
It was an interesting scene Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium when the Dallas Cowboys trade with the Los Angeles Rams for wide receiver Tavon Austin was announced.
The Cowboys fans were clapping and cheering.
The Rams fans were clapping and cheering.
Something doesn't look right here.
Who is Tavon Austin?
First, the Cowboys gave up a sixth-round pick to acquire the 5-foot-9, 174-pound speed receiver. The five-year veteran from West Virginia has 24 career touchdowns in a variety of ways. He has 12 receiving touchdowns, nine rushing touchdowns and three punt return touchdowns.
However, he had 158 carries for 270 yards and one touchdown and 13 catches for 47 yards and no touchdowns last season.
So why would both sides be happy?
"The way I see it, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. We didn’t get what we thought we’d get out of Tavon. Hopefully it helps turn his career around and help Dallas get a wide receiver we thought we were getting," said Thomas Avants. "I like him a lot. We were cheering because we unloaded that salary and got that extra pick. I think it’s a win-win right now for both teams. We spend time with him at training camp and have talked to him all the time. He’s a nice kid and I hope he does well. I don’t want to see anyone do badly"
Austin, the former Mountaineers standout, was the eighth overall pick of the Rams (when they were in St. Louis) in 2013.
"I wasn’t really cheering, but I understand why they were," said Vinnie Perricelli, who was wearing a Todd Gurley Rams jersey. "On our offense, Tavon was about the fourth or fifth option, and given the contract extension he was given two years ago during the Hard Knocks season, it’s a good move for us to clear cap space. We've got Aaron Donald to sign and if Ndamukong Suh has a good season, I’d like to see him stick around. We have people to pay. Todd Gurley is coming up soon too, so I understand their perspective."
Austin is still a young receiver and his speed is undisputed. The Cowboys traded receiver/punt returner Ryan Switzer to the Raiders for defensive tackle Jihad Ward Saturday evening. At minimum, Austin is the Cowboys' new punt returner.
"I love the trade because for the Rams, they already have a ton of weapons, and they’ve proven that Tavon really hasn’t taken it to that level that they want Tavon to play at so he probably needs a new start somewhere else. They picked up another pick and could’ve picked up something better than the sixth round, but whatever," said Corey Bernstein, who lives in Dallas, but was weairng a Jack Youngblood Rams jersey. "I love it for the Cowboys because now we’re loaded at wide receiver – maybe not incredible receivers, but at least enough to compete. If this rookie tight end can block a little, we can say we’re running with Zeke and throwing it to a bunch of receivers. And it’s another weapon on special teams, so it’s a big thing and I’m really happy with trade."