Tavon Austin on Dallas Cowboys role: 'I'm a playmaker'

When the Dallas Cowboys acquired Tavon Austin from the Los Angeles Rams, the team immediately define him as a "web back" who they hope could fill the vacant Lance Dunbar role.

Austin is labeled as a running back on the roster sheet but spends time during organized team activities in the wide receiver's room. The former first-round pick brushed off questions trying to define his role in 2018.

"I don't care what I'm being called as long as I'm playing, that's all that matters," Austin said, via the Dallas Morning News. "You can call me anything you want as long as I'm playing."

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones put an outlandish goal of getting Austin between 12 and 24 touches per game. That outsized target range would be miles ahead of the "Lance Dunbar role" -- Dunbar's career-high in touches for a season in Dallas was 47.

Last year in Sean McVay's offense, Austin touched the ball an average of 4.23 times per game, including a goose egg in the Rams' playoffs loss. Of his 72 touches in 2017, just 13 came in the passing game. If an offensive mind like McVay couldn't figure out a way to use Austin, it's fair to wonder if the Cowboys will have success in that endeavor.

The 28-year-old is set to return punts for Dallas and could be used on kick returns. Austin is willing to play any role that gets the ball in his hands so he can finally show off the talent that got him drafted eighth overall in 2013.

"At the end of the day, I'm a playmaker," Austin said. "That's how I describe myself. I don't really care where I'm at on the field. I just want the ball and a little bit of space and let me create and I'm going from there...

"An athlete who creates, the thing I did my whole life. I'm cool with it, running back, receiver, punt returner, it really doesn't make a difference to me. I just definitely want my opportunity to get the ball in my hands and get a little bit of space and do what I do best."

Thus far, no coach has unlocked the secret to utilizing Austin's strengths in a consistent, productive manner. In Dallas' revamped offense there are plenty of touches up for grabs. Whether Austin warrants a large chunk remains to be seen.