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Cowboys expect a big increase in production from Tavon Austin

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08: Tavon Austin #11 of the Los Angeles Rams runs with the ball to make a touchdown during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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The Cowboys have indicated that they expect to use newly arrived runner/receiver/returner Tavon Austin as the web back in their offense, and have compared the role he can play to the role running back Lance Dunbar previously filled. But just how much can the Cowboys realistically expect to get out of Austin, after his time with the Rams fell short of expectations?

According to Cowboys Executive VP Stephen Jones, the Cowboys will get a lot: Jones said Austin will get 12 to 24 touches a game on offense.

“I think we can get him the ball -- I don’t want to speak for Jason, but I think we can get him the ball a dozen, twenty, two dozen times a game. And then you throw the return game on top of it and I think it’s somebody we can really utilize,” Jones said, via Josh Norris.

A dozen offensive touches a game would be unexpected for Austin, while two dozen a game would be impossible. The most touches Austin ever had in a season in his five years with the Rams was 104, which is an average of 6.5 touches a game.

A dozen touches a game would be 192 in a 16-game season, far more than Austin has ever had in the NFL. Two dozen touches a game would be 384 in a season, which is more than any player other than Le’Veon Bell had in the NFL last season.

Jones is overly optimistic if he expects production like that from Austin. Of course, given that the Rams used the eighth overall pick on Austin in 2013 and then signed him to a four-year, $42 million contract extension in 2016, Austin has some experience with teams being overly optimistic about him.