With the 2018 season nearly here, one big question looming over the Cowboys this year is who will catch the football. With Jason Witten retiring and Dez Bryant cut, the opportunity for a new crop of pass catchers to emerge is here.
"It's all about buying in and just doing your job." (Tavon Austin, Cowboys WR)
Those are the words of a man expected to come in and carry a big part of the receiving load this season as Tavon Austin has made his way to the Cowboys. Austin has always looked the part of a player that could affect the game in a number of ways but his production hasn't exactly been there the past few years but that didn't stop the Cowboys from snatching him up as a free agent.
"Jerry Jones called me on the phone and told me how much he wanted me and told me he wanted to grab me when I first came out, so that kind of made me feel good about the situation that happened to me and I'm all smiles right now." (Austin)
austin isn't the only new face in the mix, as Dallas also brought in Allen Hurns along with rookie Michael Gallup that has shined so far including catching a touchdown in the team’s first preseason game.
"You might not know their names but that's what they want. They want to get out there and make those plays and let people know they can play at a high level. So it's a bunch of guys that have a lot to offer and can bring a lot to the team. When they are out there they are trying to take advantage of their reps and make each and every one of them count and it's exciting to see." (Dak Prescott, Cowboys QB)
it's not all about new faces though, back are Terrance Williams and fan favorite Cole Beasley and they are hoping a bit of a new philosophy at the position will do the team well.
"Moving guys around and not knowing what routes they are going to run in those spots, so I think that gives opposing teams a new challenge defending us and I think that will be good for us." (Cole Beasley, Cowboys WR)
Now comes the task of working each man into the rotation and creating that chemistry that every good quarterback receiver duo has but don't think it comes easily.
"It's something you have to get to and work on and continuously work on and that's what you'll see in practice and get some extra routes in after practice. It's an area of our game that we want to make sure is there and when you have new guys you need to develop that chemistry and we're going to work every day to get there." (Prescott)
While most around the sport will look at the big offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott, the pass catchers know they have to carry their weight as well to get this team back to the playoffs.
"I think people are expecting less from us just because it's a bunch of younger guys and there's no Dez Bryant or Jason Witten, so I think people just think we're going to run the ball, we are, but we've got to make plays in the passing game too or we won't be successful." (Beasley)
"When you get out here and just see the youthfulness we have, the young guys and the energy, we're just excited for what we're going to be." (Prescott)
Here is a look at the Cowboys first unofficial depth chart of the season. They list three receivers as being on the first team with Beasley, Williams and Hurns earning those spots. The second team three consists of Austin, Gallop and Lance Lenoir. Right now at the tight end spot it's Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin in that order.