Coming out of North Carolina back in 2011, Marvin Austin was a second round pick of the New York Giants. As a rookie he missed the entire season due to a torn pectoral muscle but he returned in 2012 to play in eight games for the G-men. Among the final cuts from the Giants training camp in 2013, Austin was signed by the Dolphins in September. While in Miami, he appeared in two games for the 'Phins before being released a week ago. According to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, Marvin Austin is a player whom Dallas has had its eye on since his days as a Tarheel.
"Had we been running the 4-3, we had him as a second-round type of talent. Rod [Marinelli], evidently at Chicago, worked him out as well. And they had him high on their board. We’re going to give the guy a shot here... If he comes in here and buys into what Rod’s doing, he can certainly help us out." - Stephen Jones
Widely believed to be a top ten talent Austin fell in the draft due to character concerns. He was one of the eight North Carolina players who suffered disciplinary action for receiving improper benefits during his time in Chapel Hill. Since then he has bounced around the NFL just a bit and never regained the form that his collegiate play indicated that he was capable of. According to David Helman, over at the mothership, most of Marvin's issues appear to be of a "motivational nature." As Helman concluded, right now there doesn't seem to be anyone better at providing some motivation for that type of player than defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. As Rowan Kavner added, Dallas sees an opportunity to squeeze out the talent from what appears to have been a wasted draft pick for another franchise. Considering the success that Dallas has experienced with guys like Drake Nevis and George Selvie; given a man with obvious talent, the Cowboys have a decent chance of finding lightning in a bottle if Marinelli can work his magic one more time.
Signing Austin has been a departure from the norm for the Dallas Cowboys. In all honesty, Marvin Austin could have WKG written all over him. Garrett wants players who have a burning desire to play football, and according to some, that might be an issue for for the latest player to join the rushmen but the Cowboys are willing to gamble that perhaps after experiencing the possibility of being out of the game for good, Marvin Austin's fire for the game can be rekindled. Head coach Jason Garrett knows that in the current situation, the Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to be overly choosy when there is some decent defensive line talent available.
"You want to give a guy a blank slate when he comes in, and hopefully the environment you create for him brings out the best in him. We’re in a situation where we have to cast the net a little bit wide." - Jason Garrett on the Marvin Austin signing
The Cowboys know that they are taking a chance on potential but don't think for a minute Austin will get away with not giving 100% at the Ranch. Blank slates only extend so far and Marinelli has already laid down the law with Austin.
"Rod actually wanted to draft him in the second round at Chicago and Austin was coming out," [Jerry] Jones said. "They were both proud to be able to hook up. Rod said, "The big thing is, he’s got unquestionable talent. Now the question is, will he come in and be a part of this unit. Rod told him, ‘unless you abide by these rules, you’re not going to mess my unit up. We’ve got a good thing going here. We’re going to see if you can be a part of it or not. But if you’re ready to come in here, you’ve got the talent to really help us.’"