The collective world of Cowboys fans everywhere was a little bit shook last Saturday afternoon when the team traded away one of its second-year players in Ryan Switzer.
Dallas flipped the wide receiver (we’ll get to that in a second) to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for defensive tackle Jihad Ward. Part of the reason they were able to do this was a trade earlier in the day that netted them Rams wideout Tavon Austin.
The Cowboys view Tavon Austin as a running back, they even have him listed as one on their official team website. Seriously.
If Tavon Austin is a running back and he’s theoretically replacing Ryan Switzer (also rocking the same jersey number), does that mean the Cowboys viewed Switzer himself as a running back?
In an interview with 247’s Patrik Walker, Ryan Switzer elaborated on his departure from Dallas. He also tried to explain how he thinks the Cowboys may have viewed him.
The more I think on it, I think that they had a different plan for me than what I was capable of doing. I don’t know. Looking back I had two or three rushes in the NFL before receptions and I was taking reps at running back at times. I don’t know if were trying to use me as like a scat-back or what. There was a lot of talk about my high school days and being a RB and I don’t think I ever fit that mold as a change-of-pace back or someone with slide sweeps and carries. I don’t know if that’s the plan they had for me [because] it was never spoken, but when I try to piece these things together -- that’s kind of what I’m thinking. ...I think that had a little bit to do with it because I can’t really think of anything else.
It’s an interesting point to note that Switzer did have career rushes before receptions, the writing was on the wall in neon colors that the team wanted him to be a better version of what they had in Lucky Whitehead.
Ryan Switzer was targeted seven times in the passing game last season. Among players that actually received any targets in 2017 there are only two Cowboys with less, Keith Smith and Geoff Swaim.
Perhaps the Raiders will utilize Switzer more as a wide receiver than the Cowboys did. It shouldn’t be difficult to surpass seven targets. All the best to Ryan in his new home.