The Dallas Cowboys are planning to get the ball to Tavon Austin and utilize his skills much more than his previous team did.

After spending the first five seasons of his NFL career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Austin was traded to the Cowboys last month for a sixth-round draft pick.

Buffalo released Williams in early September 2017 and he quickly signed with the Broncos practice squad. The Saints continued to keep an eye on Williams based on previous scouting and eventually signed Williams away from the Broncos practice squad leading to Week 11 of the 2017 season.

That’s one of the reasons why we went ahead and signed him to our active roster, Payton said. We thought he had real good vision and balance.

With half a regular season and the entire offseason to absorb the Saints ‘ scheme, Williams should be ready if called upon. And Thomas, who coached Williams at Arkansas, believes the running back’s skill set translates well within the offensive scheme.

“I would be surprised if we don’t make some progress on this play,” McKay said. “The changes that you are going to look at will have a positive impact.”

So kickoffs received a reprieve for 2018, but it is clear the changes will have to make the play safer for kickoffs to remain a part of the game long term.

Watkins showed promise in Years 1 and 2, registering around 1,000 yards in each, but foot problems hindered his lauded speed and change-of-direction suddenness and, with turnover at quarterback, he never carved out a defined role.

Owners will vote on several significant changes to the kickoff at their May meetings as the league seeks to make the play safer.

Competition committee chairman Rich McKay said the changes, which came largely at the recommendation of special teams coaches who participated in the league’s two-day safety summit, would make kickoffs “much more of a punt play,” Kevin Seifert of ESPN reportsnike_colts_1362