The Dallas Cowboys added another wide receiver via free agency, but it isn’t a splash big name that you may have been hoping for. However, the player Dallas has just signed is known for making splash plays both in the Big-12 and, most recently, the USFL. The player we are talking about is former TCU standout and reigning USFL MVP KaVontae Turpin. Turpin recently had a workout with the team and they obviously liked what they saw by signing him to a three-year contract.
From 2015 to 2018, Turpin played just a short drive from where the Dallas Cowboys call home. During his time with the Horned Frogs, Turpin made an impact in three different areas of the game by handling running back duties, wide receiver duties, as well as special teams duties.
The reason Turpin played in so many different facets of the game was due to his game-breaking speed. He possesses a 4.31 40-yard dash time, which is blazing fast. So fast, in fact, that there are not many players in the NFL currently with that kind of pure speed. Right out of the gate, Turpin instantly has become one of the fastest players in the NFL.
That type of speed makes him very hard to catch in the open field as you will see in the highlight reel below.
Not only is he fast, but he is very shifty and is very hard to catch once he sticks his foot in the ground.
Going by his career stats in college, he got yards in various ways. On the receiving end, he caught 145 passes for 1,748 yards and 13 touchdowns. In the ground game, he carried the ball 44 times for 318 yards and two touchdowns. Last, but not least, he had 123 returns for 2,726 yards and six touchdowns. In the history of the Big-12 conference, Turpin ranks fifth all-time in punt return touchdowns, which is ahead of two former Dallas Cowboys you may have heard of, Terence Newman and Dez Bryant.
With his game-breaking ability, one would think that the organization was keeping tabs on him. But in an awful turn of events during his senior season at TCU, Turpin assaulted his girlfriend and was later sentenced to two years probation for the incident. He was kicked off the TCU football team and went undrafted. That led him to not playing competitive football until playing for the Sea Lions of The Spring League in 2021. During his time with the Sea Lions, he was tied for the league lead in touchdowns.
After playing one season in The Spring League, Turpin then played in the European League of Football for Wroclaw. In five games for the Panthers, Turpin scored seven total touchdowns while also tallying 32 receptions for 374 yards.
In the most recent trip in his professional football journey, Turpin found himself playing for the USFL as a part of the New Jersey Generals. During the 2022 season, it was very apparent that he had future NFL player written all over him. During the ten game season, he led the league in receiving yards, yards after catch, kick and punt return average, as well as tallying up 11 total touchdowns from scrimmage. As you can see from this highlight reel below, he is the best player on the field:
Although Turpin has been off the radar to many since he was kicked off the TCU football team in 2018, he hasn’t given up on his dream to play in the NFL. He has been well traveled recently, and has continued to work on his craft. Turpin could play a big role for the Cowboys this upcoming season because he is very much a utility player. Although he is slight of frame as he is listed at 5’9” and shade under a 160 pounds, he can play wide receiver, running back, and return kicks as well as punts. Being on the smaller side certainly makes him more vulnerable to injury, but if Dallas can utilize him properly, he can certainly be a difference-maker.
The return game is where he more than likely will make his biggest contribution, and utilizing him as a return specialist keeps CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard away from the special teams unit which will help keep them healthier and fresher on offense. Keeping Pollard and Lamb away from special teams alone could truly make Turpin’s role on the team indispensable. It is going to be interesting to see what happens to Turpin as he gets one step closer to playing meaningful games in the National Football League. This is a second chance Turpin may not have expected, but he is going to try and make the most of it.