Look out Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Malik Turner is looking to earn himself some more playing time and it could come at the expense of the Dallas Cowboys talented trio.
Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch considering Malik Turner is buried on the Cowboys depth chart behind arguably the best receiving trio in the entire league, but that doesn’t mean No. 17 won’t see an increase in offensive snaps moving forward. His impressive play in Week 16 against the Washington Football Team may have earned him that right.
The stat line will show three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in Week 16 for Malik Turner after playing just 13 offensive snaps, but it was his impressive 61-yard catch-and-run that turned a lot of heads, including Mike McCarthy’s.
#Cowboys' Mike McCarthy had fun with WR Malik Turner's 61-yard reception.— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) December 27, 2021
"I haven’t seen anybody make that many cutbacks since Marcus Allen in the Super Bowl. That was an incredible play and then he comes right back and makes another one."pic.twitter.com/0eVsZIdg1M
Anytime your head coach compares you to one of the all-time greats like Marcus Allen, you know you’re probably doing something right. The elusiveness Malik Turner showed on his 61-yard reception was pretty impressive, but so was the catch he capped off the drive with that ended with him celebrating in the end zone.
Malik Turner may have been denied the TD on his 61-yard reception, but he made sure that wasn’t going to happen the second time around. It was in pretty impressive to see him maintain his balance and fight his way across the goal line, and it’s plays like those that could earn him more opportunities to further prove himself moving forward.
To date, Turner has mainly been a special teams player with the Dallas Cowboys, playing 47.34% of the snaps compared to just 10.25% on offense. While 12 catches for 149 yards and three touchdowns is nothing to scoff at considering his lack of offensive snaps, it’s hardly anything to get too excited about either.
As such, it’s a bit of a stretch to believe he will steal many snaps away from the Cowboys talented trio, but it is good to know he’s more than capable of coming through when his number is called. While his status may not change much, if any, this year, things could change for him next season if he continues to prove himself when the opportunity arises.
With Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, and Noah Brown all on expiring contracts, the Cowboys will be looking for potential replacements in the offseason. That’s a topic best saved for another time, but for now it’s refreshing to know players can step up when needed like Malik Turner.