On Tuesday the Dallas Cowboys set their initial 53-man roster. While some minor changes are likely to be made, almost all the players on the roster Tuesday afternoon will be there when the regular season starts.
Today, we take a look at the bottom half of Dallas’ roster and find three players who could make an impact during the regular season.
1) Israel Mukuamu
Second-year safety Israel Mukuamu was one of Dallas’ most impressive defensive players in the preseason. The 22-year-old hauled in an interception in each of the Cowboys’ two final preseason games, showing his ability to make plays on the ball.
Strong start tonight for Cowboys second-year safety Israel Mukuamu. He’s been having a nice camp pic.twitter.com/0yrtMWh4wK— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 21, 2022
Cowboys safety Israel Mukuamu with the interception pic.twitter.com/SFjaxic9DY— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 27, 2022
While Mukuamu won’t start over veterans Jayron Kearse or Malik Hooker, his impressive preseason showing will likely earn him a chance to see the field at some point.
Hooker has struggled to consistently stay on the field during his five-year NFL career, so if he was to go down Mukuamu could be an option to replace him in the starting lineup. Regardless, safety is a position where multiple guys are going to get a chance to play, so we’re going to see Israel Mukuamu get a chance to make an impact at some point this year.
2) KaVontae Turpin
Not many players saw their stock rise more during the preseason than former USFL wideout KaVontae Turpin. The 26-year-old singlehandedly returned more kicks and punts for touchdowns than the rest of the NFL, taking two to the house in Dallas’ second preseason game against the Chargers.
Most Kick + Punt return TD this preseason— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) August 29, 2022
KaVontae Turpin 2
Every other NFL player combined 0 pic.twitter.com/pZ4XpSHmzU
Cowboys WR KaVontae Turpin scored two return touchdowns in five attempts this preseason. Rest of the NFL went 0-for-442. Final 53-man roster projection: https://t.co/aMZUHaUfH9 pic.twitter.com/v30AILm5Vq— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 29, 2022
While Turpin showed he can be an absolute weapon on special teams, the Cowboys will also utilize his rare skillset on offense. As you can see in the play below, even when Turpin looks dead to rights, he isn’t. He’s the type of player that every time the ball is in his hands he can make something special happen.
KaVontae Turpin was supposed to lose yards here, put this dude on offense.— Voch Lombardi (@VochLombardi) August 23, 2022
focus on when i pause the play pic.twitter.com/PJlFpWtjXM
The Cowboys have lacked a player on their offense with the kind of speed Turpin possesses for years. Think about what the Cowboys were able to do with Lucky Whitehead back in 2015 and 2016. Turpin can do all the things Whitehead did and more, and with the injuries to Michael Gallup and James Washington, Dallas is going to need to find ways to get the ball in Turpin’s hands.
Whether it’s on jet sweeps, wide receiver screens, or deep balls down the field, the Cowboys are going to incorporate KaVontae Turpin into their offense.
3) Peyton Hendershot
Undrafted free agent Peyton Hendershot was another guy who played himself onto the Cowboys roster with his preseason performance. The 24-year-old tight end really impressed in Dallas’ preseason finale, hauling in three receptions and scoring what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
Much like Turpin, Hendershot is a player the Cowboys will look to incorporate into their offensive to assist during Gallup and Washington’s absence. Hendershot has shown he can make things happen after the catch, and has a unique skill set that Kellen Moore and Dallas’ offensive coaching staff will try to find a way to use.