Just three games into the 2022 NFL season, KaVontae Turpin, the 2021 USFL MVP, is already making his mark in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. While he’s still waiting for more of an opportunity to prove his worth offensively with the Cowboys, he’s already established himself as one of the leagues top return men.
As things stand right now, Turpin is currently seventh in the league in punt return yards (65) with the third-highest average per attempt at 16.25 yards. He’s accomplished all of that on a total of just four punt returns, two of which he was a shoestring tackle away from taking it to the house in back-to-back games against the Bengals and Giants.
Cowboys returner KaVontae Turpin was nearly off to the races last Sunday. Within locker room, there is a strong belief that a Turpin return touchdown is just a matter of time. "It's coming soon." Story: https://t.co/Lhk24sxcXn pic.twitter.com/xi1y63EDrQ— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 24, 2022
It seems like it’s just a matter of time until Turpin returns a punt, or maybe even a kickoff, for a touchdown. After all, we’ve already seen him return a kickoff and punt for touchdowns in the same game in preseason against the Chargers. But, when and where that ends up happening is something we’ll have to wait and find out.
Based on his special teams ability alone, the former USFL MVP is already making the Cowboys look good by signing him this offseason. But believe it or not, there’s more to No. 9’s game than just his return ability. He’s also proven to be quite dangerous as a versatile offensive weapon during his time in the USFL.
As a member of the New Jersey Generals, Turpin accumulated 921 all-purpose yards, 540 yards receiving on 44 receptions with another 129 yards on the ground. He also averaged 22.7 yards on three kick return attempts and 15.3 yards on 12 punt returns. That versatility made him one of the more dangerous players in the USFL last year.
While the Dallas Cowboys are already benefiting from his game-changing ability on special teams in the return game, they have yet to really find a role for him or give him much of an opportunity to prove himself on the offensive side of the ball. That, however, could change sometime soon.
The 2022 season is still young and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is still trying to find his way as a play-caller this year. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him find some way to utilize Turpin’s unique versatility as either a traditional receiver in the passing game or as a gadget player on trick plays.
Turpin is just too dangerous with the ball in his hands with green grass in front of him not to get more involved offensively at some point this season. Don’t be surprise at all if we see him start getting worked into the game plan in the not-too-distant future because his speed and elusiveness could add an entirely different element to the Dallas offense.