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Cowboys training camp: KaVontae Turpin (technically) is the undrafted star of the day

Last year’s return specialist for the Cowboys is in the running for something more in the 2023 season.

Syndication: Ventura County Star JUAN CARLO/THE STAR / USA TODAY NETWORK

While the weather back home in Texas has been scorching, things are heating up for the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard. On Tuesday, the defense and offense exchanged highlights and a few words. After running the ball on a scramble, Dak Prescott got into some competitive banter with Trevon Diggs. It’s just a part of the game and establishing a rugged mindset.

Meanwhile, first-round pick Mazi Smith showed his strength and overwhelming power, bulldozing offensive linemen who stood in his way. Micah Parsons also flashed his next-level potential, getting past Chuma Edoga before knifing into the background to bring pressure on Dak Prescott. Prescott also showed his passing prowess. In head coach Mike McCarthy’s “Mojo moments,” the offense went a perfect five-for-five, and Prescott was surgical. He identified coverages and got the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

For today’s undrafted stock watch, we take a different path and highlight an undrafted player that has come a long way, and with much more to prove.

KaVontae Turpin, Wide receiver

Days featured on the series: 1

For starters, happy birthday. KaVontae Turpin turns 27 today, but he has no time for cake and candles. He’s been hard at work trying to impress the coaches. The training camp Turpin has had so far deserves more attention, which is due to what he has shown outside of being a return specialist.

Turpin lands himself on this undrafted series through a technicality but for good reason. For the unfamiliar fans, Turpin came to the Cowboys last summer after being named the 2022 MVP of the USFL and going undrafted out of TCU in 2019. Used primarily on special teams, Turpin was outstanding for the Cowboys in his first year. Last year, he averaged 24.2 yards per kick return, with his longest return being 63 yards. For his rookie performance, Turpin earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

This year Turpin wanted to take on a more significant role within the offense. So far, he has done just that. Turpin has shown that he can separate from defenders coming out of his breaks and demonstrated exceptional hands. Turpin was a handful at Tuesday’s practice.

“Speaking of Turpin, while Diggs got the best of him on that particular play — a crossing route in the end zone, the speedy wideout otherwise had arguably the most impressive day outside of Brandin Cooks and CeeDee Lamb. Turpin was decisive, shifty and flat-out quick in his routes, giving hell to every DB not named Diggs. He’s vying heavily for an offensive role in 2023.”

Little known fact, yesterday’s undrafted star of the day, Brandon Aubrey, was teammates with Turpin in 2022 playing on the Birmingham Stallion in the USFL. The latter is racing past the secondary and up the depth chart with performances like he had on Tuesday.

Play of the day:

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