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Why KaVontae Turpin’s roster spot in Dallas is no longer in question

The Pro Bowl returner has elevated his game, especially on offense.

NFL: AUG 15 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It took a few preseason games to get him going on offense, but the Dallas Cowboys know what they have in KaVontae Turpin and will keep him around for the 2023 season. The Pro Bowl returner has shown the same explosive nature that got him on the team last year while adding new wrinkles to his game.

During the pregame show on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys sideline reporter Kristi Scales was asked about who would be suiting up for the final preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders and who wouldn’t.

She said wide receivers Jalen Tolbert and Turpin would not be playing in the game, almost effectively making them members of the 53-man roster.

Since February, when Turpin appeared on the Blogging the Boys 1st and 10 Podcast, he talked about giving the coaching staff “no choice” but to use him on offense. After the comments were made, fans were left wondering what type of role Turpin could have under Mike McCarthy, given he didn’t play much under Kellen Moore.

Turpin was coming off of a USFL MVP-season when he signed with Dallas last August. This offseason was the first time he had a chance to rest after joining the NFL and learn the playbook working alongside Dak Prescott.

His work with Prescott and McCarthy has certainly given them no choice but to use him in a variety of ways. In training camp, there have been times when Turpin lined up in the backfield as a running back and, on the same drive, would be catching a swing pass to the outside.

Showing out in practice is one thing, but the coaching staff needs to see the work translate to the game. Against the Seattle Seahawks, No. 9 showed he could be relied on in critical situations. As the Cowboys’ offense was driving down the field looking to score their first points, they found themselves in a 3rd and 6 situation at the Seahawks’ 28-yard line. Cooper Rush waited long enough for Turpin to get open across the middle of the field, where he elevated for the 11-yard reception to convert for the first down. Five plays later, the offense scores a touchdown.

Plays like that were not happening for Turpin in his first season with the Cowboys. It shows the growth and trust the coaching staff has gained in the young receiver.

With Turpin being the team’s primary return man, the coaches might not try to use him as a full-time wide receiver. However, everything he’s shown up to this point should indicate a clear plan for the “rocket ship” to be more prominent under McCarthy’s offense in 2023.

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