Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll start the series with return specialist/wide receiver KaVontae Turpin.
What Worked: For starters, the decision to sign him Turpin in the first place is what worked the most. Give the Cowboys' front office and scouting department a lot of credit here, snagging him up after the USFL season ended and immediately putting him into training camp. From there, Turpin did the rest, shining in the preseason and then carrying it over to the season that ended in him making the NFC Pro Bowl roster as a return specialist.
Needs Some Work: The Cowboys still must figure out a way to use this weapon in more ways, particularly on offense. Turpin showed he can be a difference-maker in space, but it never really translated to the offense. There were a few reverses and fake-reverses here and there but nothing consistent. Some of that could be the fact Turpin was still trying to learn the system on the fly, coupled with the fact he had no offseason since he finished the USFL and went straight to the Cowboys. So the legs were getting a little heavy as the season went on.
His Best Work: It's not common to say that a player might have made the Pro Bowl, based off the preseason. But there's no doubt that Turpin's game against the Chargers on Aug. 20 played a big factor in the regular season. Anyone who returns both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in the same game, is going to get on the radar. When the regular season rolled around, we saw teams often kick either away from Turpin or at least high enough to warrant a fair catch. Turpin was able to prove that he is a true weapon in the return game, and that became evident in a preseason game.
Contract Consideration: The Cowboys were not only smart enough to sign Turpin after his MVP season in the USFL, but they gave him a three-year deal. Turpin still has two more seasons on his contract, counting $870,000 and then $985,000 the next two years.
What's Next: For one, maybe some rest for Turpin, whose season extended all the way to the Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas. Turpin should be fresh and ready for training camp. The Cowboys will likely try and incorporate Turpin into the offensive game plan a little more in 2023, showcasing his ability to make plays in the open.