Fans have been calling for the Cowboys to make some free agency acquisitions all offseason, and today, they finally brought in some talent at wide receiver.
According to reports, Dallas will be signing reigning USFL MVP KaVontae Turpin. Fullback Nick Ralston was released in order to make space on the roster for Turpin. The details of the contract have not yet been finalized.
The last MVP of the USFL was Herschel Walker, who also inked a deal with the Cowboys following a breakout season.
Turpin rose to stardom last season with the New Jersey Generals, serving as a wide receiver and returner. The 25-year-old had 540 receiving yards, 44 receptions and four touchdowns and played in only seven of the General’s 10 regular season games. He also found the end zone once as a returner. Turpin led the USFL in receiving yards, yards after catch (316) and yards per punt return (15.3).
Turpin played college football at TCU, where he amassed 1,748 receiving yards, 145 receptions and 15 touchdowns in four seasons. The Monroe, Louisiana-native also returned kickoffs and punts during his time as a Horned Frog, scoring two special teams touchdowns in his four years at TCU.
Turpin’s strengths as a receiver
Turpin is very quick and elusive. If you put the ball in his hands on a wide receiver screen or even a jet sweep, he’ll utilize his speed to make defenders miss as he moves the ball upfield.
Despite his small 5’9, 155-pound frame, Turpin has the ability to come down with deep balls even with defenders playing tight coverage on him. He catches defenses playing up on him to counter his quick reflexes and speed and will occasionally zoom past them for long receptions downfield.
How Turpin fits on the depth chart
Training camp and preseason games will be very telling to see how much of an impact a USFL star like Turpin can have on a field with NFL-level talent.
CeeDee Lamb assumes WR1 responsibilities, but beyond that things get dicey.
Michael Gallup is the clear WR2, but he was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list yesterday as the Cowboys reported to training camp. Gallup is still recovering from a torn ACL in week 17 of 2021, and his availability to start the year is in question.
Fighting for WR3 is Jalen Tolbert, a rookie drafted in round three out of South Alabama, and James Washington, a veteran heading into his fifth NFL season. Tolbert was a standout in college and had the sixth-most receiving yards in NCAA D-I last season. But there are some question marks because he played in the Sun Belt Conference. Meanwhile, Washington has served as a bottom-of-the-depth chart player for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2018. Washington holds a career average of 407 receiving yards per season.
Adding Turpin to the mix will challenge Tolbert and Washington’s spot as WR3 once Gallup takes the field in the regular season. But Gallup’s absence does open the door for all three receivers to fight for more snaps and if one receiver takes advantage of the opportunity, it will go a long way in determining who gets the most playing time as the season progresses.