Dallas Cowboys KR KaVontae Turpin keeps turning heads under the biggest lights

By Aidan Wohl

The majority of athletes who play in the Indoor Football League and the Experimental Fan Controlled Football League after college rarely end up making it to the NFL. Louisiana native and TCU graduate KaVontae Turpin is one of the exceptions, making the most out of his opportunity thus far throughout his rookie campaign as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Turpin was not signed as a free agent after being undrafted, leading him to join the European League of Football (ELF), playing for the Wroclaw Panthers in Poland, averaging 175.5 all purpose yards and 1.5 touchdowns per contest. He then joined the USFL the next season instead of remaining in ELF where he would play for the New Jersey Generals in hopes of raising his stock. 

With the Generals, Turpin went on to win USFL MVP after averaging 12.2 yards per reception and leading the league in receiving yards (540).  Earning a reputation as a high powered spark plug on the gridiron, Turpin finally realized his dream, signing a contract in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.

The former TCU star made a name and number for himself in week two of preseason against the Chargers, returning a kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown as well as an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in the same game. This performance earned him instant media attention. Nevertheless, it still remained to be seen how the explosive returner would produce against teams in the regular season.

Turpin dispelled the doubts in a hurry. In the first six games of his rookie season, he has averaged 20.2 yards per kick return which tops the NFC East and he has the eighth highest average kick return yards in the NFL (min 5 attempts). 

He is also making his mark returning punts as well, averaging 12.3 yards per return, third highest in the NFC and fifth highest in the NFL (min 5 attempts).

Turpin’s journey from an undrafted player to one of the most electrifying return men in the league is an inspiration. 

This week will be a true test for Turpin as the Cowboys will face division rivals, the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.

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