The label “breakout” is a subjective term. What constitutes as a breakout to one may not be a breakout to someone else. Look no further than Dallas Cowboys DT Osa Odigihizuwa.
Osa was a top performer last season for Dallas, logging 616 snaps while nailing down the starting 3-tech position in just his second season. Yet, some still see untapped potential they are apprehensive to say he already broke out. Fair enough.
KaVontae Turpin, on the other hand, seems to already have “breakout” in the bag. His rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys resulted in a Pro Bowl bid. To call 2022 as anything but a breakout is a complete misunderstanding of the word.
KaVontae Turpin already broke out for the Dallas Cowboys last season but he has a chance to greatly improve on that in 2023.
After taking MVP honors in the USFL, KaVontae Turpin came to Dallas on a two-year deal. The former TCU product broke out as a punt and kick returner, taking both to the house in preseason and striking fear into the hearts of special teams opponents throughout the regular and postseason.
Turpin would go on to log 29 punt returns for 10.4-yard average and 21 kick returns for 24.2-yard average enroute to his first Pro Bowl season in his first year in the NFL. But as Joseph Randle once famously said regarding teammate DeMarco Murray, “there was a lot of meat left on the bone.”
On at least three occasions in 2022, Turpin zigged when he should have zagged. Multiple attempts were a shoelace away from being touchdown returns and simple odds say those bounces are sure to go in his favor going forward. While such “what if” statements could be made about anyone, those who’ve watched the film know Turpin was ridiculously close to paydirt on more than a few occasions.
Turpin’s speed and ability to change direction make him an elite return man in the NFL. His potential is through the roof even if the league is trying to limit kickoff returns. He might have already broken out but he’s perfectly capable of doubling his big play output from last season which by most definitions would be a second breakout performance.
While there’s some fan chatter of the rookie Deuce Vaughn potentially replacing Turpin as a return man in 2023, they shouldn’t be taken seriously. Not only is Turpin an ascending Pro Bowler playing on an affordable deal but Vaughn is inexperienced and therefore high-risk.
If the Dallas Cowboys want even more output from Turpin they can start using him on offense. Using Turpin in sweep motion would stretch defenses horizontally and open rushing lanes inside the box.
KaVontae Turpin broke out in 2022 but his potential in 2023 could dwarf that Pro Bowl season.
- Published on 07/03/2023 at 16:01 PM
- Last updated at 07/03/2023 at 16:01 PM