Speculation on the Cowboys' 2023 roster is starting to ramp up with the preseason nearly over. Though cutdown date will set Dallas' initial group of players for the upcoming year, that doesn't rule out shakeups during the campaign.
In fact, there are a few contributors who could be squeezed out of their roles by new arrivals. With that in mind, here are three Cowboys players in jeopardy of being benched.
Cowboys Starters Who Could Be Benched in 2023
1. Kavontae Turpin
Kavontae Turpin's emergence on special teams was one of the best stories around the Cowboys last season. Turpin went from USFL MVP to a Pro Bowl selection in less than a year, earning praise for the life he injected into the team.
However, special teams is one of those units that can change in the blink of an eye, and even Turpin isn't safe in 2023. The arrival of rookie running back Deuce Vaughn serves as a legitimate threat to Turpin's starting job given the RB's electric playmaking ability. After all, Vaughn's coming off two straight seasons at Kansas State where he racked up at least 1,800 yards from scrimmage
The running back's big-play potential is obvious whenever the ball is in his hands, so it's no wonder he's gotten a serious look at kick return duties in training camp. The fact he's also making waves at his primary position and looking like a legit RB2 only adds to the reasons Dallas should find ways to get him involved.
Vaughn has positional flexibility that makes him much more valuable since he can fulfill two jobs (backup RB and kick returner) while taking up just one roster spot. Meanwhile, Turpin's not really on the radar as a wide receiver. That means the Cowboys would have to dedicate a precious opening on its 53-man roster to keep Turpin around.
While it seems Turpin will begin the year as the starting kick returner, I think Dallas takes a look at Vaughn back there sooner than later. If that experiment goes well, there's just no point in keeping Turpin around.