Cowboys Have Unique KaVontae Turpin Concern With New Kickoff Rule

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach John Fassel has one concern about the new kickoff rule.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL made a big change this offseason that will have a major impact on gameplay starting in the 2024 season. According to the new kickoff rules, we will almost certainly see more returns than touchbacks.

This change was spearheaded by Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel, and it was widely believed that Dallas would benefit from it thanks to their elite return man Kavontae Turpin.

This is likely to be true. Turpin averaged 29.2 yards per return in 2023, the most out of anybody in the league. It's easy to argue that if there were more returns in each game it would be a big advantage for the Cowboys.

Fassel isn't entirely sure about that. According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Fassel has some concerns about the new rules and how effective the Cowboys can be with them.

Cowboys Have Unique Concern With New NFL Kickoff Rule

The veteran special teams coach argued earlier this week that when facing elite returners like Turpin, teams might prefer to give touchbacks instead of risking a big return. The new rules put touchbacks at the 30-yard-line and Fassel is worried that teams might prefer that over having to deal with Turpin.

That is why he argued to make the touchback start at the 35-yard line. But the proposal was nixed by other coaches.

"My concern is Week 1, 2, 3, if we hit a big one, then (opponents) just give him touchbacks and say we'll give him the ball at the 30 and not have to cover him. That's still a concern. "

Cowboys ST Coach John Fassel

If the teams indeed elect touchbacks over covering Turpin, the Cowboys may not get the impact they had hoped for after the rule change. This could also apply to other return men like Keisean Nixon and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Having more returns will certainly be more exciting than watching touchback after touchback. How the Cowboys' special teams navigate the new rule will be fascinating regardless.

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