KaVontae Turpin has had a fascinating journey through professional football. Now the former USFL MVP can add another title to his resume – NFL Pro Bowler.
The dangerous kick/punt returner was among seven Dallas Cowboys named to the NFC Pro Bowl team when the rosters were announced Wednesday. He is the first player in Cowboys history to be named to the Pro Bowl as a returner.
The Pro Bowl will look a little different this season, as the actual game will be replaced by the “Pro Bowl Games,” a variety of football skill challenges taking place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 5.
As for Turpin, the honor caps a long year of football that began in the spring when he was drafted by the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.
He would go on to lead the USFL with 540 receiving yards in 10 games and lead the generals with four receiving touchdowns. The speedster also showed off his skills on the ground, carrying the ball 23 times for 129 yards and a score.
Turpin also returned 12 punts for the Generals, averaging 15.3 yards per attempt and scoring another touchdown.
He signed with the Cowboys on July 28 and caused a stir in an August preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, when he became the first player in nine seasons to have touchdowns. kickoff and kickoff return in the same game.
“Obviously he had a very successful run there with the USFL, but really from day one of practice, I mean, he came in and I was really impressed with the way he did. picked up the receiver’s play and the tongue,” the Cowboys coach said. Mike McCarthy said at the time. “But you can see he’s dynamic in the second leg. Two excellent big plays set the tempo.”
Turpin’s skill in the rematch helped him make the Cowboys’ roster. He’s currently averaging 11.9 yards per punt return, and his four 20-plus-yard returns trail only Marcus Jones and Trent Taylor, who each have five.
Turpin is the only player in the NFL with both a punt return and a kickoff return over 50 yards,
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