From USFL to the Pro Bowl: Dallas Cowboys’ KaVontae Turpin honored by NFL


KaVontae Turpin has had a fascinating journey through pro 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 be a little different this season, as the actual game will be replaced by the “Pro Bowl Games,” a variety of football skills challenges that will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 5.

As for Turpin, the honor is a fitting cap to 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 his talent 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 made a big impact in an August preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers when he became the first player in nine seasons to have both kickoff and return touchdowns. point in the same game.

“Obviously he had a very successful career there with the USFL, but really from the first day of practice, I mean, he came in and I was really impressed with the way he picked up the receiver game and the language,” he said the Cowboys coach. Mike McCarthy said at the time. “But you can see that he is dynamic in the second leg. Two excellent big plays set the pace.”

Turpin’s ability in the return game helped him make the Cowboys’ roster. He currently averages 11.9 yards per punt return, and his four returns of 20+ yards are trailed only by Marcus Jones and Trent Taylor, who have five apiece.

Turpin is the only player in the NFL with a punt return and a punt return of 50+ yards,

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