The lack of a consistent No. 2 receiving threat hindered the Cowboys' offense in 2022. In hindsight, the expectation that Michael Gallup would hit the ground running following a season-ending injury looks foolish. Jerry Jones consistently defended the decision to trade Amari Cooper and his $20 million contract last offseason, but there is no questioning that Dallas needs to add playmaking options in 2023.
Dynamic return man KaVontae Turpin, a former USFL Most Valuable Player, hopes to throw his hat in the ring for a more prominent role in the offense under Mike McCarthy.
"We had a talk during my exit meeting, basically saying like they already know what I did with the special teams this year and all that, but they are going to try and get me on the offense and try to make guys respect me more on both sides of the ball," Turpin told the Blogging The Boys podcast last week. "I'm going into this training camp, I'm basically trying to show them that they have no choice but to use me on offense, that's my mindset."
The Pro Bowl returner saw 61 total snaps on offense in 17 regular-season games in his first season in Dallas. He earned three carries for 17 yards and one catch on two targets for nine yards. He earned three snaps in the postseason, catching one pass for eight yards.
Given Turpin's speed and shiftiness in space, the Cowboys could have given him more than four touches throughout the regular season on jet sweeps or quick screens. It's possible McCarthy and former coordinator Kellen Moore viewed Turpin's skillset as duplicative of Tony Pollard. If the Cowboys can't find a way to retain the free-agent running back, Turpin could take over some of those snaps.
However it happens, Turpin hopes he can be a more significant help to the offense in 2023.
"I'm a playmaker with the ball in my hand and I can scare guys without the ball," he said. "Just on the same field together, me and CeeDee Lamb, I just feel like that's my biggest thing going on, just showing them that they gotta have me on the field."
The Cowboys have room to get Turpin more involved in the offense and add another significant piece to the WR corps to take pressure off Lamb.