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OXNARD, Calif. — KaVontae Turpin is getting his first likelihood within the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys nearly 4 years after the receiver and kick returner was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, ending his profession at TCU.
Turpin was kicked off the team at TCU partially because the college was unaware of a previous assault case in Latest Mexico. He pleaded guilty within the Texas case with a likelihood to clear the conviction from his record and attended an abuse intervention program.
“I learned I got to learn from my accountability, my consequences,” Turpin said in his first meeting with reporters early in training camp. “I’m just looking forward to becoming a greater man now.”
The assault case led to an extended wait for an NFL call, but that’s not the one reason the speedy Turpin is a longshot. He’s also tiny, listed at 5-foot-7 and 158 kilos. If he makes the roster, Turpin might be near his former college home with more time to inform his story.
Despite his size, Turpin probably would have been drafted in 2019. He returned a punt for a touchdown in each of his 4 seasons with the Horned Frogs while averaging 28 yards on 71 profession kickoff returns with two more scores.
As an alternative, Turpin operated on the fringes of professional football with stints within the indoor Fan-Controlled Football League, the Spring League, the European League of Football and at last the reincarnation of the USA Football League.
Turpin was MVP within the USFL, and said the Cowboys were the primary team to contact him after the season ended. He didn’t need that MVP trophy to get the eye of Dallas special teams coach John Fassel.
“He’s been on my radar since 2018,” Fassel said. “Clearly at TCU I’ve watched each one in every of his returns after which maintaining a tally of him over the course of his fan league and Spring League after which USFL. I’ve seen all of that work.”
There’s little query Turpin could make it as a returner. The larger challenge is receiver, even with the Cowboys having loads of opportunities for newcomers.
Amari Cooper was traded in a cost-cutting move, and veteran addition James Washington broke a foot early in training camp. There are openings below CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, the No. 2 receiver who won’t be ready for the beginning of the season while recovering from knee surgery.
Turpin, who turned 26 last week, is getting a good amount of labor at receiver in camp. The Cowboys are getting him the ball on the perimeter and on jet sweeps. He led the USFL with 540 receiving yards and 316 yards after the catch.
Coach Mike McCarthy had a very good first impression since the Pittsburgh native noticed Turpin wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates cap for his introduction at a team meeting. McCarthy has liked the on-field work, too.
“The thing I’ve been most impressed with is just the best way he’s jumped in there,” McCarthy said. “He’s done a very nice job within the wide receiver room. Just the reps that he’s been given within the return game, he looks like a very good fit for a way we wish to play there. I’m enthusiastic about what’s in front of him.”
Turpin is ready for the questions on how he disappeared from the Dallas-Fort Value sports scene so quickly, and isn’t attempting to avoid them. “I’m here to talk publicly, whatever they need me to do,” Turpin said.
His coaches are equally aware of the history, with McCarthy saying after the signing became official that Turpin was “responsible and accountable” and “well aware of what’s expected of him.”
“I believe that’s an enormous challenge for him, in a very good way,” Fassel said. “So far as I find out about him, great kid, great in meetings, super respectful around everybody here. I expect him to perform well and act like a grown man.”
If that happens, Fassel believes he has just the form of special teams tool he needs.
“Y-E-S. In all caps,” Fassel said. “There might be a task for him. And I can’t wait to see it.”
NOTES: With the competition between Liram Hajrullahu and undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay not going well, the Cowboys brought back one in every of their former kickers in Brett Maher. Garibay was waived. Maher was 20 of 30 on field goals when the Cowboys cut him after 13 games in 2019. He was 16 of 18 in eight games with Latest Orleans last season. … The team said defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. is coping with a “private health matter” and won’t make the trip to Denver for a joint practice and preseason game. He continues to be participating in meetings. Whitt called the defensive plays within the preseason last 12 months when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test.