OXNARD, Calif. -- There's a new player on his way to training camp for the Dallas Cowboys. His name is KeVontae Turpin, reigning USFL MVP who recently played for the New Jersey Generals, and he now joins the Cowboys roster, the team announced Thursday, which also meant a corresponding roster move would have to be made, seeing as the team was currently maxed at 90.
That move was to waive fullback Nick Ralston, a 2021 undrafted free agent who was activated for four games as a rookie, but logged just one offensive snap. Turpin adds another electric returner to the mix, and might allow the Cowboys to think twice on just how much they utilize running back Tony Pollard and/or wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in that capacity.
Lamb is now the de facto WR1 in Dallas, following the offseason trade of Amari Cooper, and considering the loss of Cedrick Wilson to free agency and in how a re-signed Michael Gallup still has a little ways to go before returning to the field from a torn ACL suffered in 2021, limiting/eliminating Lamb's exposure in the return game becomes paramount. The team held a workout for Turpin only days ahead of training camp and clearly liked what they saw, adding to what he put on film during the inaugural USFL season, when he led that league with 540 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 44 receptions in 10 games.
He'd also add 184 punt return yards to his bottom line.
The Cowboys are also no stranger to Turpin, considering he spent his collegiate days locally at TCU as a top returner (or rather the top returner), leaving a broken record or two in his wake. He doesn't arrive in Oxnard without red flags, however, working to get back on track after run-ins with law enforcement in recent years. The 26-year-old was released from TCU's football program in 2018 following domestic violence charges that were eventually pled down to disorderly conduct and, in October, he was arrested for misdemeanor assault against the same girlfriend, Turpin officially issuing a guilty plea for the charge of assault causing bodily injury.
He must now serve two years of deferred adjudication probation and complete a 27-week Partner Abuse Intervention Program in Tarrant County, where the charges were levied. If Turpin can finally resolve his off-the-field issues and also prove himself in training camp, the Cowboys might have found another USFL gem to benefit the roster in 2022, having also signed former USFL linebacker Christian Sam in early July.