The Dallas Cowboys have signed USFL MVP WR/KR KaVontae Turpin to a three-year deal. Turpin becomes the 22nd USFL player to sign on with an NFL team since the league’s season ended in early July. As of press time, KaVontae is also the 4th member of the New Jersey Generals inked by an NFL club. Turpin joins the current list that includes QB Luis Perez (Los Angeles Rams), DB DeJuan Neal (Washington Commanders), and OL Garrett McGhin (New Jersey Generals).
News of KaVontae Turpin’s signing was first reported on Wednesday night by KNOE8 Sports Director Aaron Dietrich.
The Dallas Cowboys Signing Of USFL MVP KaVontae Turpin
The Dallas Cowboys have a history of signing USFL MVPs who played with the New Jersey Generals. They did it once before, in 1985, when they inked legendary RB Herschel Walker.
Walker brought the Dallas Cowboys great value, just not how they initially hoped. The Walker signing led to the birth of a dynasty thanks to an earth-shattering deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Dallas Cowboys certainly hope that WR/KR KaVontae Turpin brings them great value. Dallas certainly believes in his talents, evidenced by the three-year contract to Turpin. It’s unprecedented for an alternative pro football league player to be offered a deal of that length, especially to a player who has never been on an NFL roster. But Dallas has a strong need in their return game. And they were obviously sold on this investment by Turpin’s performance in the USFL.
Turpin, a 25-year-old product of TCU, was a force both as a receiver and kick returner for the New Jersey Generals. He was a threat to score every time he touched the ball; the versatile Turpin was an explosive playmaker who helped the Generals become the league’s top-rated offense on their way to a 9-1 regular season. KaVontae led the league in receiving yards (540) and Yards After Catch (316). He accomplished this despite being targeted only 53 times, well behind league-leader Lance Lenoir of Michigan (88 targets), who coincidentally has signed on with Cowboys’ rival, the Philadelphia Eagles.
KaVontae Turpin’s Alternative Pro League Path To The NFL
Herschel Walker USFL MVP/New Jersey General/Dallas Cowboys comparison aside. KaVontae Turpin’s journey into the pros couldn’t be any more different.
At 5’9 and 155 pounds, Turpin is far from your prototypical pro wide receiver. But his diminutive size is not the main reason why he has had a challenging journey into the pros.
KaVontae Turpin was a dynamic and record-setting playmaker in college at TCU. But off-field issues where he was arrested twice and pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges ended up with him being kicked out of school.
Undrafted and unsigned out of college by NFL teams in 2019, with red flags attached to him, due to his off-field troubles, Turpin was left with nowhere to play for nearly two years.
In 2021, He ended up playing and starring for half a season in the European League of Football and with the Sea Lions in the Spring League (a precursor to the USFL in 2022).
Alternative Pro Football Leagues like the USFL afford players the opportunity to begin or continue their pro careers. The USFL gave KaVontae Turpin a second chance, and it’s led to his first chance in the NFL.