The Dallas Cowboys are ready for the 2023 NFL Playoffs — or at least they better be. They had one of their worst games of the season in Week 18, which was their lowest point total since Week 1. The good news there is, they followed up that defeat with four wins in a row, which is what they need now.
If they’re going to make it past the Divisional Round for the first time since 1995, they’ll need Dak Prescott, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons to be at their very best. However, they won’t be able to do it on their own, but will need help from these four X-factors.
4 Cowboys who will be X-factors in NFL Playoffs
4. KaVontae Turpin, Returner
Dallas added KaVontae Turpin, the USFL MVP, this offseason with hopes that he would provide a spark in the return game. It didn’t take long for him to prove he would be able to do that.
Turpin had a monster game against the Los Angeles Chargers in the preseason as he returned both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.
That performance was enough for him to secure the job as a return specialist. And while Dallas did bring him onto the field several times in offensive formations, the return game continued to be his calling card.
Turpin never took one to the house as a rookie but he was constantly flipping the field and just missed scoring a touchdown on a couple of occasions. Once was a 63-yard kick return against the Eagles in Week 6. He also had a 52-yard punt return in Week 7 against the Lions.
Dallas has an offense that can score points in a hurry and a defense that knows how to take the ball away. They also suddenly have a kicker who seems to never miss in Brett Maher.
But in the playoffs, what can really make a difference is a huge return. Turpin has proven he can provide that and has been awarded a trip to the Pro Bowl for his work. Now, he can help Dallas make a mark in the postseason if he continues to flip the field — and especially if he does finally break one.