4 Cowboys who are already turning heads at OTAs

These Cowboys have made a strong impression at OTAs.
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

If you can believe it, we are less than 100 days from the NFL's return. Before you know it, the Dallas Cowboys will be reporting to Oxnard for training camp in preparation of the 2024 season. In the meantime, the Cowboys just wrapped their first installment of voluntary OTAs.

They will hold three more practices this week from Wednesday to Friday before they return for mandatory minicamp on June 4.

While OTAs don't allow for much physicality, it's a great platform for younger players and players on the roster bubble to make a strong impression before the intensity ratchets up. These Cowboys in particular have made the most of their opportunities.

4 Cowboys who are already turning heads at OTAs

4. WR KaVontae Turpin

KaVontae Turpin could be the biggest beneficiary of Michael Gallup's release. With CeeDee Lamb holding out amid contract talks, Turpin has been Dak Prescott's favorite target at OTAs not named Brandin Cooks.

Turpin was virtually unguardable during 7-on-7 drills and was on the receiving end of a deep fade along the sidelines during 11-on-11s, per the team's official website. While Turpin could star as a return specialist with the NFL's new kickoff rules, he could be on his way to earning a significant role in the offense.

3. DE Marshawn Kneeland

We get the sense that Cowboys fans are sleeping on Marshawn Kneeland. It surprised many when Dallas selected Kneeland in the second round, but it was a necessary investment on a defensive line that lost multiple important depth pieces this offseason.

Viewed as DeMarcus Lawrence's heir apparent because of his two-way ability (rushing the passer and defending the run) Kneeland has already won "several reps" against the Cowboys' first-team offensive line, per Patrik Walker of the team's official website.

Kneeland's role in year one could be bigger than expected.

2. WR Jalen Brooks

A seventh-round pick in 2023, Jalen Brooks is battling Jalen Tolbert for the WR3 job. Drafted in the third round in 2021, Tolbert has a year of experience on Brooks. If OTAs are any indication, though, Brooks is going to make this one of the most fascinating roster battles to watch.

"I think anytime you have an opportunity as a young receiver to get reps, it's a huge opportunity, especially if it's with the first group," said Mike McCarthy. "You can see both (Tolbert) and (Brooks) had really, really nice practices yesterday. So I think anytime you get those extra reps, it's great for our young guys."

Brooks is only entering his second year, but he has seemingly already separated himself from the bottom of the WR depth chart.

1. QB Trey Lance

Trey Lance has been all the rage to start the offseason program. Mike McCarthy revealed he altered Lance's throwing motion to allow for a quicker release and better timing. That has been on full display at practice, but Lance has also shown more command and comfortability in the offense after effectively red-shirting last season.

Lance has reportedly made several "well-placed" throws and is starting to build chemistry with the second-team receivers. The 23-year-old's confidence has grown in leaps and bounds and that figures to continue as the Cowboys give him all the reps he can handle.

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