Cowboys injury report gives Deuce Vaughn opportunity to break out of doghouse

New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys
New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Despite fans' best fishes, the Dallas Cowboys aren't planning to alter their backfield rotation amid Tony Pollard's sluggish season. A number of folks want backup Rico Dowdle to get more touches, as it would allow Pollard to revert back to his familiar role as the change-of-pace back.

One solution the Cowboys seemingly aren't scheming is vaulting Deuce Vaughn back into the rotation.

While garbage time could work in Vaughn's favor on Sunday against the Giants (Dallas is a whopping -16.5 favorite), that only matters if he's active. Vaughn has been a healthy scratch the last three weeks after a string of ineffective performances, but there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for the young back.

For the second straight day, KaVontae Turpin didn't practice as he recovers from a shoulder injury suffered against the Eagles. While there's no long-term concern with Turpin, it might behoove the Cowboys to let him rest up against the lowly Giants.

In Turpin's absence, Vaughn operated as Dallas' primary punt returner on Thursday.

Cowboys RB Deuce Vaughn could play in Week 10 if KaVontae Turpin can't go

Is that Deuce Vaughn's music? It just might be.

The 2023 sixth-round pick is the Cowboys' backup punt returner. When Turpin got banged up in Week 9 against Philly, that left Rico Dowdle as the assumed next man up. As far as kick returns are concerned, Dowdle and safety Juanyeh Thomas got the first-team reps in practice as Turpin watched, so it doesn't appear Vaughn is viewed as a contingency plan to return kickoffs.

This would be a bigger storyline against a better opponent, but teams are very aware of the explosiveness Turpin brings on special teams. His 31.7 yards averaged per kick return place in the top ten and so do his 11 fair catches, which indicates teams make it a point to give him balls that shouldn't be returned.

Still, Vaughn will take any and all opportunities if it means getting back on the field.

We haven't seen Vaughn since the Week 5 loss to the 49ers. Both San Francisco and the Patriots exposed Vaughn in pass protection. To make matters worse, the Kansas State product hasn't been effective when he's touched the ball. He's turned 20 carries into 40 yards and has just five catches for 19 yards.

Vaughn's only fielded one punt in his career (college or pro). If Turpin can't go on Sunday, Vaughn could get the chance to put his skills on display in a way we haven't seen before and potentially break out of the doghouse if he makes the most of his opportunities.

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