Through two weeks, we have seen multiple Dallas Cowboys players who have stepped up when they weren’t looked at as key players. Dallas will need those players to step up to the plate once again for their week three Monday night showdown with the New York Giants.
Cowboys’ Return Specialist, KaVontae Turpin
One of the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason darlings hasn’t had as much of an impact in the regular season but is poised for a big game. KaVontae Turpin’s two special teams returns for touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers single-handedly got him a roster spot on the Cowboys. Turpin also showed that he can help on offense in the passing and running game as well.
What makes Turpin so dangerous is his speed and ability to break loose a big play at any given moment. When the ball is in his hands, he is quick with his feet and can make defenders miss. Those skills helped get him an MVP award while playing for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL this past spring/summer.
So far this season, Turpin has returned four kickoffs for 77 yards and returned three punts for 37 yards. He’s also contributed on offense with a rush attempt for three yards. According to next-gen stats, Turpin was the eighth fastest ball carrier in the NFL this season going 21.09 miles per hour on a 14-yard punt return in Dallas’ 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Why Turpin will play a big role in the Giants game Monday night is field position and the impact he can have on it. The Cowboys need him to get big returns to give Cooper Rush and the Cowboys offense a short field to work with to make scoring easier. Taking that pressure off of Rush and company will get them out in front easier as they face a tough defense in the Giants.
Cowboys’ Offensive Lineman, Terence Steele
Tyler Smith has attracted all the attention, he is the Cowboys’ first-round pick and performing well. There’s no doubt he has deserved the eyes on him, but one other offensive lineman has impressed and might be playing better than Smith. Terence Steele is that guy and is playing the opposite tackle spot from Smith’s glamorous left tackle position.
Steele recorded the highest grade by PFF of any Cowboys offensive player with an 84.4 rating. This is due to the top-notch job he did in pass protection and making sure Rush doesn’t get as many hits and hurries while playing. In two games, Steele hasn’t allowed a sack from the right tackle position so far this season.
The Giants’ defense has recorded three sacks in two games in the 2022 season which bolds favorably for the Cowboys’ offensive line. Steele will most likely face Leonard Williams who is questionable for the game with a knee injury. With New York having multiple pass rushers banged up for the game, Steele should be able to bully the line to open up the running game and have an easier time protecting Rush. Once a player that had something to prove is now poised to have his best season of his career.
Cowboys’ Defensive Lineman, Dorance Armstrong
Micah Parsons is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL and it might not even be a close race unless TJ Watt can recover quickly. His four sacks on the season are the most in the league and most likely will commend more double teams from offenses. This will open the door for defensive linemen like DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong.
Armstrong has gotten off to a good start this season himself with six total tackles and two sacks this season. Both of those sacks came against the Bengals as one of the multiple defenders getting to Joe Burrow. This start for Armstrong is the fastest of his career with Dallas since joining the team in 2018.
Many fans got to see his potential as he stepped up last season with a career-high five sacks for Dallas which was the third most on the team in 2021. The good news for Armstrong is Daniel Jones has been sacked eight times in the first two games of the season. With the secondary being able to hold its own against a receiving core that is not considered among the top half in the league, this opens the door for Armstrong to have a big game sacking the quarterback.