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Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Bowl selection vows to rebel against new NFL rule in 2023

The NFL is adopting a new rule for the 2023 season to reduce the number of kickoff returns, allowing for a fair catch anywhere to automatically put the ball at the 25-yard line. While the intention is to eliminate kickoff returns, Dallas Cowboys returner KaVontae Turpin won’t abide by it.

Turpin, the 2022 USFL MVP, signed with Dallas last July after bouncing around multiple pro football leagues. After landing a three-year contract with the team, Turpin became one of the best return men in the NFL.

  • KaVontae Turpin stats: 508 kickoff return yards, 24.2 yards per return, 303 punt return yards, 10.4 yards per punt return

The NFL believes its decision to reduce the number of kickoff returns will decrease the rate of concussion by 15 percent on returns. While many teams and players were opposed to the rule change, league officials argued that it needed to be done after 19 players suffered concussions on kickoff plays.

While the rule is expected to dramatically reduce the number of kickoff returns in 2023, potentially leading to its removal altogether in the future, Turpin won’t let the new policy change the way he plays the game.

Speaking to Cowboys’ reporter Patrik Walker, Turpin made it clear the new NFL rules won’t stop him from returning kicks this season.

“I don’t care because I’m not fair catching nothing. I’m being real with you — nothing.”

Dallas Cowboys return specialist KaVontae Turpin on the new NFL rule

The Cowboys will likely be supportive of Turpin’s decision. In his first season, the 5-foot-9 specialist averaged one of the highest kickoff return averages in the NFL last season and he never called for a fair catch.

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Entering his age-28 season, Turpin will have an opportunity to earn Pro Bowl honors for the second consecutive season. If he turns a few of his long returns into touchdowns, he could be an All-Pro selection in 2023.