Cowboys Urged to Reunite with Versatile WR After Release from 49ers

Malik Turner

Getty San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Malik Turner runs a route during an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys have made their final preseason roster moves, but they have a serious chance to bolster their wide receiver ranks.

Dallas has seen younger players like KaVontae Turpin and Dennis Houston shine in the preseason, and both have now made the 53-man roster. However, injury issues with Michael Gallup and James Washington has left the Cowboys on unstable ground.

That’s why Locked on Cowboys host Marcus Mosher wants to see Dallas reunite with Malik Turner. Turner spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons with the Cowboys, but was not retained this offseason, which led to the former Illinois star signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

“If the #Cowboys do make a roster claim today, the player I want them to get is WR Malik Turner,” Mosher Tweeted on August 31. “He played a bunch of ST snaps for them last year + was productive when he was on the field. Plus… already knows the offense after spending 2020 and 2021 with the team.”

Mosher makes a logical point, as adding a receiver with familiarity would help the Cowboys in a young wide receiver room. However, it actually happening is a different story.

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Turner Finds a Role in Dallas

Due to a solid but not spectacular college career at Illinois, Turner went undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft. According to Sports Reference, the receiver posted 1804 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns while playing for the Fighting Illini.

Turner earned his first NFL playing time with the Seattle Seahawks, joining the NFC West team in 2018 and initially getting on their practice squad. He got a couple chances as a rookie, but PFR shows that 2019 was a significant step-up.

Turner started three games and was targeted 22 times, catching 15 passes for 245 receiving yards and his first NFL touchdown. After the 2019 season, Seattle considered keeping the 26-year-old, but he eventually became a free agent.

After signing and then being cut by the Green Bay Packers in 2020, Dallas came calling. The Cowboys needed a strong addition to their special teams unit, which led to Turner appearing in six games in the 2020 season.

Similarly to his time in Seattle, his second season in Dallas was a step up. He only made 12 catches in 2021, but he totaled 149 receiving yards and nabbed three touchdowns, including two scores in one game in the Cowboys’ 16-30 loss to the Denver Broncos.

He is still a special teams-first kind of player, but he proved in 2021 that he can make a play when called upon.

Cowboys Rolling With Eight WRs

Due to Gallup and Washington’s injuries, Dallas is currently saturated at the wide receiver position with eight names on the depth chart:

  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Michael Gallup
  • James Washington
  • Simi Fehoko
  • Noah Brown
  • Dennis Houston
  • Jalen Tolbert
  • KaVontae Turpin

There’s a serious chance that one or two of these names will be released or designated for the practice squad. There are simply not enough snaps on the field for everyone in the group, and as Gallup and Washington return to full health, others will be pushed out.

So, the idea of adding Turner seems like a tough one to pull off. However, Turner does have a legitimate case for a reunion with the Cowboys.

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