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Cowboys’ special teams ace C.J. Goodwin may not make the cut in 2023

Cowboys may have to make some tough roster cuts, C.J. Goodwin could be one of them.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

As it pertains to the final 53-man roster, the Dallas Cowboys have to find the right balance of identifying their starters, backups, and those players they may want to keep around due to their special teams ability. For the last five seasons C.J. Goodwin has fallen into the latter category, but this year it may be harder for him to stick around than in years past.

Unfortunately for players like Goodwin, the way things look right now is that every single roster spot could be more precious and harder to earn heading into the 2023 season. From top to bottom. Dallas has quite a bit talent under contract right now, meaning some tough decisions will have to be made to get under the league mandated 53-man limit.

When it comes down to it, the Cowboys special teams ace may not bring enough to the table to make it through the final cuts this year. While special teams still remains an important part of the game, players who are strictly “special teamers” will really have to stand out if they want to stick around.

Goodwin has had a good run with the Cowboys, but being the best special teams player for the organization over the past several years in no way guarantees him a roster spot this year. Despite being listed as a cornerback, he offers very little on defense. In fact, looking at his defensive snaps compared to special teams makes that pretty obvious.

Defensive snaps

  • 2018 - 3 (.29%)
  • 2019 - 21 (1.95%)
  • 2020 - 18 (1.62%)
  • 2021 - 1 (.08%)
  • 2022 - 0

Special teams snaps

  • 2018 - 50 (12.02%)
  • 2019 - 289 (65.53%)
  • 2020 - 324 (70.43%)
  • 2021 - 332 (67.76%)
  • 2022 - 343 (71.91%)

At 33 years old, Goodwin is what he is as a player at this point of his career. The fact he’s only played a total of 43 snaps in a five-year span with the Dallas Cowboys is proof enough he is a special teams only type of player. In the past that was enough to keep him around, however, with younger and more talented options behind him, his time may be up.

The Cowboys will be faced with an interesting dilemma. While they have placed more value on special teams since hiring John Fassel in 2020 as their special teams coach, there comes a time when organizations have to keep a player with more upside over a special teams one. That could be the case as it pertains to Goodwin, given his age and the progress other players have made on special teams..

This wouldn’t be in any way a money-saving move if it does happen. Goodwin is entering the final year on a two-year, $3.5 million contract he signed in 2021. If cut he would only save the Cowboys $640,000. The value he brings to Dallas’ special teams is well worth the price, but again, that all depends on who he could be battling for a roster spot.

While waiting to find out what C.J. Goodwin’s fate with the Dallas Cowboys may seem a little insignificant in the grander scheme of things, it is important enough to keep an eye on as far as constructing the final 53-man roster is concerned. The Cowboys have a lot of talent that play similar positions to Goodwin, and going with youth will come one day, maybe this year.

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