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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #29 C.J. Goodwin

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 29.

CB C.J. Goodwin
Born: 4th February 1990 (33) - Wheeling, West Virginia
College: California Vulcans
Draft: 2014, UDFA, Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Stats:
Snaps: 383 (72%)
Tackles: 8
Penalties: 2

C.J. Goodwin started as a student-athlete playing basketball at Bethany College in 2009 and played there for two years until he transferred to Fairmont State University. At first he continued to play basketball before switching to football after being urged by his father and fellow college friends. As a walk-on for the Fighting Falcons he tried out at wide receiver and managed to get a role. Playing his first game at receiver against Clarion, Goodwin would make six catches for 56 yards. He went on to make an 83-yard touchdown catch in a game against West Liberty University and made a career-high seven catches for 141 receiving yards in a win against Shepherd.

Thanks to a solid first year at Fairmont State he was offered a scholarship to keep playing. Goodwin finished the 2012 season third on the team with 24 receptions for 440 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Goodwin would transfer to California University of Pennsylvania at the end of the year to follow his old head coach.

He continued to play wide receiver for his former coach and was eligible to play immediately in 2013. Since he mainly saw action on special teams, he only finished his final season at Cal-Pennsylvania with 11 receptions for 126 receiving yards and one touchdown in 11 games.

Cowboys Review:
Goodwin entered the draft in 2014, but he was not on many radars having played mostly for D2 schools. He was also considered unrefined in a lot of major areas of his game which hurt his stock. He had a chance to show off when he measured very well during a pre-draft pro-day at Detroit. Although he went undrafted, he was picked up after the draft and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He managed to make the team’s practice squad.

He was waived the following year but was soon picked up at the end of the 2015 season by the Atlanta Falcons. It was here Goodwin made the switch from offense to defense and played as a cornerback for the first time in 2016. He played in 14 games, recording seven defensive tackles, 10 special team tackles and two pass breakups. He would help the team reach the Super Bowl in 2017 where they lost to the New England Patriots. Goodwin would play one more year for Atlanta, making eight total tackles on both defense and special teams before being waived again.

Goodwin would then join and be waived by Arizona, New York, San Francisco, Cincinnati before finally finding a home at Dallas. Since joining Dallas, Goodwin has been a special teams ace and he recovered the infamous “watermelon” kick against his former team. His main reason of employment at Dallas has been playing as one of the teams most reliable gunners. His speed and ability to get downfield quickly has helped him achieve leading the team in special teams tackles for three consecutive seasons, and last year he finished third. Earlier in the year he signed a one-year deal with Dallas.

2023 Roster Projection:
The first question is whether Goodwin makes the final roster this year. There are plenty of options on the roster to play as gunner, but there is no denying how effective Goodwin is in his role. If John Fassel feels he can continue to play and maintain his duty as a defender on punts and kicks, then there is no doubt we keep seeing Goodwin at Dallas. The only thing going against him this year is his age and whether that will effect his athletic potential, which has made so prominent at getting to punt returners.

Projected 2023 Stats:
Snaps: 350
Tackles: 9

The Big Question:
Will we see C.J. Goodwin on the final 53-man roster this year? Answer in the comments section.

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