The team’s first countermove, after losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins in free agency, was signing former Ravens CB Maurice Canady to pair with incumbents Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis.
The second move was to bring back dependable reserve Anthony Brown on a three-year, $15.5 million free-agent deal.
The third and most recent move, superagency Rosenhaus Sports confirmed Friday to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, was retaining special teams standout C.J. Goodwin, who inked a one-year pact worth just over $1 million.
A 2014 undrafted free agent, Goodwin epitomized journeyman before landing in Dallas, with stints in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Arizona, New York (Giants), San Francisco, and Cincinnati. The Cowboys plucked him off the Bengals’ practice squad in October 2018.
Following a brief stretch on injured reserve, Goodwin found a special teams role, logging 50 snaps on that side of the ball over the final three regular-season games. This, in sharp contrast to his three defensive snaps and one total tackle.
He returned to the Cowboys in 2019, signed for a paltry $720,000. He made the most of his action, collecting nine tackles across 16 appearances. He still wasn’t used much on defense (21 snaps) but developed into now-former special teams coordinator Keith O’Quinn’s star pupil, entrusted to play 289 snaps — or 65 percent of the total snaps.
Entering his age-30 campaign, Goodwin’s prowess will transfer to new STC John Fassel, whose unit was also reinforced by the re-signings of linebackers Joe Thomas and Justin March.
As for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Goodwin doesn’t advance the figurative needle. Dallas is expected to fortify its secondary, which lost starting safety Jeff Heath to the Raiders, in the draft, where they hold the No. 17 overall pick.
The Cowboys scheduled an official top-30 visit with Florida CB CJ Henderson, a consensus first-round talent and prime contender for their day-one pick. They’ve been linked to LSU S Grant Delpit and Alabama S Xavier McKinney, as well.
The club recently signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, presumably to start at safety, opposite Xavier Woods.
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Cowboys ‘Have Interest’ in Former All-Pro DE: Report
The latest Cowboys rumor, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, links the team to now-former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who mutually separated from Minnesota on Friday, sending him to the open market. Moore claims “the Cowboys have interest here” before correctly noting he’d be a “quality addition.”
Speculation fizzled as fast as it sizzled. Two other local reporters heard differently after Moore teased the masses — that Dallas is not expected to ink Griffen at this time.
“And a similar answer from a Cowboys source, who says Griffen is ‘not high on our radar,’” SI.com’s Mike Fisher wrote.
Established among the sport’s best hand-in-the-dirt pass-rushers, Griffen totaled 41 tackles (11 tackles for loss), eight sacks, and an interception in 2019. He also accumulated 66 quarterback pressures, 14th-most out of all NFL edge defenders, according to Pro Football Focus.
Dallas got a first-hand look at him last November, amid their 28-24 home loss to the Vikings. Griffen stuffed the stat sheet with five tackles (two solo), four QB hits, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, and a half-sack.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL