Cowboys Sign Key Free Agent to 2-Year Contract: Report

Jerry Jones

Getty Jerry Jones

John Fassel is a happy camper following the first 24 hours of NFL free agency.

The Dallas Cowboys‘ special teams coordinator has watched the front office prioritize his side of the ball with a quartet of opening-salvo moves, including the retention of a core player.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that Dallas re-signed unrestricted free-agent cornerback C.J. Goodwin to a two-year, $3.5 million contract with $2 million guaranteed.

Goodwin’s deal comes after the Cowboys brought back wide receiver/special-teamer Cedrick Wilson and signed former Los Angeles Rams Pro Bowl long snapper Jake McQuaide to replace departing legend L.P. Ladouceur. The club also signed reserve WR Noah Brown to a one-year contract.

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Background on Goodwin

The well-traveled 2014 undrafted free agent joined the Cowboys in 2018 following stints with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Arizona, New York (Giants), San Francisco, and Cincinnati. Snatched off the Bengals’ practice squad, he appeared in three games that year, making one tackle for the silver and blue.

Goodwin returned in 2019 and led Dallas’ special teams unit with 10 tackles across all 16 games — 289 snaps in total. By contrast, he played just 21 defensive snaps for then-coordinator(s) Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard.

He received an uptick of activity on defense last season. Although the 31-year-old notched only 18 snaps, Goodwin was used to spy dual-threat Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts during the Cowboys’ Week 16 win over Philadelphia, a role that drew praise from the coaching staff.

“C.J. is someone that we hold in high regard, and just to have the opportunity to have him on the field and playing that package is really, really a credit to him and just focusing on what we’re trying to get done in certain situations,” head coach Mike McCarthy said, via the team’s official website.

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Reaction to Deal

It may seem inconsequential considering Dallas’ roster holes and its quiet approach to the signing period, but news of Goodwin’s re-signing is resonating extremely well within — and outside — The Star.

“Man I’m so happy for CJ!! Y’all don’t understand that’s my dog man! Been through the ups and downs and finally broke the ice. This just the beginning for him!” Cowboys free-agent linebacker Justin March tweeted.

“So happy for my guy CJ! Talking about a guy that came in from day one with his hard hat on and steel toe boots and just went to work DAILY! It’s a reason him and @AntwaunWoods_ are my fav players. They both embody that mentality! #LunchPailBoys” former Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner tweeted.

“CJ is a heck of a special teams player. He deserved and earned this deal from the #Cowboys,” tweeted beat reporter Newy Scruggs.

“Jerry Jones and Cowboys love what C.J. Goodwin brings, especially on special teams. John Fassel keeps him in house,” tweeted beat reporter Jori Epstein.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL