Anything can happen between now and final roster cuts next September, but things don’t look good for cornerback Kelvin Joseph. The Dallas Cowboys just announced they’re re-signing special teams ace, C.J. Goodwin, removing Joseph’s best hope at claiming a a roster spot in 2023.
Joseph has disappointed since the Cowboys took him 44th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Kentucky CB came to Dallas ultra talented, but also ultra green. With only nine starts on his college resume, Joseph was a high risk pick from the start.
The Dallas Cowboys have a crowded secondary and seemingly just filled a role Kelvin Joseph needed to claim to make the final cut.
The Dallas Cowboys saw a moldable player with skills you can’t teach. What they got was a player with troubling off-the-field issues and a game that was far too raw to lean on. Last offseason the young cornerback was involved in a drive by shooting that left one person dead. It validated some of the concerns that were raised during his time at LSU and Kentucky.
Last season, Joseph failed to take a step in his development. He was passive in his breaks and slow to react, leading to 66.7 completion percentage and a 147.9 passer rating when targeted.
Two things allowed him to hold a roster spot in 2022:
- His draft status
- His special teams play
With the re-signing of standout special teamer, C.J. Goodwin, that second item seemed to evaporate and the first item seems to be losing clout by the minute.
The Dallas Cowboys already added Stephon Gilmore this week. Chances are strong Trevon Diggs, DaRon Bland, and Gilmore will be the top-3 CBs. Behind them will likely be a rookie draft pick (Cowboys are expected to invest early), Nahshon Wright, and Israel Mukuamu (who transitioned from safety last postseason). And we haven’t even discussed Jourdan Lewis in this mix.
If Joseph was going to make the team it would have to be as a special teams specialist. Goodwin just laid claim to that role.
Since 2018, Goodwin has amassed 1338 special teams snaps. In that time he’s endeared himself to coaches and teammates. At 33-years-old, Goodwin will likely never to carve out a role on defense, but his spot on special teams is well secured.
So you’re saying there’s a chance?
With Luke Gilford gone in free agency, special teams spots are open so it’s possible special teams alone is enough to keep Joseph around longer. Joseph was a stand out special teams player last season and while it clearly wasn’t the role he was drafted for, it was an important role nonetheless.
Joseph could also show out in camp. Anything can happen when a competition is taking place. Joseph could theoretically jump Wright, Lewis, or a rookie and win a spot. But based on his most recent film, he’d have to take enormous strides to truly challenge.
The Dallas Cowboys don’t need to make any decisions now so time is there for Kelvin Joseph to improve. But things don’t look good for the 22-year-old draft pick unless he can make some major strides.