Dowdell was a star player at Banks High School in the late 1980s and played college football for Tennessee State University. He was the 276th overall pick in the 1992 NFL draft, selected by the New Orleans Saints. He played two seasons for New Orleans and was then traded to the Arizona Cardinals. He sat out the 1994 season due to injury. In 1996 he made 20 receptions and two touchdowns for Arizona, also getting work as a kickoff and punt returner.
After being dropped by the Cardinals he was signed by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. He played in the 2000 Grey Cup.
After leaving professional football, Dowdell took a job as an assistant coach for the Miles Golden Bears. In 2009 he was recruited to the Warriors minor league team by former Miles defensive back/kicker Justin Madison. In his first game with the team he caught a 27-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 34 yards.
- Carter, Robert (June 10, 2009) "NFL veteran joins Warriors." North Jefferson News