Dallas Cowboys: safety

Safety Matt Johnson also has a back injury

September, 24, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- It's been a tough start for the professional career of Cowboys safety Matt Johnson.

The rookie missed offseason work because his college, Eastern Washington, was still in session, then a hamstring injury in training camp slowed his development when he finally was ready to practice.

Johnson's hamstring injury has lingered, and coach Jason Garrett revealed Monday the rookie also has a back problem. Garrett said Johnson injured his back while rehabbing from the leg injury.

It appears this could be a lost year for Johnson, and it's only going to sting more because of the season-ending injury to starting safety Barry Church (Achilles). With Church out, the Cowboys could have given Johnson some snaps in a backup role on defense. Instead, the team will try and sign a free agent.

Mario Butler, a cornerback/safety, cleared waivers Monday after the Cowboys cut him Saturday and is eligible to be re-signed. A decision hasn't been made regarding the safety position yet, but when Church officially goes on injured reserve, the Cowboys will have one available roster spot.

Gerald Sensabaugh, the other starting safety, missed Sunday's game with a calf injury. With the next game being Monday night, he gets an extra day to recover. Sensabaugh said after the Tampa Bay game that he's fine.

Garrett said he didn't think the safety position was in trouble, but he has five safeties on the roster with three of them injured.
Safety Roy Williams, the Cowboys’ first pick in the 2002 draft, still wants to play in the NFL.

But if you don’t catch him playing on Sundays, then you can watch him this fall on the reality show "Storage Wars: Dallas," a spinoff of the successful A&E show that just finished its first season.

“My agent is trying to find me a team,” Williams said in a text message. “I’m not retired, but I am filming Storage Wars here in Dallas, which I’m having a blast doing.”

The show features professional buyers and their teams going through repossessed storage units in hopes of finding valuable goods.

Williams spent the last two seasons playing for Cincinnati. He played 12 games last season, finishing with 59 tackles, a sack, an interception and three fumble recoveries.

The nine-year veteran spent his first seven seasons with the Cowboys, playing in five Pro Bowls.

Old School: Harris finds safety in numbers

May, 13, 2010
Former Cowboys great Cliff Harris wraps up ESPN Dallas' Old School 101 series in which former players take a look at the problem areas of the current team and give their opinions and discuss the current players at those positions.

Harris, a six-time Pro Bowler who has two Super Bowl rings and picked off six passes in 21 playoff games, says he took an analytical approach to playing safety based on his math background.

"I played percentages," Harris told ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins. "You look at all the data that is involved and you narrow it down to what can possibly happen to those percentages, and then you can break it down to what this team did during those percentages. Then you narrow it down to that moment in the space and time when you're playing a team."