IRVING, Texas -- In declaring strong safety the best minicamp battle, I didn’t mention fourth-round pick Matt Johnson.
That’s because Johnson hasn’t been at Valley Ranch since the rookie minicamp, as NFL rules prevent him from practicing with the team until his college’s classes are dismissed for the summer. But that doesn’t mean Johnson won’t make it a three-way camp competition with Brodney Pool and Barry Church.
“Let’s see,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We liked what we saw. Whether he ultimately starts or not, I don’t know. But he’ll certainly make everybody compete, for sure.”
A lot will depend on how well Johnson picks up the scheme despite not getting reps or being in meetings during OTAs and minicamp. He’s been studying his playbook and practice film sent to him by the Cowboys while finishing up his coursework at Eastern Washington.
Johnson is a thumper and a playmaker. His 17 career interceptions in college are an especially intriguing statistic considering the lack of turnovers created by the Cowboys’ strong safeties in recent years.