The Dallas Cowboys and their fans have been anticipating the arrival of Matt Johnson for over a year now. The potential is there, why else would the Cowboys hold a roster spot for the fourth-round pick that was never healthy enough to play in a single game last season?
However, things are looking up for Johnson and the Cowboys. Dallascowboys.com scout Bryan Broaddus believes that Johnson is ready to emerge in a larger role for the Cowboys this year and reports the safety looks outstanding. Johnson has been taking reps with the first team and is playing with a chip on his shoulder.
This is all great news for the Cowboys but Johnson must be able to stay healthy when the real practices of training camp and preseason games come along because Johnson is a perfect fit for Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 scheme. I wrote a few months ago how Johnson’s scouting report read like a carbon copy of a former Kiffin player, John Lynch, and Johnson’s play in college backed that up. Johnson had 17 career interceptions at Eastern Washington and forced six fumbles with his physical style of play.
Also included in Johnson’s scouting report was his intangibles and professional approach to the game, a perfect match with head coach Jason Garrett, so it’s easy to see why the Cowboys have waited for Johnson. About the only thing that separates Johnson from Lynch is athletic ability, and Johnson far surpasses Lynch in that area.
Add up the intelligence, athleticism and play making ability of Matt Johnson and it’s easy to understand why the Cowboys are excited about him. Dallas will give Johnson every opportunity to win a starting safety spot this season and no one should be surprised if he lines up next to Barry Church on opening night against the New York Giants.
The Cowboys believe Matt Johnson can be a play maker in the secondary and the anticipation of seeing him on the field is something all Cowboys fans should be looking forward to.