The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been shy about what they want from second-year safety Matt Johnson.
In fact, the Cowboys have been giving Johnson most of the first team reps alongside Barry Church. One thing I don’t think the Cowboys were expecting, however, is how quickly J.J. Wilcox has closed the gap between Johnson and himself.
During OTAs, Wilcox has shown the ability to make reads and adjustments in the secondary to get himself in a position to make a play on the ball. Former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus notes that Wilcox has been all over the field and that he has been impressive.
“I have really liked what I have seen from Wilcox,” Broaddus said on DallasCowboys.com. “[He] manages to always be around the ball when it is blown dead. He has shown more coverage awareness and skill than I remember observing at Georgia Southern.”
True that when you’re athletic enough to play three different positions in college, it is expected of you, but given that Wilcox didn’t play safety until his senior year in college it speaks volumes about his athleticism. Furthermore, it shows that Wilcox is a smart player, and if you know head coach Jason Garrett, you know that he loves smart players.
I expect Wilcox’s development to continue as the team gets set for training camp. After the Cowboys released Gerald Sensabaugh there were questions as to how they were going to fill that void; it appears that Wilcox is ready to answer those questions.
The Johnson-Wilcox battle will be one to keep track of throughout training camp.