The Matt Johnson Era officially ended Tuesday, two years after the Cowboys drafted him, but, actually, before it even began.
Johnson was a promising safety from Eastern Washington, taken in the 4th round in 2012. He was athletic. Fast. A ballhawk in a position where the Cowboys desperately needed playmakers.
But as the Cowboys approach their preseason finale of the 2014 season, we still haven’t seen Johnson in a regular season game. And we never will. At least with a star on his helmet.
After another injury-plagued training camp the Cowboys finally cut Johnson Tuesday. It’s another maddening miss in the draft, the kind that has left Dallas with minimal depth and struggling to stay on their 8-8 treadmill. Fourth-round picks are supposed to start, or at least contribute on special teams. But Johnson could never stay on the field.
As a rookie in 2012 he pulled both hamstrings and suffered from back problems. In 2013 he tore ligaments in his ankle and spent the season on injured reserve after surgery. This year he suffered another hamstring injury early in camp.
Blinded by what they saw in his potential, the Cowboys were overly patient with Johnson. But clearly it was time to give up.
Matt Johnson, the Cowboy who never played a single snap in the regular season.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.