Cowboys sign fourth-round safety Matt Johnson


While some Cowboys were getting chippy on the field, one of their rookies was agreeing to his first NFL contract.

Safety Matt Johnson, drafted in the fourth round out of Eastern Washington, is the lucky new owner of a four-year deal with the Cowboys. Thursday was actually Johnson’s first day with the Cowboys since rookie minicamp thanks to the extended semester at Eastern Washington and the NFL’s rules barring him from work until it ends.

Unless Johnson missed too much time the last couple of months, he should have a shot at a starting job this summer. He’ll have to outplay veterans Brodney Pool and Gerald Sensabaugh, but neither one of them has been good enough over the years to make that feel like an impossibility. Coach Jason Garrett said he thought Johnson looked like a “heady football player.”

“You could see it today. Sometimes it can be intimidating for a guy. Not only is he a rookie, but everybody else has been practicing for three weeks, and now you come in on the last day and you try to fit yourself in. But he seems to have some savvy and some instincts about him, so again, we’re excited to see more of him in camp.”

Cornerback Morris Claiborne and linebacker Kyle Wilber are the only unsigned Cowboys draft picks. Claiborne’s deal is one of many that could be held up as teams and players negotiate the offset language in their contracts.