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September 01, 2012

Matt Johnson says he has a lot to prove as he, Cowboys try to figure out his hamstring problem

Matt Johnson said he and the Cowboys are trying to figure out why his hamstrings have been a problem for him.

“I didn’t do anything really different from what I’ve done in college,” he said. “That’s the really frustrating part. If I could tell you why it happened, I wouldn’t be as frustrated because then I could know.”

Johnson had a hamstring injury that kept him out of training camp until the team went to San Diego for two practices. He played in the third preseason game, but hurt his other hamstring in that game.

“It’s frustrating because I’ve never had hamstrings, I’ve never had injuries like this before,” he said. “I never missed a game in college until I had shoulder surgery. It’s not proving to myself I can stay healthy. It’s just getting healthy and staying healthy. I know I can, and I’ve got to do it quick.”

Hamstrings are the group of muscles that run along the back of the thigh, allowing the leg to straighten and bend. They take strain in activities with sudden stops and starts, and the muscles can be stretched beyond their limit.

Johnson said he is making sure he is in shape, is eating properly and strengthening the muscle.

“There are so many different variables, from your feet to your back, that could be causing it,” he said. “We’re looking into all that and making sure we get it strong.”

Still, despite the hamstring setbacks, Johnson made the 53-man roster, evidence of the high stock the Cowboys put in the fourth-round pick out of Eastern Washington.

“I still have a lot to prove,” he said. “It’s just an honor that they do have that much faith in me. But I’ve got a lot of stuff to live up to. That’s what I’m working toward every day. I’m just trying to control what I can and get healthy, and once I get healthy, then I’ll get on the field. But I’m staying in it mentally and acting like I’m ready to play tomorrow so whenever that time does come, I’ll be ready to go.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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