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September 28, 2012

Why are the Cowboys holding on to Matt Johnson? Jason Garrett explains

So why have the Cowboys invested a 53-man roster spot on a rookie safety who has practiced three times in pads and has had two hamstring injuries and a back problem in his very, very, very short career with the team?

Jason Garrett was asked that question – not those words, exactly, but close – in Friday’s press conference.

His answer:

“We liked him coming out of school. He’s a smart guy. We think he’s a good athlete. We think he has good instincts playing the safety position. That’s why we drafted him. Then, from the limited number of practices we’ve had with him, he’s demonstrated those things. It doesn’t seem too big for him. He seems to be able to pick things up and play well in the limited action that he’s had. So we felt like, it’s a long season. Over the course of 16 weeks, a lot of different things happen, a lot of different injuries happen. You’ve got to be able to absorb those things. So we felt confident with what we’ve seen so far. So hopefully we can get him back and get him going.”

And will he be able to actually contribute this year? And how?

“Well, in some way. In some way. Certainly on special teams, we feel like he can adjust into a role there, and hopefully he picks things up on defense as well and he’ll have a role for us there in some capacity, whether as a backup player or a spot player in a given situation.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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