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July 27, 2013

Matt Johnson says picks, like the one he had in practice against Romo, are the reason Cowboys drafted him

Matt Johnson said his interception in practice on Friday is the reason the Cowboys drafted him, and he’s got to start making plays like that.

“It’s about time. It needed to happen,” the second-team safety said. “It’s why they brought me in. I had a lot of picks in college. I’ve got to start doing that more.”

Johnson had 17 interceptions in his career at Eastern Washington, and the Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round in 2012. But he never got on the field as a rookie because of hamstring injuries.

This year, he’s been healthy, but he’s had two health scares in training camp – cramps that kept him from finishing a practice this week and a jammed knee as he came down with the interception Friday. He joked with reporters that he hyperextended it.

“I just jammed my knee,” he said. “Whatever it was, I’m fine. Just trying to cut, trying to be a running back, which I’m not.”

Johnson returned to practice after getting the knee checked out on the field. He can now go into Saturday’s work and Sunday’s scrimmage with renewed confidence.

“It kind of gave me a little bit of confidence knowing I can do that,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep doing it. Like I said, it wasn’t an amazing pick or anything like that. I’ve got to start being able to make more plays like that.”

Johnson got praise for the play, a textbook example of deep help as he came over and grabbed an underthrown ball from Tony Romo intended for Dez Bryant deep down the left sideline.

“I think we kind of confused Romo there, so it wasn’t an amazing pick or anything, but I was in the right spot at the right time,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to take advantage of stuff like that.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez


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