Matt Johnson (American football)

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Not to be confused with Matt Johnson (quarterback).
Matt Johnson
No. 37
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-07-22) July 22, 1989 (age 27)
Place of birth: Olympia, Washington
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school: Tumwater (WA)
College: Eastern Washington
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 4 / Pick: 135
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 1, 2012
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Matt Johnson (born July 22, 1989) is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football for Eastern Washington University.

Early years[edit]

Johnson attended Tumwater High School where he practiced football, basketball and baseball. In football he received All-league honors three years in a row.

As a senior he helped his team reach the Class 2A state semifinals, in addition to being named second-team all-Evergreen, after missing five games because of a high ankle sprain. He also helped his teams reach the 2A District IV basketball tournament and win the District IV baseball championship.

College career[edit]

Johnson accepted a scholarship from Eastern Washington University and became a starter as a redshirt freshman, posting 83 tackles (second on the team) and 4 interceptions. The next year he had 101 tackles and 6 interceptions (led the conference).

As a junior, he helped the team win the NCAA Division I FCS National Championship, while registering 105 tackles (third on the team), 5 interceptions, 8 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. As a senior, he missed the final four games with an injured shoulder, but managed to record 52 tackles (fourth on the team), 8 tackles for loss (led the team), 2 interceptions, 1.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and earned All-Big Sky conference honors for the second straight season.

He finished fifth in school history and eighth in the Big Sky Conference in career tackles (341), second on the school’s career list for interceptions (17) and return yards (210).

Professional career[edit]

Pro Day[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 212 lb 4.52 s 4.07 s 7.01 s 38 in 10 ft 1 in 18 reps
All values from Eastern Washington pro day

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Johnson was drafted in the fourth round (135th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, which at the time was seen as a reach by the media.[1] As a rookie, he was ineligible to participate in organized team activities until Eastern Washington's classes ended. After experiencing recurring hamstring issues during preseason, the team still kept him in the active roster, but after not being able to recover and play in any game during the regular season, he was placed on the injured reserve list on November Nov 17, 2012.[2]

Coming into 2013, there were high expectations that he could earn the starting free safety position, but he was placed on the injured reserve list on Aug 31, 2013, with a sprained left foot that he suffered in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.[3]

After battling hamstring issues during the previous years, on July 29, 2014, he suffered a hamstring injury in training camp that kept him out of the preseason. On August 27, he was waived injured and was placed on the injured reserve list, before being released with an injury settlement on September 3.[4]

The Cowboys were very patient with Johnson because they believed in his talent, but he couldn't stay healthy, playing in only two preseason games in two seasons. He announced his retirement on February 27, 2015.

Personal life[edit]

He played along his twin brother Zach Johnson in high school and college.


  1. ^ Archer, Todd (April 28, 2012). "Matt Johnson caps Cowboys' fourth round". ESPN. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Matt Johnson headed to injured reserve". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Matt Johnson hopes he can prove his worth". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Dallas Cowboys cut-down analysis". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 

External links[edit]