Matt Johnson was a man on a mission for turnovers in college.
Four unrelated items of likely interest to fans of all things Dallas Cowboys:
Am I the only one that feels like the rookie minicamp was just a tease? After a couple of days of something actually happening, with real live football players working out at the Dallas Cowboys facility in Valley Ranch, I am feeling withdrawal pains. I seem to be going through a spiral. Once, I just waited for the regular season. Then I started paying attention to the draft. Next, I counted the days until the pre-season started. That was followed by marking the opening of training camp on my calender, and now I find myself anxiously awaiting the first Dallas OTA.
All I can say about this progressive obsession of mine is this: I would not have it any other way.
I know I am not alone in this happy addiction. So first, I need to apologize for quoting some inaccurate information in my Camp RKG Day 2 post. A certain major news outlet, which I will not mention by name (just the initials ESPN) indicated in an article I quoted that the rookies would be getting to work with the veterans on May 14. This was a bit puzzling, since that date did not show up anywhere. I still am not sure what BS . . . I mean, ESPN was referring to, but the official Cowboys site put out a schedule of the real dates for the OTAs and the one minicamp for the veterans.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the number of OTA's have been reduced to 10 over a three-week period. The Cowboys will work out May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-7.
The club just completed its three-day minicamp for rookies and eligible first-year veterans. The veteran minicamp -- the only mandatory minicamp permitted per team -- is scheduled for June 12-14. All workouts are closed to the public, and media access will vary.
After that, the next big date is the start of training camp at the end of July in Oxnard, Calif., running through mid-August.
That should have us all on the same page. And counting the days down.
The other topics to feed your Cowboys fever after the jump.
The first roster move from the rookie minicamp has happened.
The Cowboys are expected to sign North Texas fullback Jamize Olawale to their 90-man roster. Olawale impressed Cowboys coaches and scouts at the team's rookie mini-camp last weekend at Valley Ranch. He was one of 15 players to attend the three-day camp on a tryout basis.
Given the free agency signing of Lawrence Vickers, this may be for nothing more than a camp body. However, it could lead to a practice squad position.
What is really different about this is Olawale's background.
Olawale (6-0, 235) was listed as a wide receiver at North Texas. He's from Long Beach, Calif., and transferred to North Texas after playing two seasons at El Camino Junior College (Torrance, Calif.).
He had two catches for nine yards in eight games played last season for North Texas. In 2010, Olawale played in 11 games and made six catches for 79 yards.
Wide receiver to fullback? Has that ever happened before?
The report did cite his pass-catching skill as part of why he was offered the position. But maybe the big question is how did a 6-0 guy who goes 235 get to be a wideout in the first place?
Before making this move, Dallas had two open positions to complete the 90 man roster. And after signing Olawale, they still have two open slots.
The Cowboys cut linebacker Brashton Satele earlier Monday afternoon to get to 87 players on their roster.
That means that two more of the tryout players, at least, will likely get signed. Yes, I am pulling for Nathan Dick.
Wait, did that come out wrong?.
Matt Johnson is one of the Dallas draft choices that was a bit of an unknown (really everyone except Morris Clairborne fits that description for most of us). In his case, this was probably due to the large chunk of his senior season that he missed with injury.
A torn biceps limited him to five games as a senior at Eastern Washington, and he was only fully healthy for one game.
While the combination of the injury and playing for a small school pushed him down the draft boards for most teams, Dallas obviously saw something worth going after.
Johnson was a takeaway machine in college, finishing second all-time at Eastern Washington with 17 interceptions despite his shortened senior year. He had an interception in the afternoon practice Saturday at Valley Ranch.
It remains to be seen if Johnson can push Brodney Pool for a starting job this summer, but the Cowboys are excited about his versatility in coverage and against the run.
This was emphasized in another article that quoted a couple of people who probably mattered on draft day (although there does seem to be some discrepancy in numbers here).
One of the reasons the Cowboys liked safety Matt Johnson is that he created turnovers at Eastern Washington - 15 interceptions and five forced fumbles.
"The ball skills with all the interceptions he had in college, you always like that," secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. "Guys who defend the deep part of the field are secondary coaches' friends."
"He's a smart kid," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "He's got great ball skills. We are really excited about him. I think he's going to be good. He's got a great work ethic. He's a twin like me, so I think he will be good."
Henderson said two of Johnson's strengths are intelligence and work ethic.
Those sound like some pretty good endorsements.
Finally, just in case anyone might be interested, here is a link to an article about another set of tryouts, this one for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. A warm human interest article. With photo galleries. Just thought some might want to know.
Did I mention the photo galleries?