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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #51 Durrell Johnson

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 28 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 51.

DE Durrell Johnson
Born: 26th June 1998 (25) - Baltimore, Maryland
College: Liberty Flames
Draft: 2023, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Stats: (College)
Snaps: 732
Defensive Snaps: 685
Tackles: 58
Pressures: 35
Sacks: 9
TFL: 28
Defensive Stops: 42
Penalties: 4

Durrell Johnson’s origin story in college starts in 2018 playing for ASA College. He redshirted his freshman year and then played in eight games the following year, totaling 41 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and one fumble recovery. The next season he entered the transfer portal looking for a new challenge. He ended up at Liberty and started all 11 games that year at defensive end. He was exemplary during his first year for Liberty ranking first on the team in sacks (8.5) and first on the team in tackles for loss (11.5). In 2021, Johnson missed part of the season due to injury and only made 16 tackles and six tackles for loss. But he made sure to finish strong during his senior season. He ranked first on the team and in the nation with an believable 28 tackles for loss, and his nine sacks that season was also the most for Liberty. He also added 58 tackles, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and one interception.

Cowboys Outlook:
Johnson is a high-motor player with amazing snap anticipation. He has a lethal spin move that he uses to great effectiveness and shows good bend and flexibility around the edge. By his tackle for loss totals. it’s pretty obvious to say he can find and get to the ball carrier quickly, but what needs to be noted is his general speed and how good he is at moving laterally. The issue with Johnson is whether he’s good enough to bend around NFL caliber tackles. He lacks size, bulk and strength, so at the moment he needs to get in the gym and spend a lot of time with the strength and conditioning coaches. Based on the fact Johnson needs to add more muscle and work on his hand technique, there won’t be much playtime this season for Johnson, but the upside for him is very intriguing.

The Big Question:
Will Johnson develop into a rotational edge rusher for Dallas? Comment below with your thoughts.

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