COLLEGE: The Dallas Cowboys aimed at bolstering their defense through the 2012 NFL Draft and hope they landed another defensive back to accomplish the task when they selected Matt Johnson with their second fourth round pick (135th overall). Johnson started every game he played (45) while at Eastern Washington, having his senior season cut short after seven games with shoulder surgery. During his time at EWU, Johnson amassed 341 tackles – fifth all-time in school history – 22 tackles for losses, 30 pass breakups and 17 interceptions – one shy of the school record – while exiting as the university’s all-time leader with six forced fumbles. As he makes the jump to the pro level, Johnson looks to pick up where he left off before the injury as he posted back-to-back 100-tackle seasons as a sophomore and junior.
4/28/12: Drafted in the fourth round (135th overall) by Dallas.
• As a senior, missed the final four games after season-ending shoulder surgery but still earned first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors for the second consecutive season.
• At the time of the injury, was second in the conference with 52 tackles, including a team-best eight for losses, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a quarterback hurry.
• Was a preseason All-America and All-Big Sky Conference selection by several media outlets.
• His 52 tackles were still good for fourth on the squad by season’s end.
• Opened the season with four tackles, two for losses and his lone full sack of the season at Washington.
• Injured his shoulder at South Dakota, but still managed to intercept one pass then had back-to-back nine-tackle games at Montana and against Montana State while fighting the injury.
• Logged a season-best 11 tackles with two for losses at Northern Arizona before finishing his last game of the season against Northern Colorado with six tackles, one for a loss, a half sack and a hurry.
• Selected to College Sporting News Sweet 63 All-America Team while earning first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors, finishing with 105 tackles – third on the team – five interceptions, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a junior.
• Helped the school to a national title as the defense ranked first nationally with 26 interceptions and 47 total turnovers forced.
• Was a team co-captain along with his twin brother, Zach.
• Had eight games with seven-or-more tackles, including a season-high 10 against North Dakota State and nine in the National Championship Game against Delaware.
• Had a two-interception game against Montana while adding one pick in games at Weber State, against Sacramento State and Villanova.
• Earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors, finishing with 101 tackles and led the conference with six interceptions, including four in one game, as a sophomore.
• Had five double digit tackle games, including three consecutive – against Weber State (16 – career-best), at Montana (14) and against Montana State (14).
• Had four interceptions against Portland State to tie a single-game conference record and mark the most interceptions in a game by an Eagle in 23 years and in the conference in 20.
• As a redshirt freshman, was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection after starting all 11 games and finishing second on the team with 83 tackles, with five for losses, and four interceptions.
• Tallied seven-plus tackles in eight games and picked off a pair of passes in one – against Western Washington.
• Opened the season at Texas Tech with 10 stops before tallying seven through each of the next three games.
• Notched a season-best 12 stops at Norther Colorado.
• Redshirted as a true freshman.
• Selected as the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year and earned the weekly honor twice.
• Named as one of the top-100 prospects in Washington State by the Seattle Times as a senior at Tumwater, Wa., High School.
• Earned second-team 2A All-Evergreen League honors as a senior defensive back after racking up 53 tackles, a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery despite missing five games due to injury.
• Also played basketball and baseball, and as a senior, helped lead the baseball team to a district title along with his brother, Zach.
• He is engaged to Megan Zukowski.• Was an exercise and science major at Eastern Washington.