On the day before the first training camp practice, the Cowboys got some good news on the injury front regarding a player who desperately needs to get on the field.
Rookie safety Matt Johnson, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury, passed his physical Sunday and has been removed from PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), meaning he has been cleared to practice Monday afternoon. That doesn't mean the Cowboys won't be a little cautious in putting Johnson in the action, but at least he will be able to "work back into practice" as the Cowboys' athletic training staff likes to say.
And that's also good news for Johnson, who has missed nearly all of the offseason practices, mostly because he was ineligible to participate because his classes at Eastern Washington did not conclude until mid-June. Johnson was able to practice in the final day of minicamp. But in the last few weeks, Johnson suffered the setback with his hamstring. The Cowboys placed him on PUP on Wednesday, along with four other players - Mike Jenkins, Kevin Kowalski, Danny Coale and Mackenzy Bernardeau.
The Cowboys have high expectations for Johnson, the second of their two fourth-round picks, and there is a chance he could compete for a starting spot at free safety. It's likely Brodney Pool and Barry Church will get most of the reps, but if Johnson can learn quickly, the Cowboys will definitely give him a shot.