As a child, Matt Johnson’s Thanksgivings were all about family – and the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson’s football dreams came full circle Saturday morning when the Cowboys chose the strong safety out of Eastern Washington in the fourth-round of the 2012 National Football League draft. “My dad grew up as a Cowboys fan, so I did, too, and we watched a lot of their games,” Johnson said. “I even had an Emmitt Smith jersey – it was the first one I received.” The family, including twin brother Zach, a senior linebacker at EWU, gathered again this weekend in a local hotel to wait and hope. Johnson, from Tumwater, Wash., was projected by most experts to be drafted in the final rounds – or not at all. “I guess you could say it was surprising by what people were predicting,” Johnson said. “I knew the Cowboys were interested in me based on the workout I had for them in Dallas. But I had confidence in myself and my testing numbers from our pro day were good.” Johnson will fly to Dallas today to meet the Cowboy coaches and participate in a minicamp.
Excerpt from Jim Allen, The Spokesman Review