TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Competition heats up at safety position

Dallas Cowboys rookie S Matt Johnson eyes starting job - The Boys Are Back blog

OXNARD, Calif. — The good thing about coach Jason Garrett is he wants competition at various positions.

One main position that will it is safety.

Gerald Sensabaugh is one of the starters, but who starts next to him is uncertain. Brodney Pool signed a one-year free agent deal in the offseason, and the Cowboys drafted Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Those players join Barry Church and Danny McCray, who enter their third NFL seasons.

There are no guarantees Pool makes the roster, given his $100,000 signing bonus. The Cowboys like the playmaking ability of Johnson, who had 17 career interceptions in four seasons at Eastern Washington.

Church played well in a limited role on defense, and McCray has led the team in special teams tackles the last two seasons.

"We want to give those guys a chance," Garrett said. "We drafted Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Barry Church has been with us, he’s improved, a very good special teams player, right from the start. But he’s improving as a defensive safety. We want to give those guys a chance. We like Brodney a lot, he’s played a lot of games in this league, a very athletic safety. He’s got a good feel for playing. There’s a reason we went and signed him. But at the same time, again, we want to create competition and we want to give these other guys a chance to show us what they can do."

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