Cowboys future focus: WR Manuel Johnson
By Calvin Watkins
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 5-11. Weight: 200
How acquired: 2009 seventh-round pick
What he did in 2010: After spending the 2009 season on the practice squad, Johnson got elevated to the active roster in the last month of the 2010 season. He didn’t get much action until the final regular season game at Philadelphia. Quarterback Stephen McGee targeted Johnson four times in that game and he caught just one pass for 6 yards.
What to look for in 2011: The Cowboys figure to have plenty of competition at the wide receiver position when training camp starts. Johnson is expected to be in the mix at a possible fourth or fifth wide receiver spot. But he also has to perform well on special teams to maintain his spot on the active roster. Johnson improved as a practice player during the course of the year to get move up. Jason Garrett wants his players to show consistency not only in games, but in practices so he can trust them. Johnson earned that trust. But he’s got to do it again in 2011.
Quotable: “You have to be patient and wait on things. I want to play but I understand what’s going on. We had some talented guys in front of me and I just wanted my opportunity to play.”
– Manuel Johnson
Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: “In some of these games, he wasn’t ready to play. He really didn’t have an idea of what he had to do. There was slant routes where there were some poor routes on his part and not exactly running it how it was supposed to be. But a lot of that is unsureness. He’s not afraid to be physical and block and a lot of receivers want to catch the ball and not do anything with the blocking part. But for him how he runs routes and develops as a route runner is important.”