One of the players Cowboys Nation was most excited to watch on the playing field when the Dallas Cowboys took on the San Francisco 49ers to open their 2019 preseason was an undrafted rookie. Jon’Vea Johnson, who played college ball in Toledo, has had an impressive offseason and training camp, making enough noise to be seriously considered as a candidate to the 53-man roster.
One of the concerns from many who have attended camp was his drops. It’s been an issue in camp and it was a big issue in the Cowboys’ preseason opener this past Saturday night.
Jon’Vea Johnson’s stat-line featured three catches for 30 yards in eight targets. He made some nice plays, but his hands made his performance take a huge blow. He certainly didn’t take the chance of separating himself from the rest of the team’s wide receivers.
That’s preseason in a nutshell. Jon’Vea Johnson has been shining since May, buuuuut you gotta take it to the game. His drop takes the offense off the field.
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention how great Johnson looked running routes and creating separation. His release off the line of scrimmage was pretty good most of the game, which is why the ball went to him so many times. But the ultimate goal of a wide receiver is to actually catch the football. So far, that’s where the trouble’s been for the young WR.
Johnson had back-to-back drops versus the 49ers, including one that led to the team punting on fourth down. When the Cowboys played their scrimmage a few days ago, he also had a couple of bad drops.
Without a doubt, Johnson’s stock is… well, dropping. In direct contrast was a pretty good showing from Cedrick Wilson. He finished the night with three catches for 36 yards in only three targets. He also participated in special teams, which was nice to see. Unlike Johnson, Cedrick Wilson truly took advantage from the team’s first preseason game and made a significant opening case to make the roster.
The Cowboys’ WR room has a ton of competition for those final spots and Jon’Vea will not be earning one if his struggles continue with his hands. Whether it’s lack of skill or concentration, he needs to do better. Period.
What makes his case so interesting is the fact that he’s doing well on the other aspects of the game. As previously mentioned, his route running was on point. Moving forward, he simply needs to secure the ball. If the Cowboys are able to get him to be consistent with his hands, they could have something special on Jon’Vea.
Right now though, I’d bet on him making the practice squad before putting my money on his chances to make the 53-man roster.