Individually, the rash of injuries the Dallas Cowboys had on the second day of padded workouts weren’t that big of a deal.
Defensive tackle Terrell McClain was carted off with an ankle injury. Linebacker Will Smith sat out with a groin injury. Linebacker DeVonte Holloman left because of dehydration, and Matt Johnson walked off with a trainer because of tightness in his hamstring.
All are considered day to day.
Johnson’s name, however, jumps out because of his injury-plagued history with the team. Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has yet to play in a regular-season game for the Cowboys. He missed his entire rookie season because of hamstring injuries to both legs and a back injury, and he fractured a foot in the 2013 preseason.
Johnson came into the camp hoping to reward the Cowboys for their faith and patience by finally staying healthy. And now he is hobbled less than a week into workouts.
“You hate it for Matt,” vice president Stephen Jones said. “Matt has done everything right. He has trained harder than he has every trained . He does all the right things. No one is more frustrated than him.”
His teammates feel for Johnson as well. They have seen his struggles and disappointments first hand.
“I didn’t see him out here, and I think he messed up his hamstring again,” safety Barry Church said. “I felt real bad because he worked so hard to get back to the point where he’s at.”
Rookie defensive end Ben Gardner, a seventh round pick, missed Sunday’s practice because of a shoulder injury he suffered on Saturday. He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam, which came back negative. The Cowboys don’t think the injury is serious. Coach Jason Garrett expects him back on the field Tuesday after Monday’s day off.