Dallas Cowboys: WR Jon’Vea Johnson, down, but not out

Jon'Vea Johnson #81 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jon'Vea Johnson #81 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys receiver Jon’Vea Johnson was placed on the NFL’s newly created Reserve/COVID-19 list.

The NFL’s newly created Reserve/COVID-19 list has claimed it’s first six names. Among them, is Dallas Cowboys second-year receiver, Jon’Vea Johnson.

Cowboys fans will remember Johnson as the training camp standout from 2019. The undrafted rookie out of Toledo was a daily highlight reel last year, and if wasn’t for a chronic case of the preseason game dropsies, he probably would have made the final roster.

Blessed with excellent size/speed/quickness, Johnson is a favorite of many to make the Dallas Cowboys active roster. While loaded with star power at WR1-WR3, the Cowboys have ample opportunity at the lower ranks. Johnson was/is in prime position to seize that.

How bad is this for Jon’Vea Johnson?

Johnson’s designation to the list isn’t doing him any favors but it also doesn’t push him out of the competition either. It’s important to keep in mind, this doesn’t necessarily mean Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. Dallas is forbidden from specifying, but entry on the COVID list can either be personal positive test, or contact with someone who tested positive. We don’t know which.

This also probably won’t do much to hurt his chance to compete. Practices aren’t set to start until mid-August and the hope is Johnson will be good to go well before then. Johnson has the ability to play outside, inside, and on special teams. All of this plays in his favor towards claiming a roster spot.

Based on last preseason, Johnson has to have an inside track on making the team. He was a strong route runner who bested some of the Dallas Cowboys top cornerbacks on the regular. His measurable skills are strong and his ceiling is high. There’s a reason he’s the pet cat of so many fans in Cowboys Nation.

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Jon’Vea’s primary competition in camp will likely be Devin Smith (a blazing fast veteran), Cedrick Wilson (third year receiver with similar versatility but less of a ceiling) , Noah Brown (ridiculously strong move blocker with jump ball skills) and Ventell Bryant (a promising prospect who was active last season).

Given the contagiousness of the virus and the NFL’s commitment to testing, Jon’Vea Johnson likely won’t be the last Cowboy finding himself on the dreaded Reserve/COVID-19 list. As other professional sports have shown, leagues are essentially required to adapt as situations change and more is learned. Everyone is motivated to make this work and both sides (owners and players) are willing to adapt.

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Jon’Vea Johnson has been placed on the list but that’s likely only a minor set-back in his bid to make the Dallas Cowboys final roster.