Who is your favorite all-time Dallas Cowboys football player?
I know the answers will vary depending on how long you’ve been a Cowboys fan or what decade you may have grown up in, but to me fullback Daryl Johnston is probably my all-time favorite.
I was just six years old when the Dallas Cowboys decided to select Daryl Johnston in the 1989 NFL Draft, with their second round selection (39th overall). I was just beginning to get a really good grasp on the game of football and started paying closer attention to what was going on when I was watching the games on TV.
I remember distinctively how my attention continued to gravitate towards #48 as the years progressed and the Cowboys began their journey to becoming one of the most dominant organizations during the early 1990s.
It just seemed like Johnston was always making plays and you would always know exactly when he was making those plays because the stadium would erupt with “Mooooose” chants. He quickly became not only a fan favorite, but someone I would learn to appreciate more and more because of all of the different ways he contributed to the team.
Honestly, I think he was one of the unsung heroes during the 1990s Cowboy dominance and Super Bowl victories.
By the way, do you know how he received the nickname “Moose”?
Well, it was given to him as a rookie by the backup quarterback Babe Laufenberg because of his large stature compared to the rest of the running backs on the roster. The name not only caught on among his teammates, but as we all know, among Cowboys fans as well.
It’s funny how these things can catch on and last through a player’s career.
Johnston played his entire career with a star on his helmet (1989-1999) and during that time he was a valued member on both offense and special teams up until a neck injury ended his career.
Here is a look at his contributions on offense.
Over 2000 receiving yards from the fullback position? That’s just crazy!
Also, his 294 receptions is the third highest among Cowboys running backs.
In fact, Johnston was such a dominant fullback, the NFL decided to add to the position to the Pro Bowl. He was the first Pro Bowler as a fullback in 1993 and would once again be voted into the Pro Bowl in 1994.
“Moose” Johnston is exactly the type of fullback I think head coach Jason Garrett is looking for and one of the reasons why he is weighing all options to fill that position.
I think Garrett is looking for a player that can contribute all over the field just like Johnston did during his time with the organization.
Tyler Clutts has been the Cowboys fullback since 2013, but he didn’t really contribute very much on offense or on special teams. In 2015, he played in only 13% of the offensive snaps (133), and played only 79 snaps on special teams.
It’s pretty obvious that the organization is looking for more production from the fullback position.
If you look closely at the way Garrett has started to build this team once he took over as head coach, you can see that there are a lot of similarities to the 90s team both he and Johnston were a part of.
During the 90s, the Cowboys had the benefit of a dominant offensive line and The Triplets, also known as Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith.
Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliott could possibly be the new Triplets and we all know that the Cowboys current starters along the offensive line make up one of the best units in the entire NFL. Of course, this will likely come down to the health of Romo and Bryant.
So, finding a Johnston type fullback could be the missing link to make this offense one of the best in the entire NFL once again.
The fullback position has been somewhat diminished around the NFL, but finding the right player that can be a threat as a receiver the way Johnston was and also help open up running lanes for Elliott could be huge for this offense. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about being a key member on special teams as well.
I know I will be ecstatic if they can find that type of player, and although Johnston was a rarity, I think it could possibly happen again.
Do you agree or disagree?
Please feel free to use the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter @bmart0204 so that we can discuss this topic further.