If you’re feeling some frustration that Monday is back in our lives then you should follow the lead of Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo and channel it with paper mache.
When you’re back to your normal Tony Romo self you’ll be able to see clearly that Dallas Cowboys football is upon us! …sort of. The first practice of the 2015 season will take place this Thursday, but the first game of the season will take place 48 days from now. Get into the Cowboy mood by celebrating the Greatest 48 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The Following Players Have All Worn 48 For the Dallas Cowboys:
- Mister Alexander, LB
- Micheal Barrow, LB
- Tim Dobbins, LB
- Isaiah Greenhouse, LB
- Daryl Johnston, FB
- Terry Witherspoon, FB
You all know the story. Jerry Jones buys the Cowboys, Jerry brings in Jimmy Johnson, and in 1989 the franchise selects Troy Aikman with the 1st overall pick in the draft…happily ever after, right?
While that’s totally true a huge cog in the machine of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys was taken in the 2nd round of that 1989 draft.
Teamed up in the 1989 draft with Troy Aikman and the Greatest 53 in Dallas Cowboys History, Mark Stepnoski, Johnston helped lay the foundation for success. The former Syracuse Orangeman was a fullback if there ever was one. Daryl began a streak of 149 consecutive games played in 1989, but an even bigger phenomenon began that year.
The Birth Of Moose
Backup quarterback Babe Laufenberg, now a color analyst on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, noticed that Daryl was a tad bigger than the other running backs. He said that Johnston looked like “a moose in a herd of deer” and Daryl was Moose from then on.
“Mooooose” became a rallying cry heard around Texas Stadium whenever Daryl Johnston made a big play, which was often. Johnston has 22 career touchdowns off of 294 receptions (3rd in franchise history among running backs) and 2,227 yards receiving - as a fullback!
48 + 22
While Daryl Johnston is remembered by fans as an incredible, and arguable Hall of Fame, player he is remembered most dearly by the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher - Emmitt Smith. To be a fullback in the Dallas Cowboys system meant sacrificing a great deal both emotionally and physically. Moose served as the lead blocker for a majority of the yards that Emmitt gained en route to his historical 18,355.
The backfield duo of Johnston and Smith, along with a few other offensive components, helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four years…establishing themselves as an NFL Dynasty. Emmitt Smith shared an emotional bond with Daryl, which he recounted in his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech in 2010.
#48: The Moose Does It All
Daryl Johnston was an elite force not just for the Dallas Cowboys, but for the fullback position as a whole. Thanks to the standard that Moose set at the position the NFL established a defined fullback at the annual Pro Bowl. Johnston became the first fullback ever selected to the Pro Bowl in 1993, a distinction he earned in 1994 as well.
Some NFL players emulate football in everything that they do. This is absolutely the case for Daryl Johnston as his football career has continued long after his days as a Dallas Cowboy. The Moose now lives in the broadcast booth of Fox with his new teammates Kenny Albert and Tony Siragusa. His knowledge and passion for the game of football is readily apparent, as he applies his same sense of focus to this phase of the game.
Canton Needs A Moose
Daryl Johnston was an extraordinary football player and leader during his days in the NFL. His contributions to his own team resulted in 3 Super Bowls, he helped the fullback position gain respect, and his primary responsibility was blocking for Emmitt Smith...whom Moose led all the way to the Hall of Fame.
Daryl deserves to be remembered forever as a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and as the Greatest 48 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 47 in Dallas Cowboys History is!
Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys
Now that he's signed with the Washington Redskins, cornerback Orlando Scandrick joins a lackluster list of former Cowboys players and coaches who have gone from Dallas to its historic rival. The history of these moves is ugly for Washington, going back over 40 years, and can't have their fans too excited anytime they sign an ex-Cowboy.
The most recent example was just last year with defensive tackle Terrell McClain. After a strong season as a 15-game starter in Dallas, McClain got a four-year, $21 million deal to join the Redskins. He missed four games with injuries and was only credited with two starts; hardly what the team wanted given the money they paid.
Before him it was Jason Hatcher, whose 11-sack season for the Cowboys in 2013 got him a four-year, $27.5 million deal from Washington. Hatcher would battle knee injuries for two season, getting only 7.5 sacks from 2014-2015. His early retirement in 2016 brought an abrupt end to a disappointing tenure.
Continuing the legacy of defensive linemen was Stephen Bowen, who Washington paid a shocking amount of money ($27.5 million over five years) to in 2011 to pick up in free agency. Bowen had a great first year for the Redskins with six sacks and 16 starts, but injuries would soon cost him 14 games from 2013-2014. He was eventually released after only one standout season in four with the team.
Going back even further, DT Brandon Noble joined Washington in 2003 after being a full-time starter for Dallas for over two seasons. He would miss all of 2003 with a knee injury, have an unimpressive year in 2004, and then missed all of 2005 with more health issues. He retired after being released by the Redskins in 2006.
Orlando Scandrick won't be the first cornerback to go from Dallas to Washington, or the best. At age 32, Deion Sanders was released in 2000 by the Cowboys and then got a huge seven-year, $56 million deal from the Redskins. This came less than a year after Daniel Snyder bought the franchise and was desperate to get them relevant again.
The Sanders move backfired horribly. Even after a solid season by his lofty standards, Primetime was disgruntled with both the coaching staff and his increasing struggles as an aging player. He suddenly retired after just one season of the seven-year contract.
Washington also tried to tap into the Cowboys' glory days when they signed receiver Alvin Harper in 1997. Harper had left Dallas in 1995 and spent two years with Tampa Bay, but had not carried over the same success he enjoyed playing in the Dallas offense.
The Redskins hoped that reuniting him with Norv Turner, who had been Harper's offensive coordinator and was now their head coach, would help Alvin get back to form. But between ongoing injuries and the absence of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith as teammates, Alvin Harper was never the same guy as when he won two Super Bowls in Dallas.
The failed poaching attempts go back many more decades, another one being running back Calvin Hill. The fourth-leading rusher in Cowboys history and a four-time Pro Bowler while in Dallas, Hill joined Washington in 1976. He served as a backup only, averaging only 3.8 yards-per-carry as he played behind the likes of Mike Thomas and John Riggins.
The bad history doesn't stop with players. The aforementioned Norv Turner, who was one of the hottest assistant coaches in history after the Cowboys first two Super Bowl wins in the 90s, was hired as the Redskins' head coach in 1994.
Turner's run started with a whimper, drafting quarterback Heath Shuler third overall in that first year. Shuler would go down as one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history
Norv's Redskins never seemed to recover from that blunder. He only had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance from 1994-1999, and was fired midway through the 2000 season.
Far more recently, Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the team in 2015 and took the same job in Washington. He didn't get to bring the offensive line or DeMarco Murray with him, though. As such, the Redskins have remained one of the league's worst rushing teams for the last three seasons. They fell to a new low of 28th in the NFL in 2017.
~ ~ ~
Of course, none of this means that Orlando Scandrick won't have success in Washington. But with the Redskins generally the most mismanaged team in the NFC East, all of the Dallas players and coaches who've gone there have not walked into good situations. For all that Cowboys fans love to complain about Jerry Jones, he handles the owner and GM roles better than any pair Washington's had in almost 30 years.
Given the nature of the rivalries, we naturally can't wish success for Scandrick or anyone else who leaves Dallas for a division opponent. With the track record we just discussed for Washington, it's not something I'll be losing any sleep over.
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.
Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.
The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.
Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.
It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.
I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.
Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.
As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.
His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.
Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.
Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.
As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.
Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.
Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
Free Agent CB Orlando Scandrick Joining Washington Redskins
Just two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Orlando Scandrick has found a new home in the nation's capitol. After 10 seasons in Dallas, Scandrick is signing with the rival Washington Redskins.
Redskins and Orlando Scandrick have agreed to a 2-year deal worth a max value of $10M, source said. From Dallas to a rival.
By joining Washington after leaving Dallas, Scandrick follows in the footsteps of many ex-Cowboys: Terrell McClain, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and even Deion Sanders to name a few.
Last week, Orlando reportedly requested his release from Dallas. It was widely expected that he would be a salary cap casualty anyway, though, and especially with the young stockpile of cornerbacks the Cowboys currently have.
Dallas has three young corners they believe in with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown. There is also talk that Byron Jones could be moving back to CB next year.
Scandrick, 31, will get to stay in the NFC East and now cover some of his former teammates. Give the reportedly salary, he should at least be the slot corner for Washington next year if not a starter.
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