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48 Daryl Johnston – Fullback – 1989-1999

Mooo-ooose… That was the sound that filled a packed Texas Stadium whenever Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston got his hands on the ball or laid down a key block for Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. Johnston was built like a moose and as strong as one too.

He first gained national attention while playing for Syracuse University. He rushed for 1,830 yards and caught 46 passes during his collegiate career and once gained 138 yards rushing, the most by a Syracuse running back since Larry Csonka rushed for 154 yards in 1967. He was an All-American and All-East pick in 1988.

Johnston was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

On the day he arrived for his first mini camp, he was nicknamed “Moose” by former teammate Babe Laufenberg. Babe remarked, who’s that big ol’ moose over there during his first team meeting and the name stuck.

Johnston started out as a reserve, but became a full-time starter in 1991 and was a key member of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl winning teams in 1993, 1994 and 1996. He played 12 seasons for the Cowboys before retiring in 2000. He was a fierce ball carrier but was best known for being the lead blocker for all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

He was also a true iron man, having never missed a game in his NFL career, playing in 143 straight games. Every time Johnston touched the ball, “Moose” chants can be heard resonating at Texas Stadium.

He finished his career catching 294 passes for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns, as well as 232 rushes for 753 yards and eight touchdowns. He had a career-high, 50 receptions in 1993.

In 2010, when Emmitt Smith gave his Hall of Fame induction speech, he saved his highest praise for Daryl Johnston while trying to fight back the tears and the emotion of explaining just how important Johnston was to Smith’s career.

I was happy for both Emmitt and Daryl during that emotionally charged speech that tugged on our collective heart-strings. It felt like they were both being enshrined in Canton, Ohio on that very memorable and unforgettable day.

Leave It To The Media To Rain On Emmitt’s Parade

By now most of you have heard the latest controversy about Emmitt Smith’s big snub during Saturday night’s Hall of Fame induction speech.

Apparently, the media  is trumpeting the fact that Emmitt failed to thank or acknowledge his Alma Mater, the University of Florida.

The way I see it, Hall of Famers earn the right to thank whoever they damn well please when they give their induction speech. It’s one of many rights they earned by being a Hall of Famer.

One thing that is hardly mentioned, is the glaring fact that this was an NFL Hall Of Fame speech, and Emmitt went ahead and thanked all those who made his NFL Hall of Fame career possible.

Upon being drafted by the Cowboys and beginning his NFL career, I don’t believe that anyone from the University of Florida had a hand in shaping the next 15 years of his life. However, his family did… And Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson did… And of course Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin did… And as America now knows, Daryl Johnston did too.

Those were the people who helped get Emmitt Smith to the Hall of Fame, and all of them received plenty of heartfelt recognition on Saturday. 

When Emmitt was drafted in 1990 by the Cowboys with pick number 17, he thanked the University of Florida for getting him to that point in his life. His college journey was over, and new and more glorious journey was about to begin.

To hell with all the haters.

Emmitt Smith’s place in Canton is now complete

Class…It’s the one word that has always described Emmitt Smith on the field as well as off the field.

Emmitt Smith stood at the podium as the crowd gave him a long standing ovation. Then Emmitt Smith did what he had done his entire career. He showed class as he thanked everyone that got him to the Hall of Fame. It wasn’t about him at all on his night. He thanked the Cowboys organization, his coaches, his teammates, his family and the fans all around the world.

It’s been a long five years since Emmitt Smith retired from the NFL. Watching Emmitt Smith on that stage was one of my greatest moments since becoming a Dallas Cowboys fan. He made us fans proud when he played the game and he continued to make us proud as he gave his speech. Including the fans in his speech was a fantastic thing to hear from him. The smile on my face was from ear to ear. 

When Emmitt Smith broke the All-Time rushing record in 2002 the thing that always stood out to me was the special moment that he shared with Daryl Johnston. It was a touching moment as Emmitt Smith broke down and thanked Daryl Johnston for everything he had done for him. Then tonight as Emmitt Smith was thanking Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin the crowd started to chant “Moose”. Then once again like in 2002 the tears started to flow on the face of Emmitt Smith. He asked Daryl Johnston to stand and thanked him from the bottom of his heart for everything he had done for him. It brought tears to my eyes in 2002 and it brought tears to my eyes tonight.

2002 video with Daryl Johnston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9KShXrxT8&feature=related

Hall of Fame speech with Daryl Johnston

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/halloffame10/news/story?id=5445640

Emmitt Smith is now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Right  where he belongs because of the kind of player he was and also because of the kind of person he is. He made the night about everyone around him and not about himself. I am so  proud to be able to say that I watched his entire career and loved every minute of it. I’m also proud to say that I had the pleasure of meeting Emmitt Smith back in 1993 and 1994. He signed my Emmitt Smith jersey not once, but twice for me and it will always be my most prized possession. Congratulations Emmitt Smith and thank you for being such a class act. You are most deserving of your place in Canton.

Emmitt Smith’s Hall of Fame Speech transcript from Espn.com

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/25708/emmitt-smith-hall-of-fame-speech

CHATTERBOX

As a member of several Cowboys Blogs and subscriber to every online news that has anything to do with The Cowboys, I have seen lots of Chatter this week.

I thought we should open up a dialogue on all these things going on this week with you Starstruckers. It has been too quiet around here the last few days and I love stirring the pot anyway. (I am reserving my opinion on all of this because I think it would be more fun to hear from all of you.)

ROY WILLIAMS DOESN’T THINK HE FITS WITH THIS DEFENSE. According to what he has said to Greg Ellis, Roy isn’t sure he belongs in Wade’s defense. Roy’s keeping to himself, working out early and leaving at 7:30 am, before his teammates arrive at Valley Ranch. Greg appeared on The Michael Irvin Show after this came out. Greg wanted to express he was Roy’s friend and didn’t mean to cause him harm by publicly speaking about Roy’s dilemma. He says he is concerned about Roy and wants everyone to rally around him and support him. I have seen some really nasty things said by fans about Roy this past week. Really nasty.

T.O. IS ON A SITCOM AND ROMO IS SINGING AT A CUBS GAME. Many, many bloggers are griping that these two aren’t focused on their football, especially Romo, because they are appearing everywhere, other than at Valley Ranch.

MOOSE SPEAKS OUT ON TANK JOHNSON but GIVES HIS OK ON PACMAN. Daryl Johnston thought the character of Tank Johnson was questionable and spoke out against the hiring of Tank last season. He says Tank wasn’t going to lead the Cowboys to a Superbowl, so he wasn’t worth the risk. PacMan however is worth the risk, according to Moose who was quoted as saying “In this era of salary cap management, I like the way that they structured his contract," Moose said yesterday at the Cowboys Golf Club. "Now you’ve just got to keep your fingers crossed that he’s learned from what he’s done in the past and the support group within the Dallas Cowboys does its job. But it’s a tough decision. It’s a roll of the dice. You get tempted by talent”.

MARION BARBER and KEN HAMLIN STILL NOT SIGNED. Barber isn’t working out with the team and I guess he won’t until he’s signed. Jerry Jones says “Not to worry”. Ok Papa John….I mean Jerry, I won’t worry if you say so.

The Cowboys gave Barber a one-year tender of $2.56 million, the highest designation for restricted free agents. Hamlin, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent, received a franchise tag of one-year, $4.33 million.

TONY AND JESSICA……ON OR OFF? Can’t resist. Gotta get the tabloid blurb in here. Last week there were reports there were wedding bells. This week there have been numerous reports that it’s over. They haven’t been spotted together this week but they sure have both been spotted apart……hmmmmm.

Ok Starstruckers…………Talk to me!!!

 

Legends of the Star – Daryl Johnston

 

Daryl Johnston gained national attention while playing for Syracuse University. He rushed for 1,830 yards and caught 46 passes during his collegiate career and once gained 138 yards rushing, the most by a Syracuse running back since Larry Csonka rushed for 154 yards in 1967. He was an All-American and All-East pick in 1988.

Johnston was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

On the day he arrived for his first mini camp, he was nicknamed "Moose" by former teammate Babe Laufenberg. Babe remarked, who’s that big ol’ moose over there during his first team meeting and the name stuck.

Johnston started out as a reserve, but became a full-time starter in 1991 and was a key member of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl winning teams in 1993, 1994 and 1996. He played 12 seasons for the Cowboys before retiring in 2000. He was a fierce ball carrier but was best known for being the lead blocker for all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

He was also a true iron man, having never missed a game in his NFL career, playing in 143 straight games. Every time Johnston touched the ball, "Moose" chants can be heard resonating at Texas Stadium.

He finished his career catching 294 passes for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns, as well as 232 rushes for 753 yards and eight touchdowns. He had a career-high, 50 receptions in 1993.
 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.