Johnston in September 2006.
|Date of birth:||February 10, 1966|
|Place of birth:||Youngstown, New York|
|NFL draft:||1989 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
High school career
Johnston was named Western New York Player of the Year in 1983, while playing for Lewiston-Porter (locally known as Lew-Port) High School in Youngstown, New York. The Lancers won the division during his senior year in 1984.
His Lew-Port jersey (number 34) was retired on September 1, 2006. In 2008 he was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
While playing for Syracuse, Johnston was an All-Big East selection in 1987 and an All-American in 1988. He rushed for 1,830 yards and caught 46 passes during his collegiate career. He once gained 138 yards rushing, the most by a Syracuse running back since Larry Csonka rushed for 154 yards in 1967.
He graduated with a degree in economics.
Johnston was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft. As a rookie he received his nickname "Moose" from backup quarterback Babe Laufenberg because of his large stature compared to the rest of the running backs. The name caught on among Dallas fans who would chant "Moooooose" whenever he made a play.
He scored 22 career touchdowns and had more receptions than carries. His 294 receptions is the third highest number among Cowboys running backs, totaling 2,227 yards for a 7.6 yards average, compared to 232 carries for 753 yards for a 3.2 yards average. In 1993 Johnston had 50 receptions and averaged 7.4 yards per catch.
Due mainly to Johnston's contributions, the NFL created the fullback position in the Pro Bowl. Prior to this change, blocking fullbacks had little chance of beating out traditional running backs, who had better statistics. In 1993 Johnston became the first fullback ever selected for the Pro Bowl, earning trips in 1993 and in 1994.
|Year||Team||Games||Carries||Yards||Yards per Carry||Longest Carry||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
|Year||Team||Games||Receptions||Yards||Yards per Reception||Longest Reception||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
Johnston was considered one of the best fullbacks of his day, while blocking for Emmitt Smith, as Smith went on to become the all-time NFL rushing leader. However, Johnston was not the lead blocker for Smith's entire career. A neck injury prematurely ended Johnston's career. Johnston was present the day Smith broke the rushing record; he was in the broadcasting booth, but came down onto the field to hug Smith and congratulate him afterward. As Smith made his victory lap of Texas Stadium after the record setting carry, Johnston hung back in the shadows. When Smith saw Johnston, the two joined together in an emotional embrace, with Smith telling Johnston, "I couldn't have done it without you". Johnston replied "It was my pleasure. I couldn't imagine doing it for anybody else."
In 2010, Johnston was in the audience for Emmitt Smith's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During his acceptance speech, a visibly emotional Smith spoke directly to Johnston, calling out the fact that, as a fullback, he had sacrificed himself for so many years to block for Smith. "Without you", Smith said, "I know that today would not have been possible."
In 2003, Johnston joined the program Players Inc Radio when it moved to Fox Sports Radio. The program was sponsored by NFL Players Inc. Today[when?], Johnston works as a color commentator alongside Kenny Albert (then Dick Stockton) on the third broadcast (then second broadcast) team of The NFL on Fox. He also works with Tony "Goose" Siragusa. He was an analyst for the NFL Network's "Total Access" until 2012. Johnston also began calling the collegiate Cotton Bowl Classic game for Fox in 2009, first with Pat Summerall, and then eventually Kenny Albert. He also was a guest star of the PBS television series Wishbone in its episode "Moonbone".
Johnston has been a major contributor to many charities including the Special Olympics, Children's Cancer Fund, Cystic Fibrosis and Literacy Instruction For Texas (LIFT). He has also served as honorary chairman for MDA's "Aisles of Smiles" campaign, and for the American Cancer Society's Gunslingers' Ball. In 1999, Johnston's numerous community service activities led to his nomination for the prestigious "Whizzer White Humanitarian Award."
References and notes
- "Daryl Johnston NFL All-Pro and Fox Sports Net Analyst". MCPSpeakers.com. Retrieved 2005-05-29.
- "Top 10 Best Draft Picks of the Jerry Jones Era". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- "Daryl Johnston Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Closing Bell". Sports Business Daily. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2013.