American Football Database
Daryl Johnston
File:Daryl-Johnston-AA Bowl VIP-OCPA-2006-09-27-144546.jpg
Johnston in September 2006.
No. 48     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1966-02-10) February 10, 1966 (age 56)
Place of birth: Youngstown, New York
Career information
College: Syracuse
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39
Debuted in 1989 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1999 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Rushing Yards     753
Average     3.2
Touchdowns     22
Stats at

Daryl Peter "Moose" Johnston (born February 10, 1966) is a former National Football League fullback currently an analyst with Kenny Albert who played his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys from 1989 to 1999.

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.

College career

Johnston attended Syracuse University. As a redshirted freshman, he started playing on special teams and would earn the starting fullback position by his sophomore season in 1986.

While playing for Syracuse, Johnston was an All-Big East selection in 1988 and an All-American in 1989. 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.

Professional career

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.[1] The name caught on among Dallas fans who would chant "Moooooose" whenever he made a play.

As a Cowboy, Johnston played in 149 consecutive games from 1989-97. He also became one of the greatest special teams players in franchise history.

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.[2] 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,[1] earning trips in 1993 and in 1994.

Johnston retired at the end of the 1999 season, after suffering a neck injury that cut short his career. He was a member of three Super Bowl winning teams.


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. An unfortunate 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."[3]

Broadcasting career

Today, Johnston works as a color commentator alongside Kenny Albert on the second broadcast team of The NFL on Fox. He also works with Tony "Goose" Siragusa. He was recently hired as 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".

Personal life

A native of Youngstown, New York, Johnston now resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife Diane, son Aaron, and daughter Evan.

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."[4]

External links

References and notes