Are you a Dallas Cowboys fan? So you must know who Dez Bryant and Tony Romo are. Are you cheering along with me for the Dallas Cowboys to make a Superbowl appearance this year? You probably also know who Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin are. If you’re old school, you definitely know who Roger Staubach is, right? What about Daryl Johnston? You don’t? I’m not surprised. See below.
This picture shows Emmitt Smith running through a hole created by number 48, Daryl Johnston. Daryl Johnston was nick named “Moose” by Dallas Cowboys fans. Why? Well, at 6 foot 2 and 240 pounds, he was as big as a moose. You couldn’t stop him. All those playoff appearances and Superbowls the Cowboys won, all those accolades that Emmitt Smith received, the Moose played a huge role in that. He was also a short run specialist. He was so big and so strong, many times stronger than the linemen and linebackers trying to stop him, that he was the go to guy for one or two yard runs. Fun fact: He happened to be sponsored by Met RX. That was before getting sponsored became a thing and before protein shakes became delicious.
Unless you’re a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, you’ve probably never heard of him. He’s my sports hero for 3 simple reasons.
1. He doesn’t care about glory
Daryl Johnston is a Pro Bowler, and has earned plenty of money (not today’s kind of money). He’s famous to die hard Cowboys fans who grew up in the 90’s, but he didn’t do it for fame and fortune. He did it because he loved the game and because he had the opportunity. He did it because he wanted the team to win. He would never become Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, or Emmitt Smith. He would never reach that level of fame, stardom, or money. He knew that but didn’t care. He wanted to contribute to the team.
2. He works hard
Guys like Daryl Johnston are known to be grunts, and the Dallas Cowboys have had plenty of them. They put in countless hours at the gym. They put in countless hours on the field. They put in countless hours watching film. They’re willing to outwork anyone. They work hard at being students of the entire game, not just their specific roles.
3. He specializes but doesn’t care about it
He has his niche. Do you need a 6 foot 2, 240 pound fullback that will demolish linebackers and pave the way for your running back to get a touchdown? Get the Moose. That’s his niche, but he doesn’t care. You need a special teams guy? He’s in. You need someone to catch the ball and run with it? He’s in. You need someone to run the ball? He’s in? You need someone to do nothing but block all year long? He’s in.
He’s my sports hero because I don’t want to care about the glory, I want to work like he works, and because I want to contribute to the team win, in any way I can. Everyone wants to be Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. I want to be like Daryl Johnston.