1. Daryl Johnston (1989 – 1999)
Has there ever been a more obvious choice for number one? Sure, Robert Newhouse has more yards and Don Perkins has more than four times as many rushing touchdowns, but Daryl Johnston defined the mold of the modern fullback.
There are not many numbers to flaunt here. Well, there is one stat: 18, 355. That is Emmitt Smith’s rushing total. You can make a fair argument that Daryl Johnston contributed to at least half of those yards. The league’s all-time leading rusher and one of the best Cowboys to ever wear a star on his helmet has Johnston to thank.
Johnston also started every game during the Cowboys reign in the 1990’s when they won three super bowls.
His receiving numbers are more impressive than his rushing. He caught a touchdown pass every year from 1989 to 1998 for a total of 14 in his career.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys wisely decided against signing Dalvin Cook
- West coast, Texas coast, burnt toast: Cowboys don’t need more runs
- Brandin Cooks will change the way defenses play the Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys defensive X-Factor is EDGE Sam Williams
- Dallas Cowboys: 3 head coach options if McCarthy fails in 2023
On the ground, he totaled 752 yards for his career and scored eight touchdowns.
Like Don Perkins, Johnston was there through the team’s roughest season, 1989, and helped them blossom into a dynasty.
He solidified the importance of the blocking fullback. Largely due to his contributions, a dedicated fullback position was added to the pro bowl in 1993. Johnston was selected to two pro bowls.
After a neck injury forced him into retirement in 1999, Johnston found employment as a color commentator on The NFL on Fox, where he has hosted since 2001.
Daryl Johnston’s legacy will live on with Dallas Cowboys lore and hopefully as his story is told people will remember the role the fullback once played in the NFL.