The XFL is employing Daryl 'Moose Johnston' in their front office of the Dallas Renegades. I caught up with him and we reminisced about the start of the 1993 Dallas Cowboys season when Emmitt Smith missed two games because he didn't have a contract. The Cowboys were defending Super Bowl champions and thought rookie Derrick Lassic could be the answer. He wasn't. They started the season 0-2 without Smith.
Jerry Jones is saying his club doesn't need a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl. With Zeke Elliott holding out of Cowboys training camp for a new contract, the Hall of Fame owner is pumping up another rookie running back. This time Tony Pollard of Memphis.
Johnston believes the club might want to re-think that strategy.
"It's obvious that they are not as good without him. We tried to do it… right. We had Emmitt Smith. We'll be OK. I mean he's (Lassic) good. Emmitt, he's unique. He's special but we can manage it. No we couldn't. No we couldn't. Don't underestimate, how hard, that's the hard part about this whole thing — don't convince yourself that you can do this without him," Johnston said with a smirk at the XFL's press conference. "That you can come up with a running back by committee that can replace him because the reason you drafted him is because he's unique. And when someone is unique you can't replace them so I hope financially that they can get both sides to come to the table and get it done because this team is poised to do some unique things over the next few seasons if they can get everyone to stay on board."
Tuesday, the Cowboys held a press conference to announce the signing of Jaylon Smith. The linebacker agreed to an extension for $64 million dollars over five years. Smith was slated to become a free agent after the season but wanted to secure a deal before the start of this season.
Johnston's a big fan of the player and the contract. "I just love what Jaylon Smith did yesterday," the former three-time Super Bowl winner stressed. "That sends a message to Amari, to Dak and to Ezekiel, 'I'm in on this. I could have waited and got more but I love this place. They took a chance on me when nobody else took a chance me.'"
The Cowboys have made offers to running back Zeke Elliott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott. All three are Pro Bowl players. Cooper and Prescott's contracts are up after the season. Elliott is trying to get a new deal despite still having two years left on his rookie contract.
Moose has this take on their financial dealings with the Cowboys. "There's a couple of other guys in that same situation. Amari, you know, he's got his issues from Oakland. They cast him off and Dallas picks him up. Dak is drafted in the fourth round, people passed on him. And Ezekiel, the Cowboys jumped up and grab him to give him a chance down here," Johnston said.
"There's that happy point that you hope all the sides can meet on because it's pretty obvious where the organization stands," he said. "They wanna get it done for everybody and to do that everybody is gonna have to take a little bit less and we get to that point where it is fair for everybody?"