With running backs Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar all out of Thursday night's Cowboys preseason opener with varying levels of injury, Dallas turned the tailback duties over to an undrafted rookie from Stephen F. Austin.
Gus Johnson, the Lumberjacks all-time leading rusher, led the Cowboys with 35 rushing yards against the Chargers. He also scored a touchdown in the 17-7 loss in San Diego, a moment he will never forget.
"It was pretty crazy," Johnson said. "But it was just great. After (scoring the touchdown), I went over and shared the moment with my teammates."
Johnson did not sign with the Cowboys until July 28, just 16 days before playing in his first NFL preseason game.
It wasn't all good news for the rookie running back though. Johnson separated his shoulder in his NFL debut, wearing a giant ice pack while speaking to reporters. However, he would not allow the injury to dampen a night that was a dream fulfilled.
"It was a great experience," Johnson said. "And it's one that I can always tell my kids about."
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Training Camp Dates:
(all times CT)
- Sat., July 22: Team Charter arrives at Pt. Mugu
- Sun., July 23: Opening press conference (1 p.m.)
- Mon., July 24: First practice - full roster (5:45 p.m.)
- Wed., Aug. 2: Team travels to Canton, Ohio
- Thurs., Aug. 3: Hall of Fame Game vs. Arizona (7 p.m.)
- Sat., Aug. 5: Jerry Jones' Hall of Fame Enshrinement
- Mon., Aug. 7: Practice Resumes (Oxnard, Calif.)
- Aug. 11-13: Dallas at Los Angeles, LA Memorial Coliseum (8 p.m.)
- Fri., Aug. 18: Break camp in Oxnard
- Sat., Aug. 19: Dallas vs. Indianapolis, AT&T Stadium (6 p.m.)
- Mon., Aug. 21-Tue. Aug. 29: Training camp resumes at The Star in Frisco
- Sat., Aug. 26: Dallas vs. Oakland, AT&T Stadium (7 p.m.)
- Thurs., Aug. 31: Dallas at Houston, NRG Stadium (7 p.m.)