Johnson Already Making a Difference

Never mind the problems Keyshawn Johnson had with Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay. The former Pro Bowl receiver has already improved the Cowboys' receiver corps, according to coach Bill Parcells.

The Cowboys had three similar receivers last year in Terry Glenn, Joey Galloway and Antonio Bryant -- all speed receivers who preferred to catch the ball down the field rather than over the middle.

With Johnson in place of Galloway, the Cowboys have a perfect complement to Glenn and Bryant and a reliable target on third down.

Offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon said Johnson's size and toughness is something the Cowboys haven't had on the outside and will pay dividends in the passing game and running game. Consider that of Johnson's 603 career receptions, 411 have come on third down.

Carthon, however, said Johnson would also make his mark as a pied piper-like leader in the locker room.

"I have already seen him hold court in the locker room, talking to the younger players," Carthon said. "He is very knowledgeable about the game. He is knowledgeable about the system. He was great for us in New York and he will be great for us here. He has all the intangibles."

According to Johnson, he will make whoever plays quarterback for the Cowboys a better player -- whether it's Quincy Carter or Vinny Testaverde.

"I get it done," Johnson said. "I always have. I've caught passes from 10 different quarterbacks in my eight years. I still have great numbers. Badly thrown balls are routine catches for me. That's what's going to make them that much better."

As far as Johnson's mouth and me-me reputation, Parcells had no problems with that either.

"I like him," Parcells said. "He's a very unselfish player when it comes to the jobs he'll do. He'll do whatever you want him to do. If it's helping up win he doesn't mind doing it. I know that. That's what made him attractive to me. I think he's a good player. I think he's a good kid. He doesn't have any personal problems. He's solid. He chirps around a little while but that's OK. I don't mind that. If you do the jobs that he'll do you then you can chirp a little."

CowboysHQ Top Stories