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Johnson Claims He Isn’t A Risk

tankjohnson3_300.jpgSo now that Dallas and Jerry Jones have signed Terry “Tank” Johnson, let’s analyze the possibilites of the agreement, shall we? 

Johnson signed a two-year $860,000 non-guaranteed contract with the Cowboys on Tuesday after passing his physical.  He will only make $255,000 this year, a pro-rated portion of the league’s minimum salary.   Right now he isn’t eligible to play until Nov. 11, however every indication is that he will appeal his 8-game suspension and possibly get it reduced to a lower number, possibly six games, which is the most likely scenario.  This could make him become available as early as Oct. 21 at home against the Vikings. 

That’s one possibility, the other is he gets no reduction to his suspension and has to wait until the bye week to physically practice with the team and then potentially make his debut  versus the Giants.  The salary issue is practically non-existent, at least for this year, so it is very low-risk for the Cowboys.  The undisclosed incentives in the contract make it very high-reward also, should Johnson fulfill his promises and become an elite defensive player again.

The only other possiblility at this point is Johnson somehow getting himself into trouble again before the suspension ends, whether six or eight games, and getting cut again.  As for that contingency, Jerry Jones has already taken steps.  He has contacted the league office for permission to have Johnson visit with Calvin Hill of the team’s player assistance staff and general counselor.  Jones has basically done his homework and researched every aspect of this prior to making any offers, including meetings between Johnson and Coach Wade Phillips.

“I talked to him and he said all the right things,” Phillips stated.  He believes him to be sincere in his desire to get his career back and his life in order.  As for Johnson himself, he unequivocally says, “I know that I’m not a risk.  I’m a highly intelligent person and I take pride in a lot of things I do in life.  Just like any other human being, I’m going to make mistakes and I’ve made mistakes.  As far as the risk goes, I’m coming to Dallas to be a productive defensive lineman and to solidify what Jerry Jones thinks of me.”

Other than the obvious low financial concerns, Johnson is still considered a young talent, at 25, he has a lot of potential ahead of him if he can hurdle some of the early roadblocks he has encountered.  As for the rest of the team, everyone seems more than willing to welcome Johnson into the fold. 

“We’re going to welcome him just like guys welcomed me, regardless of his off-field problems or whatnot,” Terrell Owens said.

“The thing you have to understand is when you come in here, we kind of take you in,” states Tony Romo.  “Once you’re a part of the team, you’re a part of the team. I’m sure everyone has skeletons in the closet. Some people just find out about some. From everything I hear, Tank is a good guy. His teammates liked him up in Chicago. I’m sure we’ll like him just fine.”

Though the risks appear low for the Cowboys, Johnson must now do what he says and back everything up or he will find little opportunities should he fail in Dallas.  So all the pressure is squarely on his shoulders to turn things around and become the valuable defensive asset he once was in Chicago.


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