Get on the Bus, Gus Johnson

by John Solis ·

They might be calling Gus Johnson “Bus” Johnson by November.

This morning, the Dallas Cowboys signed UDFA RB Gus Johnson.  This is the same small-school RB who was recently cut by the Raiders, so keep that in mind before the hype train goes off the rails.  However, at his current price of: $$FREE$$, Johnson is a must-add in deep fantasy football leagues of all formats (dynasty and redraft leagues).  Why?  Because Gus Johnson is the best candidate to backup Joseph Randle as the Cowboys’ early-down bruiser.

Today’s signing could be another meaningless FA acquisition, but Johnson’s profile on illuminates his potential.  Before us is a running back who is heavy and powerful, in an offense currently without strength and size at the position. Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden are both underweight weaklings by comparison.

gus johnson RB Dallas Cowboys

Gus Johnson Advanced Metrics Profile

Johnson’s impressive 30.8 BMI is actually higher if we use his true height of 5’9.625″.  This gives him a beefy BMI of 31.2 (75th percentile).  He’s respectably bursty for a back of his thickness, and he was a top performer at the 2015 Combine, banging out 26 reps on the bench press.  Reasonably agile to boot, Johnson is a bulldozer with the quickness to churn out yards.  A tank like Johnson should have produced quite a bit against small-school competition.

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Gus Johnson Career Stats from Stephen F. Austin State University

Whoa!  Johnson dominated his opponents during his senior year, and also every year since 2012.  In his excellent piece from earlier this offseason, Jon Moore explored how special Johnson is for turning in such a productive age-19 season.  Again, this is a small-school UDFA who was cut by the Raiders in favor of Michael Dyer, but there are still plenty of reasons for optimism.

Forgive him his small school pedigree; it would be alarming if Gus Johnson had floundered against schools like Houston Baptist and Nicholls State.  Instead, Johnson absolutely trampled defenders for three straight years; his 6.6 senior YPC putting him in the 86th percentile.  His collegiate performance was enough to earn him a combine invitation, where he was revealed to be slow but explosive and powerful.  Johnson has already demonstrated that he can shoulder a full load of carries; if something were to happen to Joseph Randle, the SFA RB could be given a chance to tote the rock over “Walk DMC” and “Dancin’ Lance” Dunbar.  [Please let that nickname stick.]

At this moment in time, Johnson is the biggest, densest, strongest RB on the Dallas Cowboys.  He also has a history of dominant workhorse-level productivity. He’s also completely free everywhere.  If your league does rolling waivers, put a 2-4% bid in and you can probably snag him.  If your league has free adds, he should be on your team already.

We’ve been waiting for weeks, patiently wondering who the Cowboys might add this offseason.  Gus Johnson is the answer, and key data points indicate that his arrow is pointing up.

Go and get him.

John Solis is an attorney in Southern California.  He wants the Chargers to stay in San Diego and the Clippers to come back.