DallasCowboys.com wrote:IRVING, Texas - Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed on his weekly radio show (KTCK-AM) Tuesday the team has interest in defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who currently is in his third week of an eight-game NFL suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The team is expected to bring in Johnson for a physical on Tuesday at the team's facility in Valley Ranch and could sign the former Bears defensive tackle as early as this week.
"There is that possibility," Jones said when asked about the prospect of signing Johnson. "There's some sensitive things here regarding procedure that I won't get into right now, but to the extent that we've shown some interest in him, that's correct."
If Johnson is signed, the Cowboys would have to clear a spot on the 53-man roster for 24 hours before placing him on the Reserve/Suspended list. The earliest Johnson would be available to play would be Nov. 4 when the club plays at Philadelphia, one week after its bye.
The Cowboys lost depth at nose tackle when starter Jason Ferguson was placed on injured reserve last week with a torn biceps. Johnson told ESPN.com late Monday night that he expects to play with the Cowboys after his suspension is up.
"I'm here to work some things out," Johnson said. "I'm looking here for a fresh start."
Johnson has spent the last three seasons with the Bears, who released him on June 25, shortly after he was pulled over in Arizona for driving impaired. While those charges were eventually dropped, Johnson has a long list of off-the-field incidents since joining the Bears in 2004. The 25-year-old defensive tackle served a two-month jail sentence for a previous gun charge.
If signed, Johnson would not be able to work out with the club until the end of the suspension.
Coincidentally, the Cowboys will play Johnson's former team Sunday night at Soldier Field in the team's first trip to Chicago since 1998.
A second-round pick of the Bears in 2004 out of the University of Washington, Johnson has played in 46 games for the Bears the last three years, helping Chicago develop into one of the best defenses in the NFL. Johnson has nine career sacks, including 3 ½ last season, when his playing time increased towards the end of the year when Chicago lost Tommie Harris to injury.
Johnson was able to play in Super Bowl XLI with the Bears last January, recording four tackles and a half-sack in the loss to the Colts. However, he needed a court permission to leave the state of Illinois and travel to Miami, Fla. for the game, stemming from the arrest for gun charges.
While Johnson has never played in a 3-4 scheme, his 6-3, 300-pound frame could fit in at nose tackle. And the Cowboys would be in need for some depth at the position, especially after losing Ferguson for the entire season with a torn biceps injury. Ferguson suffered the injury early in the season opener against the Giants on Sept. 9. He underwent surgery last Friday and will spend the remainder of the season on injured reserve.
The Cowboys started Jay Ratliff at nose tackle in Sunday's 37-20 win over the Dolphins. The club also re-signed Remi Ayodele, who spent training camp with the team before being cut and then claimed off waivers by the Falcons. But just before the season opener, Atlanta cut Ayodele, allowing him to return to the Cowboys, who now were in desperate need of replacing Ferguson.
But on Monday, Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips didn't sound as if there would be a rush to go out and find help at nose tackle.
"Well, I don't think we're going to panic because I think he can play," Phillips said of Ratliff. "I thought that all along. I thought he was potentially a starter somewhere for us because of his work ethic and his great motor and his ability. Every time they double-team him, they didn't move him. He gave us a good pass rush, which usually you don't get from the nose guard. I thought he played well."
Ratliff, a seventh-round pick from Auburn in 2005, has spent the last two years playing mostly defensive end.
Ugggh.... I don't know whether I would be happy or PO'ed if we signed Tank. I would lean towards pretty mad about it. I think Ratliff and Ayodele can hold down the fort just fine. And this week against Chicago and Benson will be a good test to see if Ratliff can plug up the middle against the run.
Last edited by joelamosobadiah on Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lol, me and a Bears fan at work were talking about this right after he got cut. We figured he would go to Dallas, since JJ has a propensity for getting talented players that would embarrass everybody else to sign. Hopefully the thuglife BS will stop; driving 15 over the speed limit at 3 am is shady, but tolerable.
Thanks to eagles21 for the awesome sig
Representin' the Cafe in the IBL league: 73-34, 15-8 in Championship Tier playoffs BBKL: 7-6 Money league: 9-4, #1 seed one and done
I think Ratliff did good last week too but I wouldnt mind if we signed Johnson. If Ratliff was to get hurt who would take his place? Johnson may be a trouble-maker but Dallas has a history of bringing in rowdy players and succesfully making them settle down.
According to his agent, Gerrold Colton, the Cowboys signed the suspended defensive tackle to a deal Tuesday – although they might have to wait until Nov. 11 at the earliest before he's in uniform.
Johnson has at most six games left on an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy even though he has been unsigned. At the time, commissioner Roger Goodell announced Johnson's suspension, he left open the possibility of reducing it to six games, although Johnson would have to apply for early reinstatement.
The chances of Johnson's suspension being reduced to six games could have taken a hit when he was pulled over by Gilbert, Ariz., police for driving while impaired in June, although the charges were eventually dropped. The Bears released Johnson three days after the incident.
If Goodell upholds the eight-game suspension, then the earliest he could play would be Nov. 11 at the New York Giants. If the suspension is reduced to six games, he could debut Oct. 21 at Texas Stadium against Minnesota.
Under league rules, the Cowboys will have to release a player to make room for Johnson on the active roster for one day before he will revert to the team's suspended list.
Johnson, 25, spent his first three seasons with Chicago, coincidentally the Cowboys' opponent Sunday. In 46 games, he was credited with 63 tackles and nine sacks.
The Cowboys' interest in Johnson increased when starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson was lost for the season with a torn right biceps in Week 1. Jay Ratliff has replaced Ferguson in the starting lineup and the team re-signed Remi Ayodele as the backup.
The Cowboys had character concerns about Johnson when he entered the 2004 draft out of the University of Washington. Chicago drafted him in the second round.
In November 2005, he was arrested for concealed possession of a handgun. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was given 18 months probation. Three months later he was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, but the charges were later dropped.
Last December, he was arrested possessing unlicensed weapons and charged with violating his probation, which followed him being placed on home confinement by a Cook County (Ill.) Judge, preventing him from driving by himself or leaving the state.
Shortly after Super Bowl XLI, Johnson pleaded guilty to violating his probation and was sentenced to 120 days in jail but was released early on May 13.
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