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Can't Touch These Memories

further cherish those past discussions, debates - whatever you want to call them - I had with him during his two years here with the Cowboys (2004-05). My, does the guy have a gift to gab, which made his abbreviated acceptance speech, a concession to the inclement conditions, the upset of the day. 

"I'm honored to be here, and every time I come back to Texas it's seems to be for something fun and nice," Johnson said. 

And that this ceremony took place in south Dallas, where his mother, Vivian Jessie, grew up, made this extra special for Johnson, who still owns his downtown condo he bought while playing for the Cowboys. 

That Johnson was short-winded was not lost on M.C. Brad Sham, who couldn't help from saying as Keyshawn walked off, "Keyshawn actually had a longer speech planned but that suit is too expensive to get wet." 

So instead, Johnson held court afterwards under the tent where all six inductees sat while signing autographs, and guarantee you, by time he finished, he was the last one standing - as usual - which will make him a perfect fit for his next TV gig, on the ESPN set in New York for the NFL Draft. The dude has opinions. 

On the future of the Cowboys: "They are moving in the right direction." 

On the possibility of moving into some NFL team's front office when his playing career ends, and he definitely plans on playing one more year, although says, "You know me, I'm year to year," he said. "I'm not going to be somebody's do-boy. As soon as I retire, you need to move me into a powerful position. I'm not going to be a scout for 12 years before you put me in an assistant personnel position . . . they do it in the NBA," and he cites how the Mavericks moved Avery Johnson so quickly from a first-time assistant to a first-time head coach with great success. 

On the possibility of that happening with the Cowboys after forging a good relationship with the Joneses his two years here: Well, even though he said Jerry and Stephen would pick his brain about college and pro personnel, he said that's not going to happen "because Jerry isn't going anywhere." 

On fellow USC receiver Dwayne Jarrett: "He gets a bad rap because he comes from USC and the last guy from there (Mike Williams) didn't turn out very well. He's a lot like me . . . he's not as fast as I was at 21 (of course not). But you don't have to be fast; he uses his body well. His will be a question of toughness." 

On the other top receivers not named Calvin Johnson: He's not big on any of them as first-round picks, and that includes Robert Meachem, Dwayne Bowe and Sidney Rice, but likes the idea of possibly drafting an Anthony Gonzalez in the second or third round. 

On potential first-round defensive backs: "I like (Aaron) Ross from Texas, if he's recovered from his toe injury . . . the Michigan corner (Leon Hall) . . . the Arkansas kid (Chris Houston), I love him. He's my top corner." 

On if he thinks his guy, Bill Parcells, will coach again: "I don't think he'll miss coaching," but as for the possibility of becoming someone's GM, "if something came up, I'd think he'd do it. He doesn't want to fly anymore and doesn't want to work 1,000 hours a day again." 

Maybe when Keyshawn Johnson writes his second book, the title will be:Throw Me A Damn Question

And this was basically just the on-the-record stuff. There's about 15 more minutes of just shooting the bull. Gotta thank the Cotton Bowl Classic for this one, and in part, as Keyshawn said, Texas Tech, too, for allowing him to catch eight passes for 222 yards and three touchdown that 1995 New Year's Day to help not only Southern Cal to a 55-14 rout of the Red Raiders, but likely send him on his way to becoming the first pick in the 1996 draft. 

So leave it to Keyshawn to hit the nail on the head this rainy, but nostalgic morning. 

"This, today, should not be just about Keyshawn, but about all the people here," he said, "and all the people who came before us." 

No kidding . . . and can't wait for April 28th to arrive.                                 

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