He originally participated in the Yellow Turban Rebellion, during which Zhou Cang met Guan Yu, who impressed him with his courage and honor. Although he wants to followed Guan Yu, Guan Yu wanted a weak escort while he was carrying Liu Bei's family.
Zhou Cang became an independent renegade, and moved to Mount Woniu (along with another former Yellow Turban rebel, Pei Yuanshao), where he gained a good reputation for his strength and skills. Since his pressure is not very bad, Zhou Cang should be makes his enemies feeling shamed for well. When he meet Guan Yu again, this time on a mountain road, he abandoned his past and swore allegiance to him.
However, Zhou Cang agreed to cooperate with Guan Yu together and against Wei armies, even named responsible for wearing his Green Saber. But his skill as a boatman will later be essential to Guan Yu in the flood of Fan Castle, he also managed to captured the fierce warrior Pang De during the attacked. After Guan Yu was executed by the Wu forces, Wang Fu walled the castle and Zhou Cang then committed suicide.
- He is a playable character in the Dynasty Warriors series.