|Full Name||Emmitt James Smith III|
|Born||May 15, 1969 (age 54) in Pensacola, Florida|
|NFL Draft||1990 – Round 1, Pick 17 by Dallas Cowboys|
Early Life and College Football Career
Growing up in Pensacola, Florida, Emmitt Smith idolized Dallas Cowboys legend Tony Dorsett. Inspired by Dorsett‘s skills, Smith trained from a young age with the goal of one day playing for the Cowboys himself.
Smith attended Escambia High School, where he set several prep rushing records and earned All-American honors. He was highly recruited and decided to attend the University of Florida.
As a Florida Gator, Smith shined in the spotlight. He set numerous school rushing records over his three seasons, including the career marks for rushing yards (3,928) and touchdowns (36). Smith‘s spectacular 1989 season, where he rushed for over 1,600 yards, culminated in consensus All-American honors.
Legendary Career with the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys selected Smith in the 1st round of the 1990 NFL draft. As a 20-year old rookie, he made an immediate impact by rushing for 937 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Over the next decade, Smith would emerge as the most dominant rusher in the NFL. His tough physical running style combined power, vision, quick cuts, and exceptional footwork.
Smith‘s best season came in 1995, when he led the league with 1,773 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 4.7 yards per carry. He was named NFL MVP as he led the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl title in four seasons.
In 1993, Smith ran for over 1,500 yards including an NFL record seven straight 100-yard games to start the season. His clutch performances in the playoffs helped the Cowboys win their first Super Bowl of the 90‘s dynasty. Smith was named Super Bowl MVP after rushing for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bills.
NFL‘s New Rushing King
By the end of his incredible 15-year career, Smith had cemented himself as the most prolific rusher in NFL history. He set all-time NFL records with 18,355 career rushing yards and 164 rushing touchdowns. Both marks remain unbroken to this day.
Smith‘s unprecedented consistency and excellence in running the ball led to 11 straight seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing from 1991 to 2001. His vision, balance, and leg drive allowed him to maintain elite production well into his 30‘s.
As Smith compiled these mind-boggling stats, he also led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four years during the 1990‘s. His postseason numbers were equally impeccable. In 17 playoff games, Smith rushed for over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Life After Football and Legacy
After retiring in 2005, Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 – an honor he has said is his greatest individual achievement in football. He was also named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
In retirement, Smith has remained active in various business ventures, football broadcasting, and community initiatives through his foundation. As an NFL legend and ambassador for the sport, he mentors younger players and gives back generously.
Smith‘s humility and leadership on and off the field have made him one of the most beloved figures in Dallas sports history. He overcame his smaller stature through determination and perseverance.
As a lifelong Cowboys fan, I feel lucky to have witnessed Smith‘s entire career. His vision and cutback ability dazzled me every week, and his playoff heroics created indelible moments. Smith is nothing short of a football icon, and his rushing records may never be surpassed.