Cowboys Flashback: Emmitt Smith Showed True Grit as Cowboy

Emmitt Smith came to my hometown for a Habitat for Humanity event last night and it made me think back to his more memorable moments as a Dallas Cowboy.

He has a ton of great moments wearing the blue star but I kept it down to the top 5.

5.  Smith’s 1993 season was simply the best you could ask out of a running back so much so, Smith was not only the Super Bowl MVP, not only did he earn his third rushing title, but was also named the NFL’s MVP.

4.  I remember watching the Cowboys play the Atlanta Falcons in 1992, Smith ran to the right and looked like he was going to go down in a pile of Falcon defenders then out of the pile, and Smith bounces it outside and scoring all the while stiff arming Deion Sanders.

3.  The Halloween game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1993.  Smith literally ran over the Eagles for 237 yards.  Smith outran the Eagles by 98 yards and what I mean the Eagles, not one running back but all of the Eagles that ran the ball that game.  Smith had just sat out the first two games of the season and still managed to win his third rushing title that year with over 1400 yards.

2.  Getting in the “I” formation as Chad Hutchinson lined up, everyone in Texas Stadium knew that Smith was going to get the ball.  The task for the Seattle Seahawks was to try to stop Emmitt Smith from becoming the NFL’s leading rusher overtaking the late Walter Payton.  That didn’t happen and Smith became the NFL’s leading rusher in 2002.

1.  The game that defines Emmitt Smith to many Dallas Cowboy fans, the game that Smith ran with one arm leading the Cowboys to victory over the New York Giants.  When he went down, I will be honest; my first thoughts were “There goes the game!”  I am sure that many felt the same way until Smith waltzed back onto that field and showed football fans everywhere some true grit, running with a separated shoulder and getting the Cowboys into field goal range to win it.

One game that I remember not as a great moment for Smith but one that I thought would have been a turning point for Smith, was opening day in 1996 and Smith was injured during the game, as dove towards the end zone he was hit hard and fell to the ground.  He carted off as he landed on his shoulder and neck.  Many wondered if Smith could have recovered from such a scare, he showed that same gutsy grit he showed in 1993.  Smith continued to set records including the career rushing touchdown record, career 100-yard games, and of course the rushing record as well.

Emmitt Smith played professional football despite being told he would be to slow and too short to play, Smith showed everyone that many didn’t take into account for the biggest intangible the Cowboys were able to see…that was heart.

It was a great night last night and I will remember it for many years.  To be in the same building as a legend, it’s something you don’t just forget.

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