1. Emmitt Smith, Arizona Cardinals
Another Dallas great who wasn’t ready to call it a career when the team was ready to move in a new direction was superstar running back Emmitt Smith. A former first-round pick back in 1990, Smith was the most consistent offensive weapon for 13 seasons.
He ran for more than 1,000 yards in 11 of those years and the two times he didn’t cross that mark happened to be his rookie season when he ran for 937 yards with 11 touchdowns and in his final campaign with them when he went for 975 yards and five touchdowns.
After those 13 years, he had the most yards in NFL history with 17,162 and first in rushing touchdowns with 153. He also had two seasons with at least 20 touchdowns while winning the rushing touchdown title in 1992, 1994, and 1995.
Even with all these accolades, Bill Parcells decided to move on when he took over as head coach in 2003. Smith then decided he still wanted to play and signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
While the Cards weren’t a contending team, Smith did have a loyal fanbase out there since there are plenty of Cowboys fans in Phoenix.
His first season ended in frustrating fashion as he suffered a broken shoulder in his return to Texas Stadium when Dallas safety Roy Williams tackled him. However, he came back strong in 2004 under new coach Dennis Green and put up 937 yards and scored nine touchdowns at the age of 35. He even got to throw the first pass of his career, hitting fullback Obafemi
Ayanbadejo for a 21-yard touchdown.
Smith is still No. 1 all-time in rushing yardage and touchdowns, but many forget he was still putting up yards in his mid-30s for Arizona.