According to Emmitt Smith - making the Pro Football Hall of Fame was something which was definitely going to happen, it only was a matter of time. It was preordained. Teammates said Smith came into the Dallas lockerroom as a 5-9 scatback from Florida saying to the ones who would listen, that his goal was to be the all-time leading rusher in the history of the National Football League.
Emmitt, always a class act, did not proclaim the goal in a brash manner, just a matter-of-fact statement.
So I guess this officially closes the door on the Dallas Dynasty of the early 90s with the last triplet finding his place in Canton. Smith joins teammates Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman in the HOF. Wow, what a run they had.
I had the honor of watching Earl Campbell, Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett playing in person. I am sorry I missed Emmitt, I always liked his style.
If the fact that the Florida native ran for 18,355 yards in his career, the most ever, doesn't impress you, well the 4,409 carries should. Smith ran the ball well for 14 years, in a league which chews up running backs at the average 3.5 years per back.
Smith was tough, durable and a great teammate. Mostly he found the end zone.
At Escambia HS in Pensacola, Fla he had 106 touchdowns and 8,804 yards. As a Florida Gator in three years he scored 37 touchdowns.
Then in the NFL he got warmed up with 164 touchdowns for Dallas and Arizona.
But mostly I remember Emmitt's fluid cuts off blocks and finding a way to get the extra yard. He was always humble and giving credit to his teammates. He's a champion.
I am glad he' s the Hall of Fame as a player, because he is also a HOF person.
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