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Smith, Emmitt 1969–

Emmitt Smith 1969

Professional football player

At a Glance

A Fascination with Football

A Knockout on the High School Field

College Superstar

A Pro Phenomenon

Record-Breaking Contract with the Cowboys

Sources

The history of Emmitt Smiths life can be summed up in three words: he plays football. The three-time National Football Conference (NFC) rushing champion has been consumed by his game since early childhood, and nowas the premier running back for the Dallas Cowboyshe has attracted the notice of an entire nation. Smiths arrival in Dallas in 1990 neatly coincided with that teams resurgence as a football powerhouse. The wily running backs talents proved immensely valuableindeed, indispensableas the Cowboys won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1993 and 1994.

In recognition of Smiths accomplishments and his potential, Cowboys ownership has made him the best-paid running back in the history of the National Football League (NFL), with a 1993-97 contract worth $13.6 million in salary and bonuses. The old adage says, you get what you pay for. With Emmitt Smith, the Cowboys get a back who has won the National Football Conference rushing record three straight years in a row (awarded in 1992, 1993, and 1994), the only league-leading running back who played for a Super Bowl championship team at the time he won his rushing titles, and the NFLs 1993-94 Most Valuable Player. Smith also capped a stellar 1993-94 season with the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award after performing through the playoffs and the Super Bowl with a serious injury to his shoulder. As Peter King put it in Sports Illustrated: The thing that turns Smith on the most is his desire to be a tremendous player, and thats refreshing. He wants to make a mark on this game that few players will ever equal. Few would argue that he is well on his way to doing just that.

It almost seems as if Smith had been born a football star. At every levelhigh school, college, and professional he has ranked among the very best. His consistent achievement as a running back has come not from blinding speed or extra strength, but rather from an instinctive feel for the game and an uncanny ability to read and respond to every shift in the defense he faces. I know Im not the fastest guy around, Smith told Sports Illustrated. And I know Im not the strongest guy, either. It doesnt bother me at all. I see myself as being able to get the job done. He added: If you want to get through a hole bad enough, youll get through it. Former Cowboys offensive coordinator Norv Turner told Sports Illustrated: Emmitt rarely makes a play that makes you go, Wow! Its his total package. His great games are games where

At a Glance

Born Emmitt Smith III, May 15, 1969, in Pensacola, FL; son of Emmitt, Jr. (a bus driver) and Mary Smith, Education: Attended University of Florida, 1987-90.

Running back for Dallas Cowboys, 1990. Selected by Cowboys in first round of 1990 professional draft; signed with team September 4, 1990. Also runs football camp for boys ages 8-16.

Selected awards: Named National High School Player of the Year by Parade magazine, 1987; named All-America and All-Southeastem Conference, 1987-90; named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by Associated Press, Football News, Pro Footbal weekly, and Pro Set Trading Cards, all 1990; named to All-Rookie team by United Press imemational, Football Digest, Football News, Pro Football Weekly, and College and Pro Football Newsweekly, all 1990; member of Pro Bowl, 1991 and 1992; National Football Conference rushing leader, 1992, 1993, and 1994; National Football League Most Valuable Player, 1994; selected most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVIII, 1994.

Addresses: Home Pensacola, FL, Office c/o Cowboys Center, One Cowboys Parkway, Irving, TX 75063-4727.

he just wears you down, play after play, over and over. This is what great runners do. They dominate games. And nobody dominates games in the NFL like Emmitt has recently.

A Fascination with Football

When Emmitt Smith III was an infant in Pensacola, Florida, his mother could calm him by turning on televised football games. In Sports Illustrated, Mary Smith recalled watching her oldest son just sort of rocking in his little swing, but watching everything as the action unfolded on the screen. Smith was born in 1969, one of five children of Emmitt Smith, Jr., a Pensacola bus driver who spent his weekends playing semi-pro football with a local Florida league. Gifted with athletic potential from an early age, Emmitt III spent hours of his youth playing backyard football with the neighbor children and his older cousins. Sports Illustrated contributor Rick Telander noted: Little Emmitt always played with older kids because of his athletic skills; he had the balance to walk forever on neighborhood fences and curbswithout falling off; he was the Gale Sayers of the local youth league.

At the tender age of seven Smith joined an organized football program, the mini-mite division of the Salvation Army Optimists League. While other children experimented with various hobbies and extracurricular activities, young Smith stuck to football. In Sports Illustrated, Paul Zimmerman observed: When you ask [Smith] the standard questions about how he avoided getting involved with drugs and street gangs and the usual teenage trouble, he gives you a strange look and says, It never occurred to me. Gangs held no appeal for Emmitt Smith. He was too busy keeping in shape and building his strength and endurance.

A Knockout on the High School Field

The public high school nearest to the Smith home was Escambia High, a school whose football program had fallen into permanent doldrums. Before Smith arrived, the Escambia Gators had not compiled a winning season in 21 years. Coach Dwight Thomas, who arrived the same year Smith did1983described the program in Sports Illustrated as the most negative, apathetic, losing environment Ive ever been in, ever. That was about to change. Thomas vividly recalled his first encounter with then-freshmen Emmitt Smith: All the other kids were acting like kids, fooling around, taking nothing seriously. Then a boy in neat, pressed clothes walks up to me and shakes my hand. Hi, Coach Thomas, he said. Im Emmitt. So confident, so gracious. I have three children, and I just hope they can be like him. And I dont mean anything about athletics.

Coach Thomas described the game plan he developed for Smith at Escambia. For four years we did three things, and won two state championships doing them, the coach said. Hand the ball to Emmitt, pitch the ball to Emmitt, throw the ball to Emmitt. It was no secret. Everyone knew we were going to get the ball to him. It was just a question of how. Smith led Escambia to a four-year record of 42-7 while rushing for a phenomenal 8, 804 yards.

By the end of his senior season, Smith was ranked second-highest in yardage attained in the history of high school football. As Telander pointed out, Smith was so unstoppable in high school that an entire defensive unit once showed up with his number, 24, taped on their helmets. During his senior year Smith was named National Player of the Year by Parade magazine.

It is quite possible that Smith could have emerged from high school as the all-time rushing record-holder at that level. However, the idea of holding a particular record however impressivewas not uppermost in his mind or in the mind of his coach. Often Smith was pulled along with the rest of Escambias first string when a victory was assured. Then he would sit on the bench and cheer the other players on. Thomas described his star player in Sports Illustrated as unselfish, special, never complained about anything.

College Superstar

Ironically, for all the hype surrounding his high school career, Smith had not particularly impressed the college scouts. A few of them dismissed him as too small and too slow to perform well at the college level. One such scout told Sports Illustrated: [Smiths] a lugger, not a runner. The thing is that sportswriters blew him all out of proportion. Not everyone agreed with that assessment. The young running back earned a full scholarship to the University of Florida, where scouts and coaches alike predicted a stellar career for him. He promptly proved their most spectacular predictions true.

In his very first game as a Florida freshman, Smith gained 224 yards on 39 carries, a single-game rushing record at that university. The University of Florida handily beat favored University of Alabama in that match, and the national Emmitt watch began. As the 1987 college season progressed, Smith became the only freshman in history to get as many as 100 yards per game in seven games. Telander wrote that Smith displayed a running style that defies easy description. He darted, slithered and followed his blockers, and squeezed yard after yard out of plays that didnt have any yards in them. He didnt look especially fast or powerful or blindingly deceptive, yet he couldnt be stopped.

Smith conquered college level football just as he had high school level football. By his junior year he had been named All-America and All-Southeast Conference three times. He had also established 58 school records, including a career rushing mark of 3,928 yards. It is almost unheard of for a freshman to be in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Smith made the top ten in balloting his freshman year. Zimmerman described Smith as an incredible yardage machine, having rushed for more than 100 yards in 25 of his 34 games at Florida, and in 70 out of 83 high school and college games combined.

One big question remained: could Smith take his success on to the professional ranks? Once again he was faced with a chorus of detractors. Too slow, a scout for the Giants told Sports Illustrated. Others thought him too small or too weak to hold his own against professional defenders. Smith felt otherwise. In 1990, as a college junior, he declared himself eligible for the pro football draft.

One of the clubs that took immediate interest in Smith was the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had just come off a 1-15 season under new coach, Jimmy Johnson, and were looking to rebuild the team from bottom to top, relying upon younger players. Joe Brodsky, a scout for Dallas, told Sports Illustrated: You had to be an idiot not to recognize the talent there. What I did find out, though, was the kind of person [Smith] was: played in pain, never missed a workout, not a nick-and-bump guy whod miss a lot of practice time, an extra-good worker and not a complainer. Brodsky added that he told Coach Johnson that Smith will take your breath away, and you wont get it back until he scores.

In the first round of the 1990 draft Smith was still available after more than a dozen other players had been chosen. Johnson traded upward with the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the seventeenth pick and promptly chose Emmitt Smith of the University of Florida. Back home in Pensaco-la, Smith celebrated with his family and friends.

A Pro Phenomenon

Reflecting on the 1990 draft, Dallas coach Johnson commented in Sports Illustrated: Emmitt had been our fourth-rated player in the entire draft. Our owner, Jerry Jones, went on the radio that night and mentioned it, and when it was time to talk contract, Emmitts agent reminded him of that. Which Im sure is one reason why he held out for the whole training camp. The Cowboys executives, including the owner, quickly discovered that Smith intended to fight for the very best contract possible. Negotiations with the rookie running back dragged on nearly until the beginning of the season, and Smith came to his new team without the benefit of summertime game preparations. Nevertheless, he became the starting running back just two games into the 1990 season.

Johnson was reluctant to use Smith at first. By mid-season the coach had discovered a new weapon in the Dallas game planEmmitt Smith on the ground, Emmitt Smith on the short pass, Emmitt Smith for the touchdown. By the end of the 1990 season, Smith had compiled 937 rushing yards and eleven rushing touchdowns. He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. As Zimmerman put it, he wasnt quite the yardage machine hed been in high school and college, but he was getting there.

Smith blossomed in his second year with Dallas, leading the NFL in rushing with 1,563 yards. Just 22 at the time of this accomplishment, he became the youngest player in the history of the NFL to gain more than 1,500 yards on a season. The 1991 Cowboys, a far cry from the lackluster squad of just two years earlier, finished the season with an 11-5 record and a playoff victory against the Chicago Bears. In that wild card playoff game, Smith rushed 105 yards against a team that had never in history allowed a running back to gain more than 100 yards in a post-season game. Dallass 1991 season ended with a playoff defeat to the Detroit Lions.

In 1992 Smith and the Cowboys took all the marbles. Once again Smith led the league in rushingbecoming only the ninth player in history to win back-to-back rushing titles. The blithe runner set a new Cowboys record with 1,713 yards on the season as Dallas advanced to a 13-3 record for a first place finish in the NFC East. After trouncing both the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs, the Cowboys advanced into Super Bowl XXVII against the favored Buffalo Bills. By this time the nation was watching young Emmitt Smith, the first player to win the rushing title and go to both the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl in the same season.

Super Bowl XXVII was an absolute romp for the Cowboys. They beat Buffalo 52-17, prompting sports writers to label the Dallas team a new dynasty and the team of the decade for the 1990s. For his part, Smith became the first Cowboys player ever to rush for more than 100 yards in a Super Bowl, with a 108-yard total on 22 carries.

Record-Breaking Contract with the Cowboys

Smiths first contract expired in 1993, and as the new season neared he clashed with the Cowboys owner about how much he was worth. Once again he missed training camp, and still he did not have a satisfactory contract. The season began without him. Dallas played its first two gamesand lost them bothwhile Smith sat at home in Pensacola watching them on television. Finally, shortly after the second loss, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered Smith a four-year, $13.6 million deal, including a $4 million signing bonus. Relieved that his long holdout was over, Smith eagerly rejoined the Cowboys and proceeded to help turn their season around. The contract made Smith, just 24, the highest paid running back in football history.

No football team has ever gone 0-2 and come back to win a Super Bowl, but Dallas was so improved after Smiths return to the offense that the Cowboys finished the 1993 season in a divisional first-place tie with the New York Giants. In the first week of 1994 the Cowboys met the Giants in a divisional showdown to determine NFC East first place (carrying an automatic home field advantage throughout the playoffs). This game, perhaps more than any other, highlighted the singular talents that have made Smith famous. Despite a serious separation of the shoulder sustained early in the second half, he was eager to play. Just give me the ball and let me go until I fall, he was quoted as saying in an Associated Press release.

Smith earned 168 yards rushing on 32 carries, another 61 yards on 10 pass receptions, and handled the ball on 42 of Dallass 70 plays in the game. Dallas won the game 16-13 in overtime. Smith became the fourth player in NFL history to win three straight NFL rushing titles, joining Hall-of-Famers Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown, and Earl Campbell.

Despite a nagging hamstring injury and the much more serious shoulder separation, Smith dominated the NFL 1994 post-season. In the Cowboys 38-21 NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers, Smith earned 88 yards rushing and 85 yards receiving with two touchdownsand then left the game with ten minutes to play. Just a week later he swept both the regular season and Super Bowl MVP titles with a 30-carry, 132-yard, two-touchdown romp in Super Bowl XXVIII. The Cowboys had been trailing the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl at half time but rebounded to win the game with some timely defensive receptions and Smiths third-and fourth-quarter rushing. At games end the new Super Bowl MVP was mobbed by his teammates, Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Who knows what kind of mileage Smith will leave behind him? Zimmerman asked in Sports Illustrated. Chances are, if he remains healthy and injury-free, Emmitt Smith could become one of the most productive running backs in the history of the game. He would like very much for that to happen. I think about it all the time, the player told Sports Illustrated. Im chasing after legends, after Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett and Jim Brown and Eric Dickerson, after guys who made history. When my careers over, I want to have the new kids, the new backs, say, Boy, we have to chase a legend to be the best. And theyll mean Emmitt Smith.

Smith conceded that the biggest obstacle to his ambition is the threat of injuries. Still, he said, he doesnt care to dwell upon the negative. I play with the hand dealt to me, he said. I look at the future and wonder what itll be like. Eventually, Im going to have arthritis. Eventually, I know Ill have to live with pain. Thats part of all this. I want to do everything footballand in lifethat I can. I still believe, no matter how many times I carry the ball, that I can be one of those guys who walks away from the game whole. If I stay healthy, I think Ive got a great chance of accomplishing what I want to accomplish. Asked about his abilities elsewhere in Sports Illustrated, Smith concluded: The way I see it, my talent came from God. What I add is my desire. I have great desire.

Sources

Ebony, October 1993, p. 50.

Jet, January 31, 1994, p. 47.

New York Times, September 17, 1993.

Sports Illustrated, November 16, 1987; October 21, 1991; September 7, 1992; September 27, 1993; January 10, 1994, pp. 34-38; January 31, 1994, p. 14.

Additional information for this sketch was taken from Associated Press releases dated September 17 and 18, 1993.

Mark Kram

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Smith, Emmitt

Emmitt Smith

1969-

American football player

Running back Emmitt Smith has been playing with the Dallas Cowboys football team since 1990. He is the NFL's all-time rushing leader, and was the first player to rush for more than 1,400 yards in five straight NFL seasons (1991-1995); he won rushing titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1995. He has led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXVII in 1994. Smith has been to the Pro Bowl nine times and has established himself as one of the NFL's all-time greats.

Football Dreams Come True

Smith grew up as a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and always dreamed of playing with them. His family didn't have much income, and sometimes relied on government programs providing cheese and milk. When his mother couldn't afford to buy him new clothes for middle school, he worked as a handyman, then at K-mart and at a television station in order to earn the money to buy the clothes himself. As a young man, he learned to cook so that he could help take care of his bedridden grandmother.

He attended the University of Florida, but in 1990, after his junior year, he left school and decided to play professional football. He is not tallat five-foot nine he is shorter than most other players. When he was being assessed by scouts for the football draft, 16 teams passed him up, considering him too small and too slow. However, he is strong and has a low center of gravity. He uses this to his advantage to gain leverage on other players who are often bigger and heavier than he is. The Dallas Cowboys decided to take him on, and he was drafted in 1990.

Smith was happy not only because he was playing for the team that he had idolized as a child, but also because he would have the chance to improve his family's economic situation. He told a Sports Illustrated for Kids reporter, "I looked at my Mama, and I looked at where we were living. I said to her that we have a chance to move on up."

Smith was an instant success with the Cowboys. He gained 937 yards rushing in his rookie season (1990) and led the NFL the next season with 1,563 yards. Smith teamed up with quarterback Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin to give Dallas the league's most potent offense.

It all came together for the Cowboys in 1992. Smith won the league's Most Valuable Player award after leading the league once again with 1,713 yards and 18 touchdowns. Dallas finished the season with a 13-3 record and went on to win Super Bowl XXVII 52-17 over the Buffalo Bills. Smith gained 101 yards in the game.

The Cowboys repeated as Super Bowl champions the next season, once again defeating the Bills, this time 30-13. Behind the scenes, Smith's journey to that Super Bowl was excruciatingly painful, as he suffered a separated right shoulder during the season-finale game against the Giants. Despite the injury, he continued to play. Teammate Darren Woodson told Paul Attner in the Sporting News, "No question, he has the biggest heart here. He expects to win games and he doesn't expect anyone else to do it for him. Because he cares."

Super Bowl MVP

After the game, Smith was in such severe pain that he thought he was having a heart attack. He spent a night in the hospital, but took part in three playoff games, including that year's Super Bowl; he was chosen as MVP of the Super Bowl after rushing for 132 yards and scoring two second-half touchdowns. Smith was also named Sporting News Sportsman of the Year in 1994. He told Attner that he played despite the injury because "You have players relying on you. I didn't want to let them down." When asked whether winning was worth the pain, Smith replied, "It would be kind of hard to say I would do it again. But we won. That felt great."

In 1996, the Cowboys won the Super Bowl for a third time, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17. In that same year, Smith, who had dropped out of college after his junior year to play football, completed his degree in public recreation. He had attended classes during the off-season to complete his education, because he had once promised his mother that he would get a degree. "I've always been a man of my word," Smith explained to a reporter in Time for Kids. "It was super important to me."

Smith continued to play at a high level, earning Pro Bowl honors in 1997, 1998, and 1999. But the team's play began to suffer. When the Cowboys did poorly in 2000 and 2001, Smith wrote a letter to his teammates, whose morale was slumping. He asked them all to train harder during the off-season, saying that if they were tired of losing, they should be willing to make sacrifices and work hard in order to win. In 2000, Smith married Patricia Southall Lawrence, a former beauty queen. They would later have three children.

At the end of the 2001 season, Smith had under 1,000 yards to go in order to break the all-time rushing record, set by Hall-of-Famer Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears, with 16,726. Smith believed he could set a new record. In an interview in Sports Illustrated for Kids, Smith said, "One thing I have no control over is injuries. But I've done all I can to prepare myself on the football field." Smith said that when he broke the record, he would be "so emotional," and commented, "It is something that my heart has been set on since I became a professional athlete."

Chronology

1969 Born in Pensacola, Florida
1988-90 Attends University of Florida
1990 Drafted by Dallas Cowboys, leaves school to play pro football
1990-present Plays with Dallas Cowboys
2000 Marries Patricia Southall

Awards and Accomplishments

1990-95, 1998-2000 Pro Bowl player
1991 Wins rushing title
1991-95 First player to rush more than 1,400 yards in five straight NFL seasons
1992 Wins rushing title
1992 NFL MVP
1993 Wins rushing title
1993 Cowboys win Super Bowl
1994 Cowboys win Super Bowl
1994 MVP, Super Bowl XXVIII
1995 Wins rushing title
1996 Cowboys win Super Bowl
2002 Becomes NFL all-time rushing leader

Smith told a Sports Illustrated for Kids reporter that he planned to dedicate the 2002 season to Walter Payton. "I love him like my own father and my own teammates. He is a part of me, and I'm a part of him. There is no way I could find myself on the football field without thinking of him." Smith had met Payton in 1995, and Payton had told him that he had a chance to break the record. The two men became friends, and supported each other during times when Smith was injured or when Payton became terminally ill with liver disease. Payton died in 1999, and Smith became a mentor to Payton's son Jarrett, also a football player.

A New Rushing Record

On November 3, 2002, Smith broke the record in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. So far that season, he had averaged only 63.9 yards per game, and he needed 93 to break the record. According to S.L. Price in Sports Illustrated, Seahawks defensive lineman Chad Eaton said during the coin toss, "You're not going to get it today on us." Eaton was wrongby the fourth quarter, Smith was just 13 yards short of the record. When he broke the record. Price wrote, "The game stopped, he saw his mother's face and wept, kissed his wife, Pat, and their three kids, hugged former teammate Daryl Johnston and wept again." The players took a five-minute break, and when the game resumed, Smith played hard, finishing the day with 109 yards on 24 carries. Payton's son Jarrett told Price that Smith was so similar to his father that if the record had to be broken, he was glad Smith was the one to do it.

Despite his record, Smith was battling assessments that said he was too old to keep playing and that he had lost his power, according to Price. However, Smith explained to Price, "Don't tell me I should quit because of my age. That's what makes this frustrating. You have to know who you are. I know who I am."

Smith's future in Dallas is uncertain. In an article posted on the Cowboys Web site, new Dallas coach Bill Parcells told Nick Eatman that Smith's $9.8 million salary was expensive for the team, and commented, "I am certainly aware of what Emmitt Smith has accomplished. This is a thing that we'll have to discuss at a later time. I think we'll have to talk about that. But, obviously, there will be changes, there's no doubt about that."

When Smith is not playing football, he frequently donates his time to helping sick children. He receives frequent requests from sick children who want to meet him. He told Attner, "You try to do the best you can and meet as many as time allows. You know they aren't physically able, and you aren't sure how long they are going to be on this earth." He expressed surprise that out of all the people they could see, they choose to meet him, and said he is glad he can make them happy. He told Attner, "I want them to touch me and feel me and let me cuddle them, so they know I am a person, not some kind of myth."

In the mid-1990s, Smith established Emmitt Smith Charities, Inc., which provides food and other necessities to poor families, and also provides toys to poor children. Dallas running backs coach Joe Brodsky told Attner, "I credit his upbringing for the way he conducts himself. When he talks about his feelings for others, he means it." Dallas safety James Washington said that Smith's loving relationship with his mother is probably part of this. "You can see Emmitt is truly loved. It is real neat to see."

Smith is proud that he has spent his entire football career with the Cowboys. He told the Sports Illustrated for Kids reporter that he wanted to be remembered as "a guy who came to work every day. A guy who didn't take a lot of days off. Dependable, durable, but also smart."

Career Statistics

Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Yr Team ATT YDS AVG TD REC YDS AVG TD FUM LST
DAL: Dallas Cowboys.
1990 DAL 241 937 3.9 11 24 228 9.5 0 7 0
1991 DAL 365 1563 4.3 12 49 258 5.3 1 8 0
1992 DAL 373 1713 4.6 18 59 335 5.7 1 4 0
1993 DAL 283 1486 5.3 9 57 414 7.3 1 4 0
1994 DAL 368 1484 4.0 21 50 341 6.8 1 1 0
1995 DAL 377 1773 4.7 25 62 375 6.0 0 7 6
1996 DAL 327 1204 3.7 12 47 249 5.3 3 5 2
1997 DAL 261 1074 4.1 4 40 234 5.8 0 1 1
1998 DAL 319 1332 4.2 13 27 175 6.5 2 3 2
1999 DAL 329 1397 4.2 11 27 119 4.4 2 5 3
2000 DAL 294 1203 4.1 9 11 79 7.2 0 6 5
2001 DAL 261 1021 3.9 3 17 116 6.8 0 1 1
2002 DAL 254 975 3.8 5 16 89 5.6 0 3 1
TOTAL 4052 17162 4.2 153 186 3012 6.2 11 55 21

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: c/o Dallas Cowboys, One Cowboy Way, Irving, TX 75063-4727; c/o Emmitt Smith Charities Inc., 880 N. Reus Street, Pensacola, FL 32501. Fax: 850-432-2414. Phone: 850-469-1544. Online: www.dallascowboys.com.

Emmitt's Domain

The line kept opening holes, and Emmitt Smith kept hitting them hard and gliding through, getting closer. Thirteen years ago he had vowed that he would get here, to this moment in football history. He spun. Hejuked. He ground out yard after yard against the Seattle Seahawks, 55 in the first quarter alone, each step taking him closer to Walter Payton's NFL rushing record.

On second down he took the ball cut left, found a seam, stumbled over a defender's arm, placed his right hand on the turf, kept his balance and kept on chugging until he had caught Payton and passed him by.

Source: Price, S. L. Sports Illustrated, November 4, 2002: 42.

SELECTED WRITINGS BY SMITH:

Smith, Emmitt. "Run for the Record." Sports Illustrated for Kids, September 1, 2002, 29.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Periodicals

Attner, Paul. "Star Power." Sporting News, December 19, 1994, 10.

"Emmitt Smith Sets All-Time Touchdown Record." Jet, January 18, 1999: 47.

"Emmitt Smith Weds Patricia Lawrence in Dallas." Jet, May 8, 2000: 58.

"Emmitt's Promise." Time for Kids, May 10, 1996: 8.

King, Peter. "The Quest." Sports Illustrated, October 18, 1993: 79.

Price, S.L. "Emmitt's Domain." Sports Illustrated, November 4, 2002: 42.

Other

Armour, Nancy. "Walter Payton Dies at 45." November 9, 1999. Canoe. http://www.canoe.ca/ (January 5, 2003)

Eatman, Nick. "Coaching Staff, Emmitt and More." Dallas Cowboys Official Web site. http://www.dallascowboys.com/ (January 3, 2002).

"Player Profile: Emmitt Smith." Dallas Cowboys Official Web site. http://www.dallascowboys.com/ (January 2, 2003).

"#22 Emmitt Smith." ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/ (January 2, 2003).

Sketch by Kelly Winters

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Smith, Emmitt

Emmitt Smith (Emmitt James Smith 3d), 1969–, U.S. football player, b. Pensacola, Fla. An All-America running back at the Univ. of Florida, Smith spent nearly his entire National Football League career with the Dallas Cowboys (1990–2003); he also played for the Arizona Cardinals (2003–5). He is the league's all-time leading rusher (18,355 yards) and also holds the records for most seasons (11) with 1,000 yards rushing and most career and postseason rushing touchdowns. He is a four-time NFL rushing champion (1991–93, 1995) and and was the 1990 Rookie of the Year and the 1993 Most Valuable Player. Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

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