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Date updated:04-4-02

Pigskin In The Blood

by Jonathan Kui


Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, Tony Dorsett—running backs that have changed the game. When Emmitt Smith retires, add him to that list. Emmitt Smith will pound some defensive linemen, and evade the others. Defensive linemen respect Smith. They respect what he does, and how he does it. That doesn’t mean they like him though. But the numbers speak for itself, defenders have done nothing to slow this man down.

Emmitt entered the National Football League in 1990. In his first season, he rushed for 937 yards and averaged 3.9 yards a carry. He also ran for 11 touchdowns and established himself as a dangerous running back. Smith proved he wasn’t a fluke when he ran for 1563 yards with a 4.3 average the following year. Smith continued to destroy defenders for 10 more years. At the age of 32, Smith has yet to reach his prime.

Running backs are magicians on the field. They twist and spin, jump and duck, stop and run, and stop and run again. There are 2 types of running backs. Running backs like Jerome Bettis, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, pound and fight for their yardage. Then there are running backs like Marshall Faulk, of the St. Louis Rams, who try to be quick and elusive. Emmitt is more like Bettis, in the sense that he knows that if he keeps pounding the ball, defenders will get tired and slow. Running backs like Emmitt need to be enduring and strong, something Emmitt has proven to be in the 12 seasons he has been in the league.

Smith has had 11 straight seasons of 1,000 yards or more. He has amounted 16,187 total yards, and 148 touchdowns, rushing. The only reason Emmitt hasn’t gotten the amount of recognition that he deserves is because of the team that he is on. The Dallas Cowboys have never gotten tremendous recognition. As a result, Emmitt Smith is overlooked by fans, and scared by opposing coaches.

Eventually, when this man slows down and decides to retire, people will realize the importance he had on his team, and the game itself. Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, and others will continue the tradition of great running backs, but no one is in Emmitt Smith’s league.


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