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Emmitt Smith reaches the end of his list

PFT looks at the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

While in college at Florida, Emmitt Smith kept a list of his five professional goals at his home, according to Jeff Pearlman in the book Boys will be Boys.  The list: 

1. Lead NFL in rushing

2. NFL Rookie of the Year

3. Hall of Fame

4. NFL’s all-time leading rusher

5. Greatest running back ever!!!

Smith slipped in round one of the draft because of his forty time, but his incredible drive, ambition, and toughness helped him check off every tangible goal he set out for.  We don’t think he’s the greatest running back ever, but he came far closer than anyone would have guessed.

Smith held out of his rookie training camp into September, and proved worth the wait.  The Cowboys improved from 1-15 to 7-9 in Smith’s rookie year.  Then the Super Bowl trophies started coming, with Smith’s relentless running proving to be the final piece to the Cowboys dynasty puzzle.

People will remember Smith’s incredible longevity, but his peak years early in his career were truly remarkable.  From 1991-1995, Smith averaged 1,603 rushing yards, 17 TDs, and 55 catches per season. 

Year-after-year, the 210 pounder was a running back committee unto himself, answering the bell from September through Dallas’ long playoff runs.   Criticized later in his career as a me-first player, Smith left you no choice but to glorify him with his actions on the field.

On Saturday night, he’ll officially achieve the goal he first wrote down twenty years ago.  In Emmitt’s mind, it was only a matter of time.

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80 Responses to “Emmitt Smith reaches the end of his list”
  1. numberfour says: Aug 7, 2010 6:19 PM

    horrible commentator
    but a helluva player. me first guy – i dont think so.
    more like a “if u cant help me get it done, i’ll just have to do it myself” kind of guy.

  2. sactoking says: Aug 7, 2010 6:24 PM

    Well, he’s got 4 out of 5, but so long as Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Gayle Sayers, and Eric Dickerson lived he won’t even make Top-5 of item #5 on his list.

  3. ICEWALKER says: Aug 7, 2010 6:24 PM

    I hated him being a Packer fan. He helped keep the Packers out of the Super Bowl once and knocked us out of the playoffs at least one other year.
    When players I hate retire, it becomes respect.
    Good job Mr. Smith.

  4. pacificamike says: Aug 7, 2010 6:24 PM

    Barry Sanders was a FAR better pure runner. Give him the dallas o-line and he likely would have run for 2,000 yards 10+ years.
    anyways, Barry is the best. EVER

  5. Occam says: Aug 7, 2010 6:26 PM

    Say what you want this, guy is much deservemingest of the HOF.
    “If you want to stay perfect,you cannot go undefeated,with a blemish on your record”. -E. Smith-

  6. Zane says: Aug 7, 2010 6:26 PM

    Sorry, but he missed out on #5 until Barry Sanders’ accomplishments disappear. Congrats nonetheless, Emmitt.

  7. Popeye says: Aug 7, 2010 6:32 PM

    best RB of all time
    Just ask the giants HHAHAHHAHAHAHA

  8. Roger the Dodger says: Aug 7, 2010 6:35 PM

    The best Cowboy ever.
    I started following Emmitt’s career when he was a Junior in high school and was featured in a USA Today article. When he was drafted by the Cowboys, I was ecstatic. And he was everything I hoped he would be.
    The Boys rode Emmitt to those championships. Aikman, Irvin, Darren Woodson, Nate Newton, and the other all-pros were nice, but Emmitt Smith was the heart of that team. It was sad to see his decline, and worse yet, his inability to recognize it. It was even sadder to see his pathetic effort at sportscasting. The Emmitt I remember is running for the better part of 200 yards, scoring a couple touchdowns, and leading the Boys to the Superbowl. Not the one who averaged 3 yards per carry, nor the one prone to getting “blowed up”.

  9. danielcp0303 says: Aug 7, 2010 6:42 PM

    He might not be the greatest ever, but 3 Super Bowls and the all time rushing record is good enough.

  10. hendeeze says: Aug 7, 2010 6:55 PM

    Your no Barry Sanders Emmit. Not even close.
    Whats funny is now Emmit has a speech coach, and when he says a normal sentence, he does this George W Bush grin like, “Hey oh wow, I said something that sounded like I knew WTF I was saying!” look on his face.
    You were a great back Emmit, but nowhere near the best.

  11. onlymyopinionmatters says: Aug 7, 2010 6:57 PM

    Somewhere Vox is weeping like a proud parent.

  12. philcommander says: Aug 7, 2010 7:02 PM

    One year he didn’t play the first two games because he was holding out…the cowgirls lost both games…they quickly signed him and won the superbowl.
    One of the Top 5 ever…no doubt.
    Coming from an Eagles fan.

  13. lieutenant Dan's Ice Cream says: Aug 7, 2010 7:03 PM

    I liked his commentary. The way he “debacled” the English language was impressive.

  14. ultimateweapon says: Aug 7, 2010 7:13 PM

    As an Eagle fan, I have to say I always respected Emmitt and Troy Aikman. Both great competitors and classy guys….Michael Irvin?..Not so much!

  15. LIONSNATION says: Aug 7, 2010 7:13 PM

    He deserves the hall but the best ever? I don’t think so…. Barry sanders was a much better back!!!

  16. manofaiki says: Aug 7, 2010 7:14 PM

    Barry Sanders was the best pure runner.
    You want to watch exciting runs? Draft Barry Sanders.
    Don’t throw him the ball, though. And be prepared for all the yards he’s going to lose and all the punting you’ll be doing due to all that razzle-dazzle.
    You want to win championships? Draft Emmit Smith.
    Not only can he run, you can throw him the ball. He can average over 300 carries a season for the first 9 years of his career.
    Emmitt: 3 rings.
    Barry: 0
    ‘Nuff said.

  17. Poo Flinging Monkey says: Aug 7, 2010 7:19 PM

    Unbelieveable! Smith was a great RB, but he’s a moron! A quote from his interview (just now) on ESPN: (When asked how it feels to be in the HOF with Aikman and Irvin) “… it is a special moment when all three of us, we were called the triplets, and now I’m completing that, that other HALF OF THE TRIANGLE.
    Good God. Would someone please tell this guy to never speak in public before the HOF changes it’s mind?

  18. ultimateweapon says: Aug 7, 2010 7:20 PM

    As an Eagle fan, I have to say I always respected Emmitt and Troy Aikman. Both great competitors and classy guys….Michael Irvin?..Not so much!

  19. rexmiller says: Aug 7, 2010 7:25 PM

    #5 will always be a “in the eyes of the beholder” type of thing; like asking someone “who’s the hottest girl in the world?”– you’ll get different responses.
    But for me, when I think “greatest ever” I DO NOT think of “best pure runner” as a criteria. I think: did this athlete elevate those around him to make the team better? Did he carry the team when it had to be carried? Could they have won championships without him? And: DID they win championships BECAUSE of him.
    With that Emmitt comes pretty close to “greatest ever”– because he did all of those things on a consistent basis.
    Barry didn’t. Erik didn’t. Payton didn’t. Sayers didn’t.

  20. Deadeye says: Aug 7, 2010 7:31 PM

    Just think what Barry Sanders could have done behind Dallas’ offensive line.
    Barry was the GOAT, not Emmitt.

  21. gasolinej says: Aug 7, 2010 7:33 PM

    Is there any reason Emmitt Smith is getting like twice as much press as Jerry Rice? Jerry Rice is the unquestioned greatest receiver of all time.
    Emmitt Smith is maybe the 5th best RB of all time?

  22. gasolinej says: Aug 7, 2010 7:38 PM

    Barry Sanders was on a terrible team. Emmitt Smith was on one of the greatest teams ever assembled. You think the Lions would have won a championship with Emmitt Smith? No chance in hell.

  23. manofaiki says: Aug 7, 2010 7:39 PM

    Some of you guys are talking like all a RB does is run.
    How good of a BLOCKER was Barry Sanders? Yeah, I thought so.
    How good of a receiver was he? Yeah, I thought so.
    Yes, he’s a better RUNNER than Emmitt. But Emmitt SMOKES Barry at blocking and catching the rock.
    So Emmitt is the better PLAYER.

  24. MizzouRam says: Aug 7, 2010 7:44 PM

    He was a HUGE hot dog. I can’t tell you how many times he would “limp” of the field then come back and break a 85 yarder.
    Great running back though.

  25. jjared1101 says: Aug 7, 2010 7:49 PM

    anyways, Barry is the best. EVER
    ————-
    He sure was the best ever. Best ever at getting negative yardage.

  26. Real Vikings fans wouldn't cheer for Favre says: Aug 7, 2010 7:50 PM

    Smith is not the greatest ever. Top 5 for sure but that’s it

  27. agenice says: Aug 7, 2010 7:52 PM

    Does this mean he’ll die now?
    Oh. And greatest running back ever? No. Hell no.
    Jim brown.
    Walter Payton
    Barry sanders.
    Those 3 are definitely in front of him.

  28. JaggedMark says: Aug 7, 2010 8:13 PM

    Apparently, learning how to speak decent English isn’t on his list.

  29. robert ethen says: Aug 7, 2010 8:21 PM

    You left off ……..”Grammer class at 8:30″.

  30. steelers rule says: Aug 7, 2010 8:25 PM

    Smith played on “America’s Team” and the off line never got called for holding, while Sanders played for the Lions, one of the wrose off lines and still made hugh runs! If not for Lions coaches putting in Cory Schlesinger and Tommy Vardell at the goal line, Barry would have had 30+ more tds!

  31. hotchick says: Aug 7, 2010 8:27 PM

    I like how “only in the top 5″ is being thrown around as an insult.
    The best RB ever cannot be identified. Its an opinion. Therefore it will never be unanimous.
    But when it is discussed, Emmitt is on the conversation. And since this thread is about him, it doesn’t really matter who else deserves to be a part of it.

  32. BigBear123 says: Aug 7, 2010 8:37 PM

    Bet Cowboy back ever.
    Top 10, arguably top 5.
    Barry had issues losing yards due to defenders in his face after he got the ball or lack of holes to run through. For every negative loss he had 2-3 WTF was that moves.
    Emmit just ran bull headed and settled for 2 yards if there was not a hole.
    Emmit played his entire career with a HoF QB, can you name one QB that Barry played with? There were many.

  33. numberfour says: Aug 7, 2010 8:45 PM

    i can go along with smith being the better back and barry the better pure runner.
    of course sanders lost some yards. the lions were iffy at best. they got no calls either.
    sanders made a helluva lot of people miss, however. highlight reel misses, folks. would-be tacklers talking to themselves. and he wasnt a horrible pass catcher. he also probly quit with 4 good years left. he couldnt take the lions anymore.
    when people think about negative yards they should think
    a. lions line didnt have it together
    b. fritz shurmur’s defense

  34. BigBear123 says: Aug 7, 2010 8:53 PM

    Bet Cowboy back ever.
    Top 10, arguably top 5.
    Barry had issues losing yards due to defenders in his face after he got the ball or lack of holes to run through. For every negative loss he had 2-3 WTF was that moves.
    Emmit just ran bull headed and settled for 2 yards if there was not a hole.
    Emmit played his entire career with a HoF QB, can you name one QB that Barry played with? There were many.

  35. Mr. Lagoo says: Aug 7, 2010 8:54 PM

    His first 4 goals – no problem, since they are objective. However, since “being the greatest RB ever” is a subjective measure, he can never attain this. So, there is no reason to try and meet that achievement – it can’t be done for anyone. Hell, even Jerry Rice will have some people doubting him as the greatest receiver ever, because they will say “well, he had Montana and Young throwing to him” or “he was in a west coast offense that didn’t try to run the ball”, etc, etc.

  36. milehiclown says: Aug 7, 2010 8:55 PM

    Best ever: Jim Brown.

  37. Icon says: Aug 7, 2010 8:56 PM

    Gale Sayers Jim Brown are the best two RBs – ever.
    Gale had essentially no help on offense, whereas another great back Barry Sanders had weapons of all pro caliber offensive line (Lomas Brown) & at wide receiver (Herman Moore.) Gale is #1.
    Jim had considerably more offensive help and all pro teammates on offense – offensive line & wide receiver – that to date Brown retains the highest average per carry speaks volumes (others like Bo Jackson had far fewer carries so don’t even qualify.) Brown is #1.
    In the parlance, what we have here is known in the parlance as a ‘tie’.
    Emmitt Smith? He had more carries than anyone so he should have more yards than anyone. That he also played behind an ‘all-time’ great offensive line & had HOF teammates QB and WR too helps explain his success – it is to his credit he was able to carry the ball so many times, i.e., for so long & so well. Still, as RB he just does not compare with either Sayers or Brown all considered.
    Payton gets honorable mention; a Dickerson and Simpson lead the next handful of RBs that merit discussion. Really though it’s as splitting hairs at that point.
    One man’s educated opinion…and as my favorite team is represented by none the aforementioned players I’ve no dog in this “the greatest RB ever” subjective fight.

  38. midwest says: Aug 7, 2010 9:01 PM

    I agree with hotchick. You can’t tell me that Smith wasn’t one bad MF when he played in the early to mid ’90s. You look at the stats, and Smith deserves to be in the conversation.

  39. Icon says: Aug 7, 2010 9:03 PM

    Oh, and Jerry Rice couldn’t carry the shoes of Lance Alworth, Otis Taylor, Paul Warfield or Charley Taylor (at minimum) . . . too, several others were just as good (former Packer Don Hutson may have been better than them all.)
    All the wrs who benefitted playing in the modern day offensive rule-aided “hands off DB’s” era get points deducted because of their much easier ability to pile up stats.
    Rice was great – he just isn’t the greatest of all time.

  40. geo1113 says: Aug 7, 2010 9:05 PM

    Emmitt Smith was a great ball player and is a great guy.

  41. jjared1101 says: Aug 7, 2010 9:19 PM

    It’s called having the patience to wait for your blockers. Great runner, no doubt. All time great, no doubt. But maybe Barry Sanders would have helped his team gaining 1 or 2 yds when not a lot was there instead of putting his team in 2nd or 3rd and long situations trying to make a 40 yd run. And don’t give me that Barry had 4 more years in him. No he didn’t. He quit. Whether you attribute that to physical or mental breakdowns, the fact remains that he couldn’t do it anymore.
    As for Emmitt playing on a great line. Sure, he did play on a great team, but he did it in high school, he did it college, and he did it in the NFL. Cowboys went 0-2 when Smith held out for the first two years of the 1993 season. Came back and won MVP of the league that year, leading the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory. Jerry Rice played with 2 of the greatest QB’s of all time. Does that mean that Rice isn’t the best WR of all time?
    Barry Sanders is a HOF running back, and one of the best to play the game. But the comparisons with Emmitt and the reasons people give are all what ifs and opinions. If you go on facts, Emmitt has more yards, more rings, more durability, and probably worse grammar. Instead of: Sanders > Smith. Or: Smith > Sanders. How about: Sanders = Smith= two of the best running backs the game has seen.

  42. Juliath says: Aug 7, 2010 9:31 PM

    philcommander says:
    August 7, 2010 7:02 PM
    One year he didn’t play the first two games because he was holding out…the cowgirls lost both games…they quickly signed him and won the superbowl.
    AND won the rushing title that year. And League & Super Bowl MVP as well

  43. VegasChris says: Aug 7, 2010 9:55 PM

    Well deserved, Mr. Smith!
    I for one am glad that you got “blowed in” to the HOF!
    Well played, Emmitt!

  44. IndyColt45 says: Aug 7, 2010 10:09 PM

    You know, the same idiots claiming that Running Back X would have been so much better with the Cowboys’ line are the same idiots that claim Tom Brady is the greatest ever because of his three rings, or that Jerry Rice is the greatest WR ever, completely ignoring the fact that this is a team game, and everyone makes everyone better.
    Shake the haters off, #22. You are the greatest running back ever, and the people with any knowledge of how football works would agree (or at least put you right at the top).

  45. HomoforRomo says: Aug 7, 2010 10:23 PM

    manofaiki, there’s this little thing called pro football reference- check it and you’ll not only see Barry avgd 100 yds rushing per game to Emmitt’s 81, but he also was better in receiving yards per game, 19 to 14. As for Super Bowl wins, when it’s all said and done, check how many of Emmitt’s teammates and coaches end up in the HOF vs. Barry’s. Barry 5.0 per carry, no year under 4.3, Emmitt 4.2 per carry, only once over 4.7. And we won’t even get into NCAA stats.
    And the negative yardage most all-time thing is some Sal Palamino crap- if you go first and second down for -1 then 6, or 1 then 4, isn’t that still the same result? Isn’t total yardage in a game the thing for a back? That’s like saying a Greg Maddux sucks beacuse he had more three ball counts than any other pitcher.
    Barry best since 1970, not even close

  46. Suitcasehead Golic says: Aug 7, 2010 10:28 PM

    Kudos to Emmit–His public speaking has come a long way–Hell–Jerry Rice can hardly read..

  47. Big Tex says: Aug 7, 2010 10:38 PM

    @HomoforRomo
    “Barry best since 1970, not even close.”
    Dude, there’s this little thing called profootball reference. Check it out. Pick out any 4 years that barry had and they don’t add up to Eric Dickerson’s first 4 years. Dickerson was better than Barry.

  48. Moe Lester says: Aug 7, 2010 10:45 PM

    If you think its anyone besides barry sanders you are a bigger idiot than josh mcdaniels

  49. HomoforRomo says: Aug 7, 2010 10:58 PM

    rexmiller, by your logic then if you put Emmitt on the Lions and Barry on the Cowboys, everything else the same, Emmitt would have raised the talent level of the other Lions and led them to Super Bowl glory, while Barry would have brought down Irvin, Ms. Aikman, etc. and the Cowboys would have stank? Sure.

  50. brasho says: Aug 7, 2010 11:03 PM

    Don’t give anybody that Barry Saders crap! Barry led the league in runs for lost yardage and yards lost every year. You can’t tell anybody that a guy looking for the homerun non-stop was a great runner when he spent as much time going backwards as forwards to the detriment of the drive and the team.
    Idiots that simply analyze stats can be mesmerized by Sanders’ final statlines where he had 20 rushes for 100 yards but they fail to realize that Sanders likely had 19 rushes for 38 yards before he finally broke a 62 yard run to make his stats look good… despite bringing up countless 2nd and 3rd and longs and putting the defense back on the field for way too long.
    And then idiots could point to Barry vs Emmitt’s Oline and say that Barry would have done so much better in Dallas… MORE BS! Barry would have been a 3rd down back on most good coaches’ teams because NOBODY would put up with his backwards running style. Barry still had Kevin Mawae, Ray Roberts, and Lomas Brown making Pro Bowls for him… did anybody ever think that perhaps the Cowboy’s OLinemen can thank Emmitt for their Pro Bowls instead of the other way around? The Cowboys had some good OLinemen, granted, but a lot of that was Emmitt hitting the hole hard and not making them hold their blocks too long… which is far better than the draw play blocking that Detroit had to employ to keep Backwards Barry on the highlight reels.
    Put it this way, Barry would have had the same numbers if he played for Dallas… but Dallas would have played in ZERO Super Bowls and Troy Aikman would have been a below average QB because of all of the 3rd and longs he would have faced in his career.

  51. brasho says: Aug 7, 2010 11:05 PM

    Best ever, Silva? He was good, but he was on a great team and that didn’t hurt, nor did his great longevity. There were far better players in during shorter stretches than Emmitt (Dickerson, Brown, T. Davis, Earl Campbell, Payton) but his longevity is what got him his record…. grow up, Silva, what are you, five?

  52. GTW61 says: Aug 7, 2010 11:15 PM

    Very disappointed in Emmitt. He never once gave any thanks to the University of Florida for the time he spent there. How can you not? If I missed it, I apologize…
    GTW61

  53. Viper21 says: Aug 7, 2010 11:20 PM

    Even as a cowboys fan, I didnt like Emmitts holdouts, or record qwest. I never saw him toss a football in the stands. I was turned down for an autograph by him in Arizona once too.
    BUT…. having said that, I do believe he was every bit the back Barry was. #22 played waaaay longer, & was a punishing blocker. I believe the boys’ passing game would’ve suffered with Barry. People that think Barry was better….. really arent or werent looking at the entire game. Emmitt was a complete back. Rusher, pass catcher, & blocker. He made the rest of the team better….. How much better did Barry make the lions, lol…..

  54. GTW61 says: Aug 7, 2010 11:21 PM

    If Jerry could of quit sniffling…He might have been able to focus. Maybe he needed a diet COKE!!!!

  55. Howboutdemcowboys says: Aug 7, 2010 11:22 PM

    Everyone trying to prove who is the greatest RB of all time is a MORON. Get a life. Stop trying to categorize other peoples accomplishments. Best ever? Unless your name is in the conversation STFU!!!!!
    Congratulations Emmitt

  56. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 7, 2010 11:31 PM

    “Barry Sanders was a FAR better pure runner.”
    Never heard of that position. Are you talking about fantasy football?

  57. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 7, 2010 11:32 PM

    “Your no Barry Sanders Emmit. Not even close.”
    And Cowboys fans everywhere thank God for that.

  58. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 7, 2010 11:41 PM

    “You left off ……..”Grammer class at 8:30″.”
    Maybe you mean “grammar”.

  59. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 7, 2010 11:51 PM

    “Barry 5.0 per carry, no year under 4.3″
    Mainly because he was routinely pulled in short yardage situations by two separate coaching regimes, both of whom decided they had better short-yardage options than Barry Sanders.
    “Emmitt 4.2 per carry, only once over 4.7.”
    Indeed. Short yardage situations were Emmitt’s bread and butter. That’s how it is with all the great ones. 3rd and goal at the two, with everything else equal who do you prefer to run it in, Smith the bruiser or Sanders the dancer?
    “And the negative yardage most all-time thing is some Sal Palamino crap- if you go first and second down for -1 then 6, or 1 then 4, isn’t that still the same result?”
    No… because if I understand you correctly the first guy would be in a third and 6 situation, and the second guy would be in a second and 6 situation.
    “Isn’t total yardage in a game the thing for a back?”
    No. Winning is.

  60. Smoking Joe says: Aug 8, 2010 12:05 AM

    Smith isn’t even close to being the GOAT. He is an average back (at best) who benefited from the biggest and very good (although very dirty) O-Line. A line that made the nfl install rules to stop their cheap shots.

  61. LvSteelersH8Ben says: Aug 8, 2010 12:46 AM

    Coming from a Steeler fan. GREAT JOB LEBEAU AND THE STEELERS ON HAND.
    Jerry Rice cant read…………..
    Emitt Smith’s induction speech was one of the best of all time. No notes either. Very emotional, powerful speech. Moment with “Moose” was classic.

  62. JayMan says: Aug 8, 2010 1:37 AM

    I met the guy… his agent was trying to convince him to do a specific charity event (year before his last in dallas) and he looked at me and said i’m all about showing me the money. ‘That’s all i’m sayin… know what i mean’ he said as he looked at me. Lost all respect for the man at that moment.
    Dude already had it all, that moment reminds me of a scene from ‘Any Given Sunday’. Sad, so sad. Why do you think dallas let him leave for his final years. In the end, he was a Me First guy. His buddy Troy on the other hand, complete gentleman… all class all the way. Asked me about my hometown, total respect even after I said I was a Giant fan.
    I’d take Troy and Irvin all day long over Emmitt… at least those guys had the balls to be themselves. They played for the true love of the game and gave back to the community. Smith played his heart out, but you won’t convince me it wasn’t selfish. His oline and TE’s back in the glory days paved the golden path.

  63. johnberry1961 says: Aug 8, 2010 2:34 AM

    Emmitt may not have been the greatest ever but he is in the top 5! The man was an excellent blocker, receiver and runner and he also made others around him better. Plus he won 3 Super Bowls. I’m tired of hearing how great Barry Sanders was when most of his yards gained were a couple of long runs a game with a lot of -1, -2 and 1 or 2 yard gains. The best hands down was Jim Brown and Emmitt is in the following 4 somewhere. For all of you Cowboy haters out there get over it, the man was pure greatness!!!!!

  64. JayMan says: Aug 8, 2010 2:39 AM

    So… Vox
    Emmitt is better than sanders, payton, brown because the dynasty cowboy years? I guess rationalization is the best you can do all these years later. At least it hasn’t been a decade since a playoff win… now it’s just 9 months since a playoff disgrace.
    Cowboys were the biggest disgrace in playoff memory after last years beatdown. What a beating!. Seriously. It was like Rihanna after a date with chris brown!

  65. frank booth says: Aug 8, 2010 3:06 AM

    @Brasho
    You have some fine quotes in your pedantic rant about Sanders vs. Smith. I don’t claim to know who the better back is, but there is no doubt that Smith had a far better supporting cast.
    “Barry would have been a 3rd down back on most good coaches’ teams because NOBODY would put up with his backwards running style.”
    First, Smith is 1st in all time rushing, and Sanders, is third. Anyone who would consider Sanders a third down back in any form is a complete moron.
    Sanders averaged almost 100 yards per game over his career. Smith averaged 85 yards per game, numbers that any coach would be happy with. They were both great players. Running behind a better line, there is no doubt that Sanders would have put up bigger yardage numbers and wouldn’t have had to scurry around in the backfield trying to find his own holes.
    “Barry still had Kevin Mawae, Ray Roberts, and Lomas Brown making Pro Bowls for him…”
    Lomas Brown played in 7 Pro Bowls. Ray Roberts played in 0 Pro Bowls. Kevin Mawae never played for the Detroit Lions. Get your facts straight.
    During Smith’s Dallas career, Dallas lineman made a combined 26 Pro Bowls, 33 if you count the TE and FB positions. Lions linemen made a combined 9, with no TE’s or FB’s making the Pro Bowl. It didn’t hurt that Smith had Daryl Johnston to run behind.
    “Put it this way, Barry would have had the same numbers if he played for Dallas… but Dallas would have played in ZERO Super Bowls and Troy Aikman would have been a below average QB because of all of the 3rd and longs he would have faced in his career.”
    Can you prove this? Troy Aikman would have been a below-average QB with Barry Sanders as his RB? So what you’re saying is that Troy Aikman would have been a below-average QB with the 3rd all-time leading rusher running the ball with a great O-line and throwing to a Hall of Fame receiver? That’s plain stupid.
    Smith played on great teams for the most part, and he was part of making them great. While Smith had stability around him with a Hall of Fame QB and WR, a solid offensive line, a great fullback in Johnston and good tight end play, the only one that Sanders had to take some heat off of him was Herman Moore. As complete offensive units go, the Cowboys of the 90’s had some of the better ones in the history of the game. You couldn’t say the same for the Lions.
    Smith had Aikman, while Sanders played with such stellar quarterbacks as Bob Gagliano, Rodney Peete, Scott Mitchell, Erik Kramer, and Charlie Batch.
    Personally, I’d take Jim Brown and Walter Payton over either one of these guys. Payton piled up most of his career yardage running behind crappy lines for years and playing on below average teams with himself as the only viable weapon. Jim Brown was simply a man among boys. There has never been anyone else like him.

  66. Fed up says: Aug 8, 2010 5:08 AM

    I told you the Cowboys were a bunch of crybabies and sissies.
    STOP YOUR CRYING, EMMITT! BE A MAN!

  67. SKINSFANTOM says: Aug 8, 2010 7:53 AM

    HAIL to you emmitt, anybody that says sanders was better than you needs to put down the crack pipe. RB in the NFL is a little more than faking somebody out, you have to be able to go through somebody sometimes when there is no hole. not even close. PAYTON,CAMPBELL,SMITH.

  68. jambalaya says: Aug 8, 2010 8:17 AM

    1. Barry Sanders is the all time leader in runs for negative yards.
    2. Scored one touchdown for every 35 touches
    3. Score only ONE TD in 6 playoff games
    4. 1994 Playoff game vs Green Bay, 13 Carries for -1yards (negative 1 )
    If it’s 3rd and 2 in the 4th quarter I’d rather have Emmitt Smith

  69. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 8, 2010 11:22 AM

    “So… Vox
    Emmitt is better than sanders, payton, brown because the dynasty cowboy years?”
    Did I say that? No. You read about as well as Jerry Rice does.
    All that matters at the end of the day is winning. Highlight reels don’t win games. Consistent execution wins games. Reliability. Emmitt Smith was never held to negative yardage in a playoff game. Hell you can fall forward and gain almost two yards.
    “Cowboys were the biggest disgrace in playoff memory after last years beatdown.”
    Really. Hyperbole much, scrub?

  70. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 8, 2010 11:29 AM

    “Running behind a better line, there is no doubt that Sanders would have put up bigger yardage”
    With an offense that puts 4 WRs in patterns, there’s no doubt that Emmitt Smith would have run through those constant 7-man defensive fronts like a hot knife through butter.
    “Barry still had Kevin Mawae, Ray Roberts, and Lomas Brown making Pro Bowls for him…”
    Lomas Brown played in 7 Pro Bowls. Ray Roberts played in 0 Pro Bowls. Kevin Mawae never played for the Detroit Lions. Get your facts straight.
    He may be thinking of Kevin Glover.
    During Smith’s Dallas career, Dallas lineman made a combined 26 Pro Bowls, 33 if you count the TE and FB positions. Lions linemen made a combined 9, with no TE’s or FB’s making the Pro Bowl. It didn’t hurt that Smith had Daryl Johnston to run behind.”
    Most of the guys you’re talking about were there before Emmitt got there and were not special. Particular the guys that played in Emmitt’s early years when he was the most productive. Nate Newton once said “Before Emmitt got here I was just another guy struggling to keep a job. Now I’m an All Pro!”
    Sanders gets no extra points for not helping his team excel.

  71. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 8, 2010 11:31 AM

    “I met the guy… his agent was trying to convince him to…”
    Yeah, sure. Everybody knows how Emmitt has always shunned charity events.
    /sarcasm

  72. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 8, 2010 11:33 AM

    “Smith isn’t even close to being the GOAT. He is an average back (at best) who benefited from the biggest and very good (although very dirty) O-Line.”
    Wow, good for Emmitt that the 90’s Cowboys are the only team in league history to have a badass OL!

  73. Big Tex says: Aug 8, 2010 12:38 PM

    @Smoking Joe
    Dude, quit smoking. It’s screwing with your thought processes. “He is an average back(at best)” Oh really? The “average back plays 15 years, sets the record for career rusning yards and rushing TDs, wins multiple championships, and All Pro awards? Do you honestly think that’s the “average” RB or are you just talking out your ass?
    @Mr. Effed up
    Part of your post is missing. Allow me to finish your thoughts.
    BE A MAN! RAPE SOMEBODY!

  74. fifthorkid says: Aug 8, 2010 1:32 PM

    Awesome how Grimm pwned the cowpies in his speech, and how they used and abused Randy White. Love it

  75. Allied Biscuit says: Aug 8, 2010 11:07 PM

    6. ‘Just for Men’

  76. David56 says: Aug 9, 2010 4:03 AM

    I give Emmitt his just dues. He certainly belongs in the HOF and then some. No doubt about that at all.
    But when I remember Walter Payton I remember the early years when he WAS the Bears offense. Barry Sanders I think of in the same light as Payton. Lord knows what Sanders would have done with a decent O-line year in and year out.
    GOAT I have yet to see, but I’d put Payton and Sanders ahead of Smith.
    Two best fullbacks I ever saw(I’m 56)were Earl Campbell and John Riggins. Campbell was not the guy you wanted to have to tackle when he had a full head of steam.
    GO GIANTS!!!

  77. Maddog says: Aug 9, 2010 9:21 AM

    Icon says:
    August 7, 2010 9:03 PM
    Oh, and Jerry Rice couldn’t carry the shoes of Lance Alworth, Otis Taylor, Paul Warfield or Charley Taylor (at minimum) . . . too, several others were just as good (former Packer Don Hutson may have been better than them all.)
    All the wrs who benefitted playing in the modern day offensive rule-aided “hands off DB’s” era get points deducted because of their much easier ability to pile up stats.
    Rice was great – he just isn’t the greatest of all time.
    ———————————————
    Let me guess, you’re 70 years old. You sound like Beano Cook, with his “the Army teams of the 40’s were the greatest college team ever”. Players in ever sport get bigger, stronger and faster. 20 years from now the best wr in the NFL history won’t be Jerry Rice. Some new freak will have emerged.
    I bet Jesse Owens would have smoked Usain Bolt in a 100 yard/meter dash too, wouldn’t he?

  78. thirdandgoal says: Aug 9, 2010 11:51 AM

    “”If you want to stay perfect,you cannot go undefeated,with a blemish on your record”. -E. Smith-
    “”… it is a special moment when all three of us, we were called the triplets, and now I’m completing that, that other HALF OF THE TRIANGLE.”
    It’s official. Emmitt is the NFL version of Yogi Berra!

  79. lskynard87 says: Aug 9, 2010 2:56 PM

    Greatest of all time is far to hard to narrow down to a single player. To me, it’s more of an argument to include what the player did for his team and with how dominant he played in his era.
    In that context, Sanders could dominant long gains, but not games. Smith could dominant based on consistency, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t have the explosiveness that Sayers, Jackson, Sanders, etc. have/had.
    Jim Brown and Walter Payton had heart. Payton played on terrible teams, and was the eventual all time leader (by ’85 he had outplayed his best years, and the Bears finally caught up with him and won the SB). Brown was dominant in his physical presence he brought to the game. Earl Campbell brought the same type of a game, to a different era of football.
    Dickerson and Jackson were phenomenal talents in their own respect, but Dickerson’s inconsistency (2106 yards one year, followed by several mediocre years) and Jackson’s injury both leave a void in calling them “Greatest of All Time”.
    Then you go to OJ Simpson in Buffalo, rushing for 2000 yards twice with no other legitimate threat on the team outside of his running abilities.
    So the talk of “Greatest ever” is a skewed and bias argument. It’s all a personal preference, especially at such an intangible position as runningback.

  80. frank booth says: Aug 9, 2010 7:18 PM

    Vox-
    Lomas Brown didn’t make the Pro Bowl until Sanders got there, and he was with the Lions 4 years before Sanders got there, same with Smith and Newton.
    Smith had Stepnoski there in ’89, (a year before Smith) Erik Williams in ’91, and Larry Allen in ’94. Tuinei was a pretty accomplished lineman himself- I think he ran between a pretty solid line, even in his most productive years, between ’91 and ’95.
    Emmitt Smith was a great player, and he is deserving of being in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know what Sanders would do behind the Cowboy line, or Smith behind the Detroit line, but if it were switched, they were still special players and still probably would have put together Hall of Fame careers.
    I was responding to Brasho’s claims that Sanders was a “third-down back”. Their careers don’t really need to be compared, but people always seem to, thinking that Smith just ground out yards while Sanders was just based on long runs.
    Smith wasn’t a home-hitter, but he could break long runs- and if you take Sanders 42 runs over 40 yards in his career, he still averaged 4.29 yards per carry. But Smith was the more reliable running back.
    I would be curious to see how many of times Sanders didn’t convert on 1 or 2 yard situations.
    I think that they were both great players, but Smith was more of running back that you can really build around than Sanders.

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