Within the next 24 hours it will be official that Emmitt Smith has made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I can not wait for the announcement. Emmitt Smith became my favorite player early in career. As I explained in an earlier post about Emmitt he was the kind of player that gave it everything he had in every game. Sure some people say he benefited from great teams where he had a great offensive line, great quarterback and receivers. Well, I guess one could say that those other players also benefited from having Emmitt Smith as well. I never got tired of him running the ball. He took the air out of defenses to the point you could just see them give up at times.
I thought back to some of my most memorable games for Emmitt Smith. I could have listed so many more games then I did, but then my post would have been way too long.
1992 – Dallas over Washington, 23-10
It was opening night of the 1992 season on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys made a statement to the Redskins and the NFL that they were back. Emmitt Smith rushed for 140 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown.
1992 – Dallas over Philadelphia, 20-10
After getting crushed by the Eagles 31-7 a month earlier, the Cowboys came out in the rematch and took it to the Eagles. Emmitt Smith rushed for 163 yards on 30 carries as the Cowboys improved their record to 7-1.
1992 – Dallas over NY Giants, 30-3
Thanksgiving Day against the hated the Giants. A huge win which made my turkey dinner taste even better. Emmitt rushed for 120 yards on 17 carries. He scored on a 68 yard touchdown run to increase the Dallas lead to 23-3 in the third quarter. He also caught a touchdown pass from Troy Aikman in the third quarter.
1992 – Dallas over Atlanta, 41-17
This win clinched the NFC East for the Cowboys for the first time since 1985. It was also the game that Emmitt Smith had one of his greatest runs. He entered a crowd of Falcons only to get loose, bounce to the outside and beat Deion Sanders to the end zone on a 29 yard run. He added another 29 yard touchdown run in the game as he rushed for 174 yards on 24 carries.
1993 – Dallas over Philadeplphia, 23-10
Halloween on a rainy day in Philadelphia. Troy Aikman could not throw the ball in the rain and only passed for 96 yards. So Emmitt Smith had to take control. He had his only 200 yard rushing game of his career as he rushed for 237 yards. He sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a 68 yard touchdown run as he beat Eric Allen to the end zone.
1993 – Dallas over NY Giants, 16-13 (OT)
The greatest performance I have ever seen from a player. Emmitt Smith played through the pain of a separated shoulder and showed how much heart he really had and that he would do anything to win a game. Emmitt Smith scored the Cowboys only touchdown on a pass from Troy Aikman in the first half. He rushed for 168 yards on 32 carries and added another 61 yards on 10 receptions. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball in overtime and Emmitt put them into position for the game winning field goal.
1993 – Dallas over Buffalo, 30-13 (Super Bowl XXVIII)
With the Cowboys and Bills tied at 13-13 in the third quarter, Emmitt Smith led the Cowboys to the go ahead score and they would never look back. Emmitt scored from 15 yards out and then sealed the game in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown. He rushed for 132 yards on 30 carries and earned the Super Bowl MVP.
1995 – Dallas over NY Giants 35-0
Opening night of the season and Emmitt Smith could not have started the season any better. On his first carry of the season he scored from 60 yards out. He scored three more times in the game as he rushed for 163 yards on just 21 carries.
1995 – Dallas over Minnesota, 23-17 (OT)
Emmitt Smith shredded the Vikings defense as he rushed for 150 yards on 20 carries. He also scored twice. The last score coming in overtime as he broke free and scored from 31 yards out to improve the Cowboys to 3-0.
1995 – Dallas over Green Bay, 38-27 (NFC Championship)
With the Packers leading going into the fourth quarter it was Emmitt Smith who took control and tired out the Packers defense with two scores in the fourth. Emmitt Smith totaled three touchdowns in the game and rushed for 150 yards on 35 carries.
1999 – Dallas loses to Minnesota, 27-17
A few days after the death of the great Walter Payton. Emmitt Smith wanted to dedicate the game to Payton and try to break his single game rushing record. He was well on his way as he pushed the Cowboys to a 17-7 halftime lead. He scored from 63 and 24 yards, but late in the second quarter he injured his finger and could not return. In one half Emmitt Smith rushed for 140 yards on 13 carries to go with his two scores. One can only imagine what kind of game Emmitt Smith would have had if he had not been injured.
2002 – Dallas loses to Seattle, 17-14
This was the game that Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing record that Walter Payton held for so long. It was an unbelievable moment that I will never forget. The emotions Emmitt Smith showed were great, especially the moment on the sideline with Daryl (Moose) Johnston who blocked for him for so many years. Emmitt Smith was the one who tied the game in the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys could not get the win. Emmitt Smith rushed for 109 yards in his record breaking game.