October 27th, 2002 – I had seen Emmitt and the Cowboys just a week earlier in Arizona. When I purchased the tickets, I knew I would have a chance to see the all-time rushing record broken. I fell just 93 yards short and Emmitt went on to break the record at Texas Stadium the following week.
As Emmitt heads for the hallowed halls of Canton it can be said, with confidence, that this record may never be broken again. In this new era of the two and three-headed running backs by committee is it even conceivable? There is only one active player even in the top 10 in regards to all-time leading rushers (LaDainian Tomlinson), and he is still almost 6,000 yards away.
As a stats guy, I recognize that it is possible for LT to surpass Emmitt. In fact, LT’s career rushing stats through 9 seasons are actually better than Emmitt’s career stats by an average of 164 yards per year. Although I said possible, I am not saying probable! Now that LT has moved on to the Jets’ ground and pound offense, you have to wonder whether he will get the touches or even have the fortitude needed to surpass Emmitt.
Off in the distance, you will almost always hear the “but if Barry hadn’t retired”, or the “if Barry would’ve had a line like Emmitt’s” argument. These arguments are most always from Dallas haters rather than from actual fans of Barry himself. Again, statistically it was possible, admittedly even probable – but it didn’t happen that way!
What did happen was that the hole in the roof was used for someone else to watch the Cowboys play that day. That day, a bit of “sweetness” was used to shine the star a bit brighter forever more on the helmet of the great number 22.