Football Career

From Escambia High School to the University of Florida to the Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith has achieved great success on the football field at every level. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, Smith finished his 15-year professional career as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards, breaking Walter Payton’s mark. Smith is also a three-time Super Bowl Champion and the only player in NFL history to win the Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP award and NFL MVP award in the same season (1993).

Smith finished his career with several other NFL records including rushing touchdowns (164) and rush attempts (4,409). He is one of only five NFL players who have eclipsed 10,000 career-rushing yards and 400 career receptions. Smith is also second on the NFL’s all-time total yards from scrimmage list with 21,579 yards. Including games at the high school, collegiate and pro level, Smith has rushed for at least 100 yards in 155 of 326 career games. His 45 100-yard games in high school is still the national record and Smith’s 78 100-yard rushing games is a NFL record. Smith was named to the 1990s All-Decade team, recording four NFL rushing titles (1991-93, 1995) and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times with only Barry Sanders (10) having been selected more times among NFL running backs. He helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX), including earning Super Bowl MVP honors in Super Bowl XXVIII.

  Rushing Receiving    
Year Tm G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng YScm RRTD Fmb
1990 DAL 16 15 241 937 11 48 3.9 58.6 24 228 9.5 0 57 1165 11 7
1991 DAL 16 16 365 1563 12 75 4.3 97.7 49 258 5.3 1 14 1821 13 8
1992 DAL 16 16 373 1713 18 68 4.6 107.1 59 335 5.7 1 26 2048 19 4
1993 DAL 14 13 283 1486 9 62 5.3 106.1 57 414 7.3 1 86 1900 10 4
1994 DAL 15 15 368 1484 21 46 4.0 98.9 50 341 6.8 1 68 1825 22 1
1995 DAL 16 16 377 1773 25 60 4.7 110.8 62 375 6.0 0 40 2148 25 7
1996 DAL 15 15 327 1204 12 42 3.7 80.3 47 249 5.3 3 21 1453 15 5
1997 DAL 16 16 261 1074 4 44 4.1 67.1 40 234 5.9 0 24 1308 4 1
1998 DAL 16 16 319 1332 13 32 4.2 83.3 27 175 6.5 2 24 1507 15 3
1999 DAL 15 15 329 1397 11 63 4.2 93.1 27 119 4.4 2 14 1516 13 5
2000 DAL 16 16 294 1203 9 52 4.1 75.2 11 79 7.2 0 19 1282 9 6
2001 DAL 14 14 261 1021 3 44 3.9 72.9 17 116 6.8 0 22 1137 3 1
2002 DAL 16 16 254 975 5 30 3.8 60.9 16 89 5.6 0 17 1064 5 3
2003 ARI 10 5 90 256 2 22 2.8 25.6 14 107 7.6 0 36 363 2 2
2004 ARI 15 15 267 937 9 29 3.5 62.5 15 105 7.0 0 18 1042 9 4
Career   226 219 4409 18355 164 75 4.2 81.2 515 3224 6.3 11 86 21579 175 61
13 yrs DAL 201 199 4052 17162 153 75 4.2 85.4 486 3012 6.2 11 86 20174 164 55
2 yrs ARI 25 20 357 1193 11 29 3.3 47.7 29 212 7.3 0 36 1405 11 6

High School

Smith prepped at Escambia High School in Pensacola, FL where he finished his gridiron career with 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns, breaking the 2,000-yard rushing mark in two different seasons. He was named the USA Today and Parade magazine High School Player of the Year (1986) and was later named the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) High School Player of the Century.

Escambia High School, Pensacola, FL (1983-86)

  • Finished his career with 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns, breaking the 2,000-yard rushing mark twice
  • Rushed for over 100 yards in 45 of 49 games he started, including the final 28 in a row
  • Named USA Today and Parade magazine High School Player of the Year (1986)
  • Florida High School Athletic Association High School Player of the Century
  • Florida High School Athletic Association High School All-Century Team

 

College

After high school, Smith accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL where he played for head coach Galen Hall for three seasons (1987-89). Smith saw the field immediately as a true freshman and set a school single game rushing record in his first career start with 224 yards in an upset of Alabama. He finished his freshman campaign with 1,341 yards, earning National and SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Smith battled injuries as a sophomore in 1988, but was still able to run for 988 rush yards, earning First Team All-SEC honors. He returned healthy in 1989 and set several single season records as a junior, including rushing yards (1,599). Smith was named SEC MVP and earned unanimous First Team All-American honors. He decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft early, finishing his three-year Gator career with 58 school records and left as Florida’s all-time leading rusher (3,928 yards). Smith would later be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2006), University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame (1999) and Gator Football Ring of Honor.

University of Florida (1987-89)

  • Finished his career with 58 school records, including all-time leading rusher (3,928 yards)
  • Named National and SEC Freshman of the Year (1987)
  • Earned First-Team All-SEC honors three times (1987-89)
  • Earned unanimous First-Team All-American honor (1989)
  • Named the SEC Most Valuable Player (1989)
  • Inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame (1999)
  • Inducted into the Gator Football Ring of Honor
  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2006)
  Rushing Receiving    
Year Tm G Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G Rec Yds Y/R TD YScm RRTD
1987 Flordia 11 299 1341 13 66 5.9 121.9 25 184 7.4 0 1525 13
1988 Flordia 9 187 988 9 96 5.3 109.8 10 72 7.2 0 1060 9
1989 Flordia 11 284 1599 14 72 5.6 145.5 21 207 9.9 1 1806 15
Career   31 700 3928 36 96 5.6 126.7 56 463 8.3 1 4391 37

Professional

Smith was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, which was received with mixed reviews because the Cowboys traded up for the Florida running back. However, Smith achieved instant success with 937 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 1990, earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Beginning in his second season, Smith became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000+ yards in 11 consecutive seasons and the first to post 11 1,000+ yard rushing seasons in a career. The first player in NFL history with five straight seasons with over 1,400 rushing yards, Smith and Jim Brown are the only players with seven straight 10-touchdown seasons to start a career.

After spending his final two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Smith signed a one-day contract with Dallas in February 2005 and retired as Cowboy. He holds several Cowboys franchise records, including rushing yards (17,162) and total points (986. Smith was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2005 along with QB Troy Aikman and WR Michael Irvin, a trio known as “the triplets.” Smith was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, the first year he was eligible for induction.

Dallas Cowboys (1990-2002)
Arizona Cardinals (2003-04)

  • Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft (17th overall)
  • Named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1990)
  • Three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (XXVIII)
  • Named NFL Most Valuable Player (1993)
  • Recipient of the Bert Bell Award (1993)
  • Named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • Led the NFL in rushing four seasons (1991-93, 1995)
  • Led the NFL in total touchdowns three seasons (1992, 1994-95)
  • Eight-time Pro Bowler (1990-95, 98-99)
  • Four-time First-Team All-Pro selection (1992-95)
  • Retired as a Dallas Cowboy in Feb. 2005
  • Inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor (2005)
  • Inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010

DALLAS COWBOYS SINGLE SEASON RECORDS

  • Rushing yards – 1,773 (1995)
  • Rushing attempts – 377 (1995)
  • Rushing touchdowns – 25 (1995)
  • Rushing yards per game average – 110.8 (1995)
  • Total points – 150 (1995)
  • DALLAS COWBOYS CAREER RECORDS
  • Rushing yards – 17,162
  • Rushing attempts – 4,052
  • Rushing touchdowns – 153
  • Rushing yards per game average – 85.4
  • Total points – 986

NFL RECORDS

  • Career rushing yards – 18,355
  • Career rushing touchdowns – 164
  • Career 100+ rushing yards games – 78
  • Career rushing attempts – 4,409
  • Career touches – 4,924
  • Ranks second in career total touchdowns – 175
  • Ranks second in career yards from scrimmage – 21,579
  • Smith is one of only five NFL players who have compiled over 10,000 career rushing yards and 400 career receptions
  • Smith and Jerry Rice are the only two non-kickers to score over 1,000 points in a career