Emmitt James Smith III (born May 15, 1969) is a former American football player. He played for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and is the NFL's all-time rushing leader, a record formerly held by his childhood hero, Walter Payton. He is the only running back to ever have won a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season (1993). He is also one of four running backs to lead the NFL in rushing three or more consecutive seasons, joining Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown, and Earl Campbell. While playing for the Cowboys, Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin were the "Triplets" who led their team to three Super Bowl championships during the 1990s.
- What I accomplished definitely wasn't achieved by myself. Without others, none of this would have been possible.
- Scott Pitoniak (June 3, 2007) "Smith's feet flashing to a new beat", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, p. 1D, 7D
- History has never seen Emmitt Smith. I don't care what has come before me. That's why they call it history you create new history.
- Rick Gosselin (August 10, 2003) "Making another rush at history - Smith shooting for 1,000-yard season", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, p. C8
- Your biggest fear is the transition from football to business. You feel inferior at the beginning. You don't have the knowledge to compete. But once you start focusing and understanding, then you start relating to things.
- In order to achieve great things in your life, you have to be consistent in what you are doing.
- Scott Ferrell (August 30, 2002) "Smith has record in sight", The Times, p. 21G
- I love to play bid whist as much as I love football.
- Angel Beck (October 22, 2000) "Another Game For Emmitt Smith", Syracuse Herald American, p. 27
- My idea, my dream, my goal, is to go out and legitimize this sport and compete at the Olympic Games with my peers in the football arena.
- Doug Robinson (February 10, 1996) "Honest! Emmitt Is Going For Gold", The Deseret News, p. D1
- It's nice to know that people are paying attention to you on the other side of the ball, but it's also kind of sad because you feel like you're a man that's being hunted down by some vicious animal. I feel they're going to come after me and do whatever they can to shut down the run, and that makes a difference with me in going out and doing my job.
- Jim Greenidge (January 24, 1996) "Smith Rose to the Occasion in '95 Cowboy Mainstay Had Get-Up-And-Go", Boston Globe, p. 54
- Football is a team sport, and there is no one individual who is bigger than the next person.
- As quoted in "Self-Doubt Will Never Plague Dallas' Smith" (26 January 1994), by Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune, Illinois, p. Sports: 2
- We've got a lot of young guys. A lot of good, young guys. But young guys can go out there and learn how to win quickly. I feel good about the guys behind me. I know that if I'm not in there, they'll do just as well as me.
- Robbie Andreu (August 31, 1989) "New and Improved Emmitt Slimmed Down Florida Running Back Emmitt Smith Insists That He Won't Be Carrying More Than His Fair Share of the Load This Season", Sun-Sentinel
Quotes about Smith
- Emmitt Smith is someone that I have great respect for - as a player, a competitor and a person. His contributions to the organization and the NFL speak for themselves.
- Emmitt Smith is in a position, in my opinion, where he should be the highest-paid running back in football. He's a guy who has gone out and led the league in rushing and been productive.
- He's got great balance and great vision, and Emmitt has earned his starting spot.