Emmitt Smith is a former American football running back, who took first place in the National Football League throughout his professional career, with the NFL taking the lead after the total number of yards won (18,355).
Only the sports fans of the 1990s would appreciate the legend, Smith. He was known for living up to expectations on the field. When he played for Escambia High School, he broke every high school noise record in the state of Florida and set several school noise records in his three-year college career with the Florida Gators.
In 1993, Smith became the only player in his position to ever win the NFL Most Valuable Player award, a Super Bowl championship, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, and the NFL’s rushing crown – all in one season. Smith played with the Dallas Cowboys team and won three Super Bowl championships (1992, 1993, and 1995), a conquest never before has seen at that time.
Emmitt Smith’s Biography
Emmitt James Smith was born on May 15, 1969, in Pensacola, Florida, the son of Emmitt James Smith, Jr. and Mary J. Smith. He was raised by his parents among his five siblings; three brothers – Emory Smith, Erik Smith, Emil Smith; and two sisters – Connie Smith and Marsha Smith.
Growing up in the States, his life’s activities from high school were dominated by sports.
While attending Escambia High School in Pensacola, Smith played football and ran for the Escambia Gators, leading the team to win the State Football Championship. He ran for 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns, which at the time was the second-highest yard coverage in the history of American high school football.
A first sports analysis described the young Smith as a slow player who couldn’t get around corners; small at 5 ft 9 inches (1.75 meters), weighing 96 kg (212 pounds), and not very fast. But to prove that this critic was wrong, he eventually became an eight-time pro bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion.
Emmitt Smith Sports Pro Career
After almost missing the chance to play as a college recruit, Smith was awarded a sports scholarship at the University of Florida at Gainesville.
This was due to his achievements in high school football, including
- Breaking the 2,000-yard rushing mark twice in a season;
- Appearing on USA Today and Parade magazine as the high school player of the year 1986;
- Being recognized by All-Century Team as among the 33 greatest Florida high school football players of the last 100 years.
- Plus, he was a member of the 4 × 100 m (42.16 s) relay squad.
With such honors, Smith began playing for the Florida Gators, where he remained for three seasons (1987 – 1989). On his first match, he broke the national record for Florida’s 57-year-old record for single play.
The legend also broke the 1,000-yard barrier in game seven as a rookie, finishing the 1987 season with 1,341 yards; in the Heisman poll that year he finished ninth and was named Southeastern Conference and National Freshman of the Year.
Smith’s records include fifteen years playing professionally with two major American football franchises – two years at the Arizona Cardinals and 13 years with his dream team, the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL:
- Eight Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro awards.
- Rushing touchdowns (164) and rushing attempts (4,409) yards (18,355).
- His 81.2 yards per game average ranks 15th all-time.
When he played for the Cowboys in 1993, Smith became the highest-paid running back in the league with 1,486 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. He helped his team become the first to win a Super Bowl after starting the season with a 2-0 defeat. They won two other Super Bowl championships in 1994 and 1996 and won the MVP award in 1994 for his performance on the field in Super Bowl XXVIII.
In 1998 and 1999, Emmitt Smith became the Cowboys’ Leading Rusher; the leading rush touchdown player of all time; the leading post-season player in the Rushing Yard (1,586), and a post-season rush touchdown (19).
Thanks to his 1,021 “Rush Yards” in 2001, the cowboy legend was the first player in NFL history to complete 11 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. The following year, he achieved his goal as a rookie to finish the year at 17,162 yards, breaking the record Walter Payton had set in the NFL.
Family, Wife Patricia Southall, Son
Emmitt Smith and his wife Patricia Southhallhaves have been married since 2000. The couple met at a music festival in Aruba and began a long-distance relationship.
Patricia is a former Miss Virginia, who ran for Miss USA in 1994. She is also the former wife of comedian and actor Martin Lawrence (1995-1997). Inspired by her past and not-so-smooth experiences Pat became the author of Second Chances.
In an interview, she explained that Smith got his ex-girlfriend pregnant while they were together. But through prayer and therapy, she made the decision to marry the athlete.
For eighteen years, Smith and his wife Patricia have still been together, doing great things together. They have a reality show on the OWN network called Mr. & Mrs. Smith and founded the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities.
In addition to their successes, the parents of five children are Skylar Smith, Rheagan Smith, and Emmitt Smith IV, Smith has a son, EJ Smith, from his ex-partner, and Pat has a daughter, Jasmine Page Lawrence, from their previous marriage.
Smith’s older son, EJ Smith, is also a footballer who recently became a star recruiter and played running back. The young Smith announced on social media that he had been offered a scholarship at the University of Florida.
The Smith family currently lives in Dallas, Texas.
Emmitt Smith Injuries
Emmitt Smith suffered few injuries during his active years, from a knee to a broken left shoulder blade. He suffered the first injury to his knee and had to stay out of action for several weeks. During this time, the Gators lost four consecutive games, the team was unable to score a single touchdown in 14 quarters of each game. After returning from injury leave, the team recovered and finished season 7-5. In 1988 they also won the All-American Bowl.
On March 26, 2003, while on a two-year freelance contract with the Arizona Cardinals, Smith suffered a second injury, a broken left scapula, and had to sit out a much-anticipated game against the Dallas Cowboys, in which the Cardinals lost 7-24. Smith missed 6 games at this point. Nevertheless, he ended the season with 256 rushing yards and an average of only 2.8 yards per carrying. Although he struggled with a hamstring in the Cowboys, he reached a new career peak in 1993 with 21 stormy touchdowns.
Smith announced his retirement from the NFL on February 3, 2005, at the age of 35, three days before the Super Bowl XXXIX, after his contract with the Cardinals ended and was not re-signed by the franchise. He decided to retire from the Cowboys and signed a one-day contract for one dollar with the team he had played with for most of his career.
In his emotional resignation speech, Smith expressed how much the star [Dallas Cowboys] meant to him. He also thanked the Cardinals for letting him play for two more years toward his retirement, adding that he was opening another chapter in his life and was looking forward to it. And so he did!
The legend was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.
He participated and won the third season of Dancing with the sports stars with dance partner Cheryl Burke
He has worked as a sports analyst for ESPN and the NFL network.
He currently heads the real estate company ESmith Legacy, which he founded together with his business partner Roger Staubach.
Every April 23rd, Emmitt Smith’s day is in his hometown of Pensacola Fla. It was the day he was first drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
Johnson, the assistant coach of the New England Patriots, described Smith as “a guy with the eye of a demon, one who steered the ball with passion, had great visions and a little guy who didn’t play small.
Smith has sunk a considerable fortune both through the practice of the prestigious sport and through wise investment. His net worth is $50 million. His two-year contract with the Cardinals was worth $8 million.