I learned to hate the Dallas Cowboys at a very early age, and that served me well in the 90s when they started winning Super Bowls again. The one guy on those Cowboy teams that I could never hate, though, was Emmitt Smith. He always did the job right, always exuded class, always performed the way you expect a top-flight running back should perform, and it shows in his career numbers.
Now comes word that he may finally retire soon, though officially he denies it. After the season he just had in Arizona, I wouldn’t blame him for trying to stick around for one more year. Still, it’s going to be difficult for any running back this offseason, given the glut of backs filing for free agency and coming up in the draft, and few are going to take a chance on a rusher pushing 40, even one with Smith’s career acumen.
If Emmitt chose to hang up the cletes now, the timing would be just about perfect for a graceful exit. It would also be a good excuse for the rest of us to take the camera off those “He Hate Me” wannabes in Jacksonville this week. You’ve always been there for us before, Emmitt. Be there for us now. Please.