|Birth Day:||May 15, 1969|
|Birth Place:||Pensacola, United States|
Dallas Cowboys running back who retired with an NFL-record 18,355 rushing yards. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls, led the NFL in rushing four times, and won three Super Bowl Championships. After retirement, he won the third season of Dancing with the Stars with Cheryl Burke.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He rushed for over 100 yards in 45 of the 49 games that he started in for his high school football team.
Smith and the Gators began the 1988 season strong as Smith averaged over 120 yards per game, leading his team to 5-0 start. During the sixth contest against Memphis State, Smith injured his knee and was forced out of action for several weeks. The Gators lost the game in which he was injured plus their next three games, and with starting quarterback Kyle Morris also injured, they were unable to muster a single touchdown over 14 quarters of play. Once Smith returned to the lineup, they rebounded to finish the season 7-5, including a win in the 1988 All-American Bowl in which Smith ran for a 55-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and was named the game's MVP. Smith rushed for 988 yards on the year (not including the bowl game) at 110 yards per game, the lowest totals of his college career.
Smith stayed healthy throughout his junior season in 1989 and found success again. He finished the campaign with Florida records for rushing yards in a season (1,599), rushing yards in a single game (316 versus New Mexico in October 1989), longest rushing play (96 yards against Mississippi State in 1988), career rushing yards (3,928), career rushing yards per game (126.7) and career rushing touchdowns (36), among many others. In all, Smith owned 58 school records at the conclusion of his Florida career despite playing on Florida teams with virtually no passing game, which made him the focal point of opposing defenses.
At the conclusion of his junior season in 1989, Smith was named a first-team SEC selection for the third year and SEC Player of the Year, was a unanimous first-team All-American, and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting. In his final game in the Freedom Bowl, he had few rushing attempts after Florida fell behind Washington early and were forced to throw.
Days later on January 1, 1990, Steve Spurrier was introduced as the Gators' new head coach. Smith, concerned about his potential role in Spurrier's reportedly pass-first offense, decided to forgo his senior year at Florida and enter the NFL draft, which for the first time in history allowed juniors to be eligible. Smith returned to the university during the NFL off-season and completed his bachelor's degree in 1996.
In the 1990 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys considered drafting linebacker James Francis with their first round selection, but after he was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cowboys focused on improving their running game when Smith started dropping, because despite his collegiate success, some NFL teams still felt that Smith was too small and slow for the pro game. The Cowboys traded up with the Pittsburgh Steelers moving from the 21st to the 17th position, in exchange for a third round draft choice (#81-Craig Veasey), to select Smith in the first round. Even though he missed all of the preseason after having the longest holdout by a rookie in franchise history, he was able to start 15 games, rush for 937 yards and 11 touchdowns, while being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and receiving Pro Bowl honors.
In 1991, he registered 1,563 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He also clinched the first of four rushing titles, after tallying 160 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in the season finale.
In 1992, he set the Cowboys' single-season franchise record and won the rushing title with 1,713 yards. He also became the first player to win the league's rushing title and the Super Bowl in the same season.
In 1993, he missed all of training camp and the first 2 regular season games. The Cowboys lost both contests with rookie Derrick Lassic running in his place. With the season in jeopardy the Cowboys relented and reached an agreement, making Smith the highest paid running back in the league. Smith posted 1,486 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns and helped the Cowboys become the first team to win a Super Bowl after starting the season 0-2. He also received the league MVP and the Super Bowl XXVIII MVP award. On October 31, his 237 rushing yards against the Philadelphia Eagles set the single-season franchise record. His career signature game came in the season finale against the New York Giants, with the Cowboys desperately trying to clinch the NFC East title and a first-round bye in the playoffs, Smith suffered a first-degree separation in his right shoulder during the first half, but still finished with 229 total yards and played a key role in a 16-13 overtime win.
In 1995, Smith became the first player in league history to rush for 1,400 rushing yards or more in five consecutive seasons and set the NFL record with 25 rushing touchdowns. Smith, Jim Brown, Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson are the only players with seven straight ten-touchdown seasons to start their careers. He also broke two of Tony Dorsett's Dallas franchise rushing records, the first for most consecutive initial games of a season with 100+ rushing yards (Smith's four to Dorsett's three) and the second for single-season rushing yards (1,773 to Dorsett's 1,646). Both records would hold for 19 years until 2014, when DeMarco Murray rushed for 100+ yards in each of his first eight games and accumulated 1,845 rushing yards over the course of the season.
He is the NFL's all-time leader in rushing attempts with 4,409, the only player to post three seasons with 19 or more touchdowns, and the record-holder for most games in a season with a touchdown and most games in a season with a rushing touchdown (15), set in 1995.
In 1996, he scored his 100th career rushing touchdown and surpassed 10,000 career rushing yards, becoming just the twelfth player in league history and the youngest one to reach this milestone.
Smith was initiated as a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at the University of Florida. He returned to the university during the NFL offseason to complete his coursework, and graduated with his bachelor's degree in public recreation in May 1996.
In 1998, he became the Cowboys' all-time leading rusher (passing Dorsett) and the NFL's all-time rushing touchdown leader (surpassing Marcus Allen). The next year, he became the NFL's all-time leader in career postseason rushing yards (1,586) and postseason rushing touchdowns (19).
Smith was subsequently inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1999, the Gator Football Ring of Honor and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. As part of a series of articles written for The Gainesville Sun in 2006, he was recognized as the No. 3 all-time player among the top 100 from the first 100 years of the Gators football program.
Although Smith is the only player to tell John Madden that Madden NFL rated his skills too high, he was ranked No. 68 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999, three years before becoming the game's all-time rushing yardage leader.
Smith is a devout Christian. He has a daughter, Rheagen Smith (born November 2, 1998), with ex-girlfriend Hope Wilson. He married former Miss Virginia USA beauty queen Patricia Southall on April 22, 2000. They have three children together: Emmitt James IV (born May 15, 2002), Skylar (born October 15, 2003), and Elijah Alexander James (born September 22, 2010). Smith is also the stepfather to Jasmine Page Lawrence (born January 15, 1996), who is Southall's daughter with ex-husband, actor-comedian Martin Lawrence.
With 1,021 rushing yards in 2001, Smith became the first player in NFL history with 11 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and the first to post eleven 1,000-yard rushing seasons in a career.
In 2002, he reached the goal he set as a rookie, finishing the season with 17,162 career yards and breaking the NFL rushing record previously held by Walter Payton against the Seattle Seahawks. After the season, the Cowboys hired head coach Bill Parcells who wanted to go with younger running backs and released Smith on February 26, 2003.
Smith currently holds the NFL record in career rushing yards with 18,355, breaking the previous record held by Walter Payton, on October 27, 2002. He leads all running backs with 164 career rushing touchdowns, and his 175 total touchdowns ranks him second only to Jerry Rice's 208. The total of his rushing yards, receiving yards (3,224) and fumble return yards (-15) gives him a total of 21,564 yards from the line of scrimmage, making him one of only four players in NFL history to eclipse the 21,000 combined-yards mark. (The others are Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell and Walter Payton)
In 2002, Smith and his wife founded the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to "seek a reality where children have the resources necessary to realize their full potential."
On March 26, 2003, Smith signed a two-year contract as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals, who were not only looking for Smith to improve their team, but also helped them promote it with their local fan base. Responding to questions about what he could do as a 34-year old running back, he said "I think I'm a 1,300-yard back, and I will be out to prove that." Head Coach Dave McGinnis announced that Smith would start for the Cardinals. On October 5, in a highly anticipated game, he returned to Texas Stadium to play against the Cowboys, but suffered a broken left shoulder blade after safety Roy Williams hit him in the second quarter. The Cardinals lost 7-24, and Smith's 6 carries for minus-1 yards marked the first time in his career he rushed for negative yardage. The injury forced him to miss 6 games, and he eventually finished the season with 256 rushing yards and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.
In 2004, new head coach Dennis Green was hired and named Smith as the team's starter at running back. He posted 937 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. He also became the oldest player in NFL history ever to throw his first touchdown pass, throwing a 21-yard touchdown strike on a halfback option play, the only passing attempt of his career.
Three days before Super Bowl XXXIX on February 3, 2005, Smith announced his retirement from the NFL. He was not re-signed by the Cardinals and signed a one-day contract for one dollar with the Dallas Cowboys, after which he immediately retired with the team he had played with for most of his career.
In September 2005, Smith signed on to serve as a studio analyst on the NFL Network show, NFL Total Access.
On September 19, 2005, at halftime of the Cowboys-Redskins game (broadcast on Monday Night Football), Smith was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor with his long-time teammates Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.
In 2005, Smith made his first move toward becoming a real estate developer: He teamed with another Cowboy legend, Roger Staubach, the founder and CEO of Staubach Co., to form Smith/Cypress Partners LP, a real estate development enterprise specializing in transforming underutilized parcels in densely populated areas into commercially viable properties anchored by national retail giants.
On July 23, 2006, Smith was a judge at the Miss Universe 2006 pageant.
Smith/Cypress is a joint venture (Smith owns 51 percent) with Cypress Equities, the retail development arm of Roger Staubach's real estate services company. Early in his own playing career, Smith approached the former Cowboy quarterback with an interest in learning more about real estate. Skeptical at first, Staubach told Smith to spend some time at his company's offices during the spring and summer if he was sincere. Smith did just that, spending the off-season at Staubach Co.'s headquarters in Dallas. Staubach founded the company in the late 1970s to locate and negotiate office and retail space for clients. In 2006 the privately held firm had transactions totaling $26 billion and 835 million square feet (77,600,000 m) of space.
For his efforts, Smith was named the USA Today and Parade magazine high school player of the year for 1986. In 2007, twenty years after Smith graduated from high school, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) named Smith to its "All-Century Team," recognizing him as one of the thirty-three greatest Florida high school football players of the last 100 years. As part of its "100 Years of Florida High School Football" awards ceremony, FHSAA named Smith as its "Player of the Century."
On March 12, 2007, Smith joined ESPN as a studio analyst for their NFL pre-game coverage alongside Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Chris Mortensen. However, he was removed from this coverage for the 2008 season. Instead, he appeared Sunday mornings during the NFL season on SportsCenter. He performs with Steve Young and Stuart Scott at the Monday Night Football site each week on Monday Night Countdown. His contract was not renewed for the 2009 season.
In 2007, he was a guest on How I Met Your Mother, where he joked about Super Bowl on this question asked by Barney Stinson "What is more important than the Super Bowl? - Dance, my friend, dance".
Smith was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, in his first year of eligibility.
On February 7, 2010, Smith flipped the coin at the start of Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.
In June 2010, Smith returned to his high school alma mater, Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida, for a taping of ESPN's show Homecoming with Rick Reilly. In October 2010, he was inducted into the Escambia High School Sports Hall of Fame during halftime of an EHS football game, along with former Seattle Mariners third baseman Jim Presley and several other EHS alumni.
Smith participated in the 2011 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, defeating David Williams in the first round and losing in the second round to Andrew Robl.
In 2014, Smith's company began a nationwide expansion, including into New York City.
In 2016, Smith took the position of co-owner alongside founder and president Ben Davis of The Gents Place, an ultra-premium men's grooming and lifestyle club founded in Frisco, Texas. The company has grown to include lifestyle clubs in Dallas and Southlake, as well as Leawood, Kansas.
In 2019, Smith appeared on an episode of Deal or No Deal to support a contestant who idolizes him.
His brother, Emory, played on the practice squads of the Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. His eldest son, E.J. Smith, committed to play college football at Stanford in 2020.
Currently, Emmitt Smith is 54 years, 0 months and 26 days old. Emmitt Smith will celebrate 55th birthday on a Wednesday 15th of May 2024.
Find out about Emmitt Smith birthday activities in timeline view here.