We have said before that there are a handful of people who command the attention of the Dallas Cowboys fan base when they speak. One of them happens to be the NFL’s All-Time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith. There is no question that Smith is among the greatest of all players to have ever played for the Cowboys and arguably the greatest since Jerry Jones has owned the team.
The SB Nation NFL Show has been putting out tons of great interviews all week long in the lead-up to Super Bowl LV and on Friday I was able to speak with Smith about a variety of things. You can watch the interview here or listen to it on Apple devices or Spotify.
When it comes to the state of the current Cowboys, obviously Smith has an opinion. We asked him about it in a few ways and here is what he had to say.
On what the differences are between his days playing for the Cowboys and now:
“I think the mentality is different. I think the world is different right now. Most guys are so focused on building their social media network up. Building their personas up. I’m not sure if performance really mattered to a lot of folks outside of folks wanting to celebrate a two-yard run, or two-yard catch, or a knockdown pass that hit a guy in the back of his back, but you didn’t knock it down. I’m going to celebrate anyway. Or a overthrown pass, but you’re going to celebrate anyway.”
“I see a lot of necessary celebrations versus guys that are really focused on mastering their craft, or changing the game, or becoming a dominant force in the National Football League. I mean you get that from Khalil Mack, you may get that from Aaron Donald. And the quarterback position, whether it’s Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady or Russell Wilson or someone like that, I mean you get those, they are committed. But I’m looking for that from defensive ends. I’m looking for the Michael Strahan kind of guy or the Lawrence Taylor kind of guy or the Ray Lewis kind of guy. Or a Barry Sanders type. Or a Marshall Faulk type. Or Erick Dickerson. I’m looking for those kind of guys. Guys that so passionate about the game, you know where they stand and you know that they’re on a mission to do something very special. And that’s every week. I’m not looking for the guy to tap out. I’m looking for the guy to keep going.”
What Emmitt views as the most logical conclusion for why Dak Prescott is not signed yet
“The only answer I can give is the Cowboys are uncertain whether or not he’s the future of the Cowboys. Outside of that, if he was the complete future of the Dallas Cowboys, they would make no bones about giving him a contract.”
“I mean at the end of the day, Tony Romo, they was committed to Romo right off the rip. Right off the rip. And he came in and replaced Drew Bledsoe. And I mean, he’s not the biggest guy. He’s not the most flashiest guy and he’s not the fastest guy either. And he had his challenges. But there was a commitment to Tony Romo. There is not a commitment to Dak Prescott.”
“And the Cowboys are leaving it open to everybody like us to question. To pick holes at it. And I don’t know if it’s because they want to stay relevant in the news and be newsworthy, but at some point, this nitpicking, is going to filter its way right into the entire team. And it’s going to hurt the entire organization in the end.”
The line about the Cowboys staying relevant is certainly an interesting one. That feels like something that a couple of friends would say in speculation when debating the Dak negotiation, not necessarily something that one of the team’s greatest players and ambassadors would also think is a legitimate possibility.
Whatever the case, it was a treat to talk to Emmitt Smith. His dream golf foursome sounds hard to beat.