Emmitt Smith’s run to greatness has finally ended.
Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, was selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, reuniting the Triplets for eternity in Canton, Ohio.
Smith becomes the 12th Cowboy in the Hall of Fame, with fellow Triplets Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman as well as Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Tex Schramm, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Rayfield Wright, Mel Renfro and Bob Hayes.
The induction ceremony will take place Aug. 7. Jerry Rice, the NFL’s all-time leading receiver, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little and John Randle also were selected.
There really was no suspense in Smith’s selection. In 15 seasons he ran for 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns. He won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, earning the MVP honors in Super Bowl XXVIII. He was also named the league’s MVP in 1993. He was named All-Pro four times. He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times. He led the NFL in rushing four times (1991-93, ’95). He had 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons from 1991-2001, which is an NFL record.
While his 1,000-yard streak ended in 2002, Smith broke Walter Payton’s rushing record that season on Oct. 27, 2002 against Seattle at Texas Stadium.
At 5-9, 207 pounds, there were questions about Smith’s durability when he entered the league, but durability proved to be his greatest asset. He never missed more than two games in a season with the Cowboys. He carried the ball a Cowboy-record 4,052 times, including 377 in 1995. Adding his two seasons in Arizona, Smith ran the ball an NFL-record 4,409 times. His 175 touchdowns are second most in league history. He holds the Super Bowl record with five career rushing touchdowns.