Out of the ordinary
Cowboys' Smith quietly keeps piling up yards, milestones
Updated: Wednesday December 13, 2000 12:44 AM
By Desmond M. Wallace, CNNSI.com
In the eight-decade history of the storied NFL, more than 200 men named "Smith" have played at least one game in the league. But as the current Dallas Cowboys' running back has proven time and time again, few players by any name have ever played better.
In rushing for 150 yards on 23 carries against archrival Washington on Dec. 10, Emmitt Smith became just the third NFL player in history to rush for more than 15,000 career yards.
Smith, who through Week 15 this season still trailed all-time ground gainer Walter Payton by more than 1,600 yards, was just 169 behind Barry Sanders for second on the all-time list.
Smith also recorded other notable achievements this week. His 2-yard touchdown run in the 32-13 victory against the Redskins improved Smith's own NFL career rushing TD mark to 144.
Marcus Allen (123), Payton, (110), Brown (106), and John Riggins (104) are the only other running backs to ever surpass 100.
Smith, who also has 11 receiving scores, is second only to San Francisco WR Jerry Rice in terms of total touchdowns by a back or receiver (186).
But his achievements this week were hardly limited to career yardage or career touchdowns.
Not only did the seven-time Pro Bowler eclipse the single-game 100-yard mark for the sixth time in 2000, the ninth time against Washington, and the 70th overall time in his 11-year career, Smith also reached the single-season 1,000-yard plateau for the 10th consecutive season.
To place the latter achievement in perspective, consider that Franco Harris never accumulated a string of more than six consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and Jim Brown never had more than four in a row.
While the Cowboys' workhorse back may or may not eventually reach the NFL's all-time rushing summit of 16,726 career rushing yards, this much is certain: No Simpson, Dorsett, Sanders or even Smith has ever been better.