So Smith became only the fourth man to win three straight NFL rushing titles, joining Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell. "Winning this game, plus winning the third rushing title," he said, "well, those are things you can someday look back on and say, 'Emmitt, you did a hell of a job.' "
A heavyweight championship fight all right. Ali versus Frazier, except that boxers get six months, a year, to recover before they have to get it on again. But these two heavyweights, the Cowboys and the Giants, might have to step into the ring again in two weeks if New York beats the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers in this week's wild-card playoff round.
Will Emmitt be ready in two weeks? The word from the Cowboy trainers' room: one week, no; two weeks, probably. The word from Smith: "There's no way they'll keep me out of it."