Aikman told his team in the huddle, "We've got to get out of this hole." They did, on the first play of the drive, a 25-yard sprint off tackle by Smith. He also carried on the next two plays, as well as the last three plays of the 11-play drive, blasting into the end zone from a yard out behind right guard Larry Allen for a 24-17 halftime lead.
With Aikman and Smith alternately picking apart and steamrollering the Packer defense, the Pack might well have folded. But back came Favre, leading a 52-yard drive that ended in a 37-yard Chris Jacke field goal, and a 79-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown catch by Brooks with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. Entering the fourth quarter Green Bay led 27-24, but the Packer defense was tiring. They had already been on the field for 62 plays, and Smith was now gaining yardage at will. His five-yard touchdown run five plays into the fourth quarter made the score 31-27. Still, Favre had more than 12 minutes left to regain the lead.
On first down at the Dallas 46, Favre was flushed out of the pocket by Lett. Thinking wideout Mark Ingram was about to stop, Favre threw to him. But Ingram kept running, and Brown intercepted the pass. On the ensuing Cowboy series, Smith's third touchdown of the day put the game out of reach.
After all the shouting and hugging, Smith showered and dressed as nimbly as an aerobics instructor. Nothing in his carriage hinted that he had just rushed 35 times in a savage game on the hard carpet of Texas Stadium. Smith appeared to be made of iron. "Once you get past 25 carries," he said, "you're running on empty. You just go. Every time I got up, it just seemed like they handed it to me again."
Smith's premonition had been right. It was a very good day. Judging by the bounce in his step as he left the stadium on Sunday night, Super Bowl XXX might be even better.