Emmitt Smith has been doubted his entire life. When he was an up and coming running back at the University of Florida they said he was too small to be a dominant running back. All Emmitt did was break 58 school records in three seasons, including a career rushing mark of 3,928 yards. So it should come as no surprise that this season Emmitt Smith broke the all time NFL rushing record, held by the late great Walter Payton. Breaking this mark took 12 seasons of being the most consistent running back in the NFL. He might not have been the fastest, the biggest, or the strongest but he is no doubt the best.
In the week leading up to the big game against Seattle, in which he would eventually break the record, the buzz around the Cowboys was this is the week he would break it. Emmitt knew that this would be his only chance to break the record at home. He needed 94 yards to break the record, which he had not reached once this season. Breaking the record at Texas stadium was very important to Emmitt because this is where he played his whole career. There was a ton of pressure on him to break the mark at home, but this never fazed him at all. The media presence at Irving, Texas was overwhelming even for such a seasoned veteran like Emmitt. Throughout all the hype and the attention, Emmitt stayed grounded and insisted he was preparing for this game just like he prepared for every other game throughout his exquisite career. Emmitt made sure that the focus of the team was not lost because he has always felt the team is more important than his personal accomplishments. This also created a tough spot for the Cowboys head coach Dave Campo. He had to find the right balance of pass and run to make sure they stayed competitive but also get Emmitt enough work to give him a realistic shot of breaking the record.
Finally, game day came at Texas stadium and it was a beautiful day. Most analysts that were covering the game said they felt a certain kind of aura in the air that today was going to be the day for Emmitt.