Emmitt James Smith III (born May 15, 1969) is an American former professional football player who was a running back for fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1990s and 2000s, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys. A three-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys, he is the league’s all-time leading rusher.
Smith grew up in Pensacola, Florida and became the second-leading rusher in American high school football history while playing for Escambia High School. Smith played three years of college football for the Florida Gators, where he set numerous school rushing records. After being named a unanimous All-American in 1989, Smith chose to forgo his senior year of eligibility and play professionally.
The Cowboys selected Smith in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft. During his long professional career, he rushed for 18,355 yards, breaking the record formerly held by Walter Payton. He also holds the record for career rushing touchdowns with 164. Smith is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season (1993). He is also one of four running backs to lead the NFL in rushing three or more consecutive seasons, joining Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell. Smith led the league in rushing and won the Super Bowl in the same year three times (1992, 1993, and 1995) when to that point it had never been done. Smith is also one of only two non-kickers in NFL history to score more than 1,000 career points (the other being Jerry Rice). Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Smith played thirteen seasons with the Cowboys and two with the Arizona Cardinals. While playing for Dallas, Smith plus quarterback Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin were known as “The Triplets,” and they led their team to three Super Bowl championships during the 1990s.