The Dallas Cowboys were rebuilding when they selected Florida running back Emmitt Smith in the first round of the 1990 draft.
He wasted no time in proving he was going to be a huge part of the team’s future.
His best year came in 1995 when he recorded career highs for rushing yards (1,773), rushing touchdowns (25), and receptions (62).
After narrowly missing the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie, Smith embarked on a record run of 11 straight seasons with 1,000 yards rushing. His streak came to end in Smith’s final season in Dallas in 2002 when he missed the 1,000-yard mark by a mere 25 yards.
Smith, who was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, finished his 226-game career by playing two final seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
Smith was elected to play in eight Pro Bowls during his career.
Emmitt Smith (24) attended Escambia High School in Pensacola, FL.
Smith gained more than 1,500 yards rushing in each of his four high school seasons. He graduated as the third all-time leading rusher in the country.
Smith didn't waste any time making headlines at the University of Florida. In his first start he eclipsed the then school record by rushing for 224 yards.
Emmitt earned Most Valuable Player honors for the 1987 Aloha Bowl; a game in which he played against future teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, Troy Aikman
Smith led all rookies with 11 touchdowns in 1990. That total placed him third in the NFC and fifth in the NFL.
In 1991 Smith rushed for a league-leading 1,563 yards. He won four rushing crowns during a five-year span as he added titles in 1992, 1993, and 1995.
Emmitt Smith was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 6, 2010. He poses with fellow members of the Class of 2010 Jerry Rice and Floyd Little.
The announcement was made during a live television broadcast the day before Super Bowl XLIV. Smith is congratulated by former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin.
Emmitt is measured for his Hall of Fame bust by sculptor Blair Buswell.
Smith visited the Hall of Fame on Mar. 8, 2010 where he posed for a photo with Ohio State Buckeyes head football coach Jim Tressel prior to touring the museum. Tressel was in town to speak at the weekly Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club.
Smith looks over his likeness in a display honoring the game's all-time rushing record holders.
While in high school, Smith earned National Player of the Year honors from PARADE Magazine.