Emmitt Smith: A Lesson Learned in Defeat

Talk of Fame Network

Emmitt Smith was the MVP of the 1993 Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills. He rushed for 100 yards in another Super Bowl against the Bills in 1992. He rushed for 150 yards against Green Bay in the 1995 NFC championship game.

But when asked by the Talk of Fame Network on the latest show the most memorable playoff game of his career, Smith identified none of the above. In fact, he singled out one of the few losses in his post-season career.

“This may come as a shocker to some people, but the most memorable post-season game I played in was in 1994 when we lost to the San Francisco 49ers out there in Frisco,” Smith said.

The Cowboys were the two-time defending Super Bowl champion but found themselves in an early 24-7 hole. But the Cowboys rallied to make a game of it -- cutting the deficit to just three points by the fourth quarter -- before falling, 38-28. Smith knew all along that his Dallas teams had the talent. That game showed him his team had a little something else.

“I got the chance to see the soul of the game,” Smith explained. “As a young man, when you’re playing in high school, when you’re playing for free, when you’re playing for the love of the game, you have that team and camaraderie spirit where you know your teammates are not going to quit and everyone is fighting for the ultimate.

“Then it’s another thing when you become a professional athlete and have teammates who are grown men and everyone is making a living. You wonder in the back of your mind, `Are they really playing the game because they really love it -- or are they playing for the money and the other things that come along with being a professional athlete?

“That day, I felt that question was answered because my teammates poured out their hearts and souls on that football field to try to get back into the game. It was an amazing feeling for me because it had been a long time since I sensed that. That stood out more than any (other game). It was a wonderful feeling to see the soul of the game surface itself in the middle of that competition.”