February 26, 2024

Emmitt Smith destroys the Cowboys

If PFT Live if there had been a Hall of Fame guest, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (an annual Super Bowl week guest) would have earned a spot with Friday’s visit alone.

The full video is attached. Emmitt was as funny and engaging as ever. He has also been very sharp in his criticism of the current Cowboys.

It started with a simple question: Were you surprised that owner Jerry Jones didn’t fire head coach Mike McCarthy after a 48-32 home playoff loss to the Packers?

“I was completely surprised,” Emmitt said. “I know how disappointed I was as a player when I saw that product appear on the football field. It doesn’t fit with the mystique, respect and brand of the Dallas Cowboys. It is not an accurate representation of the brand itself. Now Jerry understands words like this. The brand, right? The star. Everything should be pristine, but it wasn’t. That was so disappointing, not just for me, but for a lot of our fans, including people, who were like, ‘What is that?’ It was not a good sight.”

I asked Emmitt about my own theory that Jerry’s quest for another Super Bowl victory is all talk, that he claims he wants to win another one to keep the fans engaged, but his actions don’t support his world.

“You lose credibility,” Emmitt said of Jones. “And when you lose credibility, you lose respect. You lose respect, you have no honor. Ultimately, I agree on some level. Things have to change. I thought that’s why I was so convinced of that [McCarthy] was going to be fired because there was a lot of talk last year about, ‘Okay, this could be it. If he doesn’t perform this year, fine.’ You accept twelve wins and a place in the play-offs, but you also accept the way we were kicked out of the play-offs? I mean, dominated. I mean, it’s like we went outside and played with our hands tied behind our backs, or we left our thoughts behind [the team facility in] Frisco and didn’t even turn it over to AT&T [Stadium] in Arlington. It was such a disappointing thing. It was just bad. It’s bad everywhere. I even hate talking about it because I feel responsible. I feel like I could have helped, but I don’t know how. But yeah, it was bad.”

We asked Emmitt what would happen next as coach if McCarthy doesn’t make it past 2024. Emmitt said he initially thought Jones would hire Sean Payton. Emmitt also suggested “stealing Dan Campbell from the Detroit Lions. . . because I think his message is [of grit and effort and determination] the right message is that there are a lot of people missing, and a lot of children are missing.”

What is missing?

“Nobody doesn’t want to fight anymore,” Emmitt said. “No one wants to fight hard anymore. They want to [say], ‘Oh, we’re the Cowboys. Tell me how good I am. Check out my Instagram posts. Will you see me on my podcast? I do all these things. I am everything.’ Without doing anything.

‘And everyone gives them a pat on the back without doing anything. People want to give them so much without doing anything. And what they live on is what happened in the past, not what is happening now. They are not establishing their own legacy, let alone building on the legacy that has already been established.

“When I got to the Cowboys, I knew one thing. I knew I couldn’t disappoint running back Tony Dorsett. And I knew I couldn’t disappoint running back Robert Newhouse. Or Calvin Hill. Or never mind ‘Bullet’ Bob Hayes. That’s when I knew I couldn’t disappoint Captain Comeback, Roger Staubach. Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones. I embraced the history of who we were because I loved them as a cowboy when I was a kid.

“So when I got there I was like, ‘Shoot, we’re not going to be 1-15.’ My mind was already thinking about that, and I knew Michael [Irvin’s] the thoughts were there. Jimmy [Johnson’s] the spirit had to be there. Amen. At the end of the day, don’t accept BS when you see a legendary defensive end like Charles Haley, a Hall of Famer who works with Leon Lett, Tony Tolbert, Tony Casillas and Chad Hennings, Jimmy Jones and other players. Working with them, teaching them [the] swimming [technique]. He works with them to make them better, so he gets better. He’s not worried about competing with them. But when you see that, you see greatness and that’s why that team was so good defensively. Then we see Deion [Sanders] Come on in. He could have come in as ‘Neon Deion’, but he didn’t. He came in and played ping pong with everyone. Anyone who wanted to play ping pong played. Bring it on. It was competition. Dominos was played between James Washington and myself. Defensive players, attacking players and they get to know each other. Things that brought us together are things that I think are missing from the locker room.”

The bottom line is that Emmitt has had enough of the hype.

“I’m tired of being sold on what the Cowboys could be,” he said. “I’m tired. I’ve had enough because I’m more interested in what the Cowboys really are. And who we really are and who we were. That’s where I am. That’s where everyone else is at. What time do you this happen? Yeah. And so for me it’s, ‘Hey, I know the prism through which I look at the team and the eyes. I go all the way back to Staubach. I go all the way back to that time with Lee Roy Jordan. I go all the way back to that time and then I get to where we were and I’m like, “Okay. We honored them. We respected them. We respected the history of the game. We love the game.” I respect the history of the game like no other. Whether it’s Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Dorsett, Gale Sayers, you name it. All the way down to where Barry Sanders and I sit next to each other. Thurman Thomas is in the mix, right? ? I respect my players. I respect their play and I honor who they are, because I honor this position and I honor the game. These mother brothers. . . .”

He almost didn’t say, “Mother brothers.” Either way, everyone’s mother and brother are now aware that Emmitt Smith is angry about where the Cowboys are, about what they’ve become, about what they’re not doing, and about the absence of any seemingly overwhelming desire to get there .

There is a powerful message in Emmitt’s words for the players. If Jones really wants to win, he’ll try to find a way to embrace that and use it, and help current players adopt the same mentality that fueled the Dallas team that won three Super Bowls in four years.

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