Emmitt SmithKnown for his tremendous abilities as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and three-time Super Bowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith has also found success in both business and entertainment endeavors. Dubbed the “King of effortless cool” by Dancing with the Stars judges, Emmitt made a name for himself winning the title of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Champion in 2006 and also competed in the 2012 All-Stars season. In a whirlwind of fanfare, Emmitt and his partner Cheryl Burke appeared all over the media, including the covers of TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly and in spreads with ESPN Magazine, US Weekly, and Jet. The winning pair was also a guest on Oprah, The Rachel Ray Show, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, and Jimmy Kimmel Live among others.
Emmitt is currently a commercial real estate developer & has several entrepreneurial businesses underway.
No stranger to the spotlight, Emmitt Smith has been inducted into several Hall of Fames for his athletic achievements, including the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, both the Dallas Cowboys and Florida Gators Ring of Honors, and most recently the College Football Hall of Fame for his sensational career at Florida, where he still holds 58 school records. In his 1989 junior season he finished third in the nation in rushing, was a near unanimous All-America and placed seventh in the Heisman vote. In only three seasons he rushed for 3,928 yards and scored 36 touchdowns.
Proving he was just getting started, in 1990 Emmitt was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the NFL Draft. Coach Jimmy Johnson was looking to rebuild after a 1-15 season and felt that Emmitt could be the cornerstone of the Cowboy’s offense. Over the next twelve years Emmitt was able to lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships, lead the NFL in rushing four times, was the league MVP in 1993, MVP of Super Bowl XXVII and made eight Pro Bowl appearances. In addition, Emmitt Smith was the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and on October 27, 2002 he surpassed Walter Payton’s All-Time Leading Rushing Record of 16,726 yards and became the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher. After twelve seasons with the Cowboys, Emmitt finished his career with the Arizona Cardinals playing the 2003 and 2004 seasons. “I've given everything I can possible to the game, on and off the field,” Emmitt proclaimed about his 15 year NFL career.
Long before retirement, Smith prepared himself for “life after football,” returning to the University of Florida each NFL off-season to fulfill a promise to his mother to graduate college, earning a degree in Public Recreation in 1996. His ambition and entrepreneurial spirit has led him to his current position of President of Smith/Cypress Partners, L.P., a commercial real estate company based in Dallas. He is also Chairman of the Board of Prova Group, Inc., an asset management products and authentication solutions company based in Irving, TX. Smith is also a sought after corporate speaker sharing his powerful insight of motivation, leadership, business, teamwork, discipline and winning with audiences.
Following additional wisdom from his mother for helping others, Emmitt founded Emmitt Smith Charities to provide educational scholarships to under-served youth and has been involved with initiatives and organizations including All-Stars Helping Kids, Open Doors Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House Charities and United Way.
“I gave everything I possibly could to the game, on and off the field,” Emmitt proclaimed about his 14 year NFL career. Born May 15th, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida, Emmitt began his illustrious career at Escambia High School, before attending the University of Florida and being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1990 draft.
Prior to Emmitt Smith’s arrival at Escambia, the Gators had just one winning season in its previous 18. When Emmitt stepped on the field his freshman year, the losing would stop. Emmitt rushed for 1,525 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first year. Although Emmitt opened a few eyes his freshman year, no one could have predicted the numbers Emmitt would post over the course of his high school career. His sophomore year he rushed for 2,424 yards and scored 26 touchdowns and led his team to their first state football championship with a 47-14 victory over St. Peterburg in the Class 3-A final. Escambia was moved to Class 4-A, Emmitt’s junior year, but this would have no affect on Emmitt’s ability to run over the competition. He rushed for 2,918 yards and 33 touchdowns that year and the Gators regained the state championship title. Although Escambia was not able to recapture the title Emmitt’s senior year, he was able to polish off his career with 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns. Emmitt is still considered one of the top All-Time Offensive Players in high school football.
After Emmitt’s high school career ended, he was faced with a decision of where to continue his career. He passed up Auburn and Nebraska and decided to stay at home and attend the University of Florida. He quickly jumped into the national scene, rushing for more than 100 yards in his second game as a Gator. The following week against Alabama, Emmitt moved into the starting lineup and set a Gator record with 224 rushing yards in a 23-14 victory. At the end of his first season, Emmitt had rushed for 1,341 yards, a Florida record, and led the SEC. The next year Emmitt was plagued by a knee injury and had to sit out two games, but still led the Gators with 998 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. After fully recovering from his injury he was 100 percent his junior year and set new Florida records with 1,599 rushing yards and tied a school record with 14 rushing touchdowns. At the end of his three years at Florida he had scored 37 touchdowns, had 23 100-yard rushing games, was a NCAA All-American and still holds 58 school records. Emmitt Smith did not stay his senior year, instead made himself eligible for the NFL draft.
Emmitt was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 1990 draft. Coach Jimmy Johnson was looking to rebuild after a 1-15 season and felt that Emmitt could be the cornerstone of the Cowboy’s offense. Over the next twelve years Emmitt was able to help lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships, lead the NFL in rushing four times, was the league MVP in 1993, MVP of Super Bowl XXVII and made eight Pro Bowl appearances. In addition, Emmitt was the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and on October 27, 2002 he surpassed Walter Payton’s All-Time Leading Rushing Record of 16,726 yards and became the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher. On September 19, 2005 Emmitt Smith was added to the Cowboys Ring of Honor along with his former teammates Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. After twelve seasons with the Cowboys, Emmitt finished his career with the Arizona Cardinals playing the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Emmitt’s mother always told him that “football could end at any time, but your education will last a lifetime.” Though he left school early to become Dallas’ first-round draft selection in 1990, he made vow to her to complete his degree. He fulfilled that promise by returning to the University of Florida each NFL off-season to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Public Recreation in 1996. He continues to support higher education and is currently sponsoring 19 underserved kids’ college education.
Today Emmitt Smith lives with his wife Pat in Dallas, Texas with their five children. The son of Mary and Emmitt Smith Jr., Emmitt has two sisters, Marsha and Connie, and three brothers, Erik, Emil and Emory.