Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Emmitt Smith elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Posted on February 6, 2010

Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

 

All-time great Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith joined six others who were elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. The NFL’s career rushing leader was joined by career receiving leader Jerry Rice, John Randle, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau. Smith and Rice were named to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys in action during Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on January 28 1996. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Smith rushed for 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns during his career with Dallas and Arizona and won an MVP award in the Super Bowl. I had many chances to shoot Smith during his career as the Cowboys made many appearances at Candlestick Park to take on the 49ers in important regular and post-season games during the 1990’s. He always pissed me off because he was so good and the Cowboys always seemed to have the 49ers number. The better day Smith had, the worse day the Niners had.

Running back Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys lies on the ground hurt during the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The one big NFC Championship game that the 49ers won over the Cowboys was made possible when Smith got hurt right in front of me and my cameras when I was on assignment for Sports Illustrated in 1995 (see above). The 49ers hung on to win 38-28 on the way to their last Super Bowl win, thanks to Smith’s injury.

Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys in action during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The 2010 Hall of Fame class will increase to 260 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Enshrinement of the Class of 2010 will take place in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. ET. I am sure this will be an evening Smith and his six other classmates will never forget.

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