Wednesday Oct. 27 might’ve been just an ordinary weekday for most figures around the sports world, but for Emmitt Smith, today meant a little bit more.
19 years ago to the day, the former Dallas Cowboys running back and Hall of Famer made history by breaking the NFL rushing record.
Smith surpassed Walter Payton’s mark of 16,726 career yards against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 27, 2002. He would go onto add another 1,629 yards in his final two-and-a-half seasons to raise the bar to 18,355, which is still the NFL’s current record.
However, that specific day when he first broke the barrier still holds a special place in Smith’s heart. The Cowboys great commemorated the anniversary of breaking the record with a post on social media Wednesday.
“19 years ago, I achieved one of the greatest milestones in my career becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “No one becomes successful by themselves, so I must also give thanks to the many people who played a part in helping my goals and dreams become my reality.”
19 years ago, I achieved one of the greatest milestones in my career becoming the @NFL’s all-time leading rusher. No one becomes successful by themselves, so I must also give thanks to the many people who played a part in helping my goals and dreams become my reality. ❤️👊🏾 pic.twitter.com/TRGKkRtqBZ
— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) October 27, 2021
Of course, Smith is regarded as one of the best running backs in NFL history and not just because he holds the rushing record. He also scored a league-high 164 career rushing touchdowns and only trails receiving great Jerry Rice with 175 total touchdowns. Another one of his crowning individual accomplishments came when he won the NFL MVP Award in 1993.
Smith also accomplished quite a bit in the postseason with the Cowboys. He won three Super Bowls and was crowned the Super Bowl MVP in 1993 when he rushed for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 30-13 victory over the Bills.
All of these individual and league-wide accolades added up to make Smith’s career one of the best in NFL history. He’s certainly earned the right to celebrate his incredible accomplishments as frequently as he wants.