Dallas Cowboys Star And NFL Hall Of Famer Emmitt Smith Opens Up On CTE

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Ask most football fans who they believe the best running back of all-time is and you’ll usually get a mix of answers between Walter Payton and Barry Sanders.

But it’s former Dallas Cowboys superstar Emmitt Smith that still sits atop the NFL’s all-time leading rushing list.

And given the way the game is headed, Smith may sit atop that list forever.

He was the driving force behind a Cowboys team that won three Super Bowls in the 1990s and made eight Pro Bowl appearances during the decade.

It was no surprise, then, when Smith went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a first-ballot selection in 2010.

Emmitt Smith Says He’ll Likely Face Effects Of CTE

But as we’ve learned, no one walks away from football unscathed. And Smith is well aware of this. He opened up about the tolls the game took on him recently.

“When you see all the CTE stuff that’s come out, I‘d be naïve to think if I keep living, I’ll have a normal life going forward,” he said. “That’s why I respect the Jim Browns of the world, Tony Dorsetts and the guys that came before me. They’re a good reflection where I’m headed as I age. To escape the game completely free, I’d be a little naïve. So far, I’m good,” he said at a recent YMCA fundraising event in Florida.

The topic came up when Smith was asked about current Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins QB faces an uncertain future after a number of scary concussion-related incidents in 2022.

Smith noted that while he dealt with concussions, his history did not compare to what Tagovailoa has faced.

“But comparing to Tua’s situation, I never had multiple concussions in one year like that,” Smith added. “Never had a situation occur where I staggered off the field like that.”

Smith, who retired in 2004, is now 53 years old.