20 Years Ago Today, The Dallas Cowboys Broke My Heart With This Move
Twenty years later, still feels weird to see this.
2003 Dallas Cowboys A New Era in Team History
In case you don't remember what happened in 2003, the Dallas Cowboys were like we're starting fresh. New coach in Bill Parcells, Quincy Carter given full control at quarterback after battling with Chad Hutchinson in the previous season, and the defense was the focus. When you think of those 90's Cowboys teams, you think of the offense. Nothing against the defense during those runs, but that is usually what comes to mind first. Before the 2003 season kicked off the Dallas Cowboys made a move that still feels weird all these years later.
Emmitt Smith Becomes an Arizona Cardinal
Although the move was made months earlier today, September 7th 2023 is the twentieth anniversary of Emmitt's first game in the NFL not playing for the Dallas Cowboys. It looks so weird whenever you see game film of him in red. Dallas would have to pay Emmitt $7 million in 2003 and Jerry Jones said of the move at the time. The Dallas Cowboys need to look at a life past Emmitt Smith. He said he was not ready to retire and felt he could give a team at least a 1,300 yard season.
Emmitt Returns to Dallas as a Cardinal and Gets Hurt in the Game
I remember being excited for this game. Week 5 Emmitt returns to Dallas and you knew he wanted to run all over Texas Stadium just like he did for years. Sadly, this maybe Emmitt's worst game ever. He finished the game with negative one rushing yard. This was due to a broken scapula in the first quarter. Roy Williams played like a madman in his first seasons at free safety as a Dallas Cowboy. Came up the middle and lit up Emmitt for a loss. Emmitt would miss six games this season due to the injury he played one more season with the Cardinals after 2003 and finished with 1,193 yards with the team.
What Maybe the Only Emmitt Smith Highlight as a Cardinal
What could Emmitt do in Arizona that he never did in Dallas? The one thing he never had on his resume was a passing touchdown. In 2004 against the New Orleans Saints he had maybe his best game as a Cardinal. Rushing for over 100 yards (the oldest player at the time to do it since 1995). Then he actually threw for a touchdown in the game as well. It was ugly, but a touchdown is a touchdown.
2005 Emmitt Retires as a Dallas Cowboy
February 3rd, 2005 Emmitt Smith officially retires from the NFL. Signs a one day contract to officially go out as a Dallas Cowboy. I have to be honest, if it wasn't for Emmitt Smith. I don't know if I would have been a Dallas Cowboys fan. I thought it was so cool my initials (E. Smith) were on the back of a jersey. By the way, why don't they do that anymore when multiple people have the same last name on a team? Bring that back NFL!
Just for Fun the All Time NFL Rushing Record Broken
I'll close out my love letter to Emmitt Smith with the game where he broke the all time rushing record in NFL history. I wish I could have been at this game back in 2002. After this game, I never thought I would see Emmitt in another jersey in my life. Sadly, I was wrong.