Athlete Number 22 - Emmitt Smith

The best professional athlete to wear number 22 is the all-time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith. Emmitt was drated number 17 by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990 draft, out of the University of Florida. He went from being a late first round draft pick to a three-time Super Bowl champion and holding the all-time NFL rushing title. Emmitt Smith was the consumate professional and a world-class hard working athlete. Of all the running backs in people's all-time best lists, Emmitt is probably the most complete back. He could do it all well: accelerate and rush for yardage, make key blocks for Troy Aikman, and catch Troy's passes in the flat. Although he may not have been the "flashy" back that Barry Sanders was, he certaintly put up the statistics to consider him one of the best ever. Here are some of Emmitt's credentials:

  • NFL All-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards
  • 166 touchdowns as a running back ranks 1st all-time
  • 1,586 postseason rushing yards ranks 1st all-time
  • 21 playoff touchdowns ties him with Thurman Thomas for the all-time record
  • Super Bowl XXVIII MVP
  • 1993 NFL MVP

Did you know.....Emmitt set the University of Florida single-game rushing record in his first start at the school? (photo courtesy of

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  1. Misopogon9:28 AM

    Roger Clemens? Okay, fine, Smith.

    1. Clemens wore 21 for the majority of his career (15 of 24 years). He only wore 22 for the Yankees and Astros).

  2. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Can't argue Emmitt Smith, but Jim Palmer and Mike Bossy were great too!

  3. I know Emmit is better, but Will Clark had a sweet swing

  4. Anonymous4:18 AM

    Emmett Smith is lucky Barry Sanders didn't continue playing football because Sanders was far superior.

    As I said in an earlier post, the only reason Emmett has the rushing record is because he hung on as a broken down runner, getting a contract from the only team foolish enough to fall for the spectacle--the Cardinals. Many of his final yards were gimme yards.

    All of Barry Sanders and Walter Payton's yards were the real deal with their home team.

    1. Anonymous12:36 PM

      Emmitt broke the all-time rushing record as a Cowboy, NOT as a Cardinal.

  5. boston fan9:59 PM

    now i know emmitt is a great choice
    and probably the best choice but i just wanted to throw another name into the ring
    flutie? heisman, THE play, and the greatest player in the history of canadian football, if only he'd gotten a real shot in the NFL as a young player.

  6. Anonymous12:38 AM

    King of the sin bin: #22 Tiger Williams

  7. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Emmitt really was a complete back. He did do it all, and did it all great. A lot of people say Barry was better, but Barry didn't have Emmitts desire and sheer will. Emmitt layed people out with blocks and caught passes. When he separated his shoulder vs the Giants, and still played and dominated, that was something to see. Some say he grabbed garbage yards at the end but his stats were consistant through out his NFL career.

  8. I'm a life-long Giants fan and even I have to admit Smith is the best. I would have liked to see an honorable mention for Mike Bossy and Jim Palmer, though.


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