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June 18, 2012

Cowboys legend and NFL rushing king Emmitt Smith reacts to the retirement of LaDainian Tomlinson

Legendary Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith was not just an accidental tourist in the career of former TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson, who is retiring today as a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Smith, the league's all-time leading rusher, was Tomlinson's inspiration as a little boy growing up a Cowboys fan in Waco, and then moreso when he went on to have an outstanding college career at TCU.

There is no question Tomlinson, who finished his 11-year career with the Chargers and the Jets as the league's fifth all-time leading rusher, had his sights set on Smith at the top spot.

He didn't quite make it but what he accomplished was enough to make him a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer and it earned him the respect and admiration of his idol.

"I have known LaDainian since he was 13 years old," Smith said. "When you know someone when they are very young, and you watch that person grow into being a man and one of the very best to ever play the game, it is inspirational for me personally. He was a pleasure to watch play football. He did it with pride and passion and he was a true professional from his very first day in the NFL. I am extremely honored to know that I have had a positive influence on him. What he accomplished in his career gives me great pride." 

And although Tomlinson didn't get the rushing title or a coveted Super Bowl, Smith said LT leaves the game with dignity and a respect that few enjoy.

"LaDainian has had a tremendous impact on the league, not only as a player but also as a person with great character, and it shows by the respect his peers have for him and how well-known he is to the public," Smith said. "He accomplished many great things as a player, but I don't know of any player recently who has left the game with as much admiration and respect from his peers as LT enjoys.  And that might be an athlete's most cherished accomplishment."

-- Clarence Hill Jr.

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Comments

So by using you Emmitt haters reasoning. The reason Emmitt Smith is the # 1 rusher of all time is because he had the BEST RUN BLOCKING LINE OF ALL TIME.

All you critics trying to devalue Emmmits record of accomplishments as if a good O line is all it takes to be the #1 rusher of ALL TIME!! How about vision, quickness toughness, durability, longevity, elusivness, ect. ect. ect. A good line is just ONE component.

@Brad: No argument here. Emmitt was the best, no doubt about that. But he did have a good line in front of him. Tomlinson was not that fortunate with the Chargers. I just wonder what kind of numbers he could have put up with a good OLine.

You dumbasses can keep on wondering and trying to minimize what emmit did and what he was he was the 'best ever' you fools and the best ever offensive line... if it was so good then why did haley put his helmet through a wall when emmit was holding out? oh ye cause the other backs sucked with the same o line... again dumbasses you got to see a once in a life time back and you go and try to minimize what it was.. Emmit is the best ever period!

Tomlinson could not hold Tony Dorsett's cleats.....TOmlinson was very good, but all time great first ballot HOF? Get real!

I wonder how many yards and TD's LT would have amassed with the same offensive line that Emmitt worked with? One can only imagine. Best of wishes to LT on a long and healthy retirement.

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