Emmitt Smith retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, but it looks like he was far from a sure thing coming out of the University of Florida.
The Dallas Cowboys thought highly enough of him to select him with the 17th overall pick in the 1990 draft, but a closer look at their scouting report reveals some areas of concern and even an embarrassing mistake.
The scout pointed out Smith’s penchant for getting “emotional at times” and needing “encouragement.” Under weak points, the scout also made mention of Smith’s emotions and added he “gets careless with the ball” while also writing “more practice, dedication.”
If fumbling was a concern, Smith made sure to address it when he got to the pros. In 4,409 career carries, he fumbled only 38 times.
Not sure whether Smith ever saw this report, which was posted Monday by the team, but he likely would have used it as motivation. If that weren’t enough fuel, the scout spelled Emmitt’s first name “Emmett.”
Even some of the numerical grades were a bit eye-opening. A 5 for acceleration? A 6 for power runner? But to be fair to the scout, he did write that Smith is a “fine glide runner” and added that he makes “quick lateral cuts in the open field.”
Smith more than answered all questions during his 15-year career that led him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.