Emmitt compares current Cowboys vs. '90s

March 21, 2013

Talking to Emmitt Smith for a few minutes it's obvious that he'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys experience some of the postseason success that they had during Smith's career. It's been 10 seasons since Smith wore a Cowboys uniform and 17 seasons since they won a Super Bowl.

There's many differences between Smith's teams and the current one and the NFL's all-time leading rusher talked about a few of them on Monday.

"I know that they're trying hard to get there," Smith said. "I honestly would like to equate success with the coaches and coaching staff we had around us. We had a tremendous head coach in Jimmy Johnson and we had awesome football players. We had the balance on the field but we also had great leadership within the locker room. I think this team here has some of those elements. Do they have all of them? I don't know.

"I'm not in there every day. But I do know this much, the balance that we had offensively and what we had defensively was unmatched. We're talking two different times right now, so it's kind of hard to compare this team to the old team."

Perhaps the biggest difference is that Jerry Jones now has to operate under a salary cap. If owners were free to spend however they liked, Smith said Jones would probably be the owner of four or five Super Bowl rings.

One of the other significant differences is that Johnson is no longer on the sidelines in Dallas. Johnson helped construct the Cowboys teams of the 1990s and the franchise hasn't matched his success since.

And because of that, if it were up to Smith, Johnson would be added to the Ring of Honor at Cowboys Stadium.

"Why not? He deserves to be there," Smith said. "That's up to Jerry to make that decision. But as much as Troy (Aikman) and myself and Michael (Irvin) and Charles (Haley) and all of us appreciate being in the Ring of Honor, you got to ask yourself, 'What's the criteria for being in it?' I think for Jerry Jones, when he first bought the Cowboys, 1-15 was not something he really wanted to have, and he brought Jimmy in to fix all that. And Jimmy did what he was supposed to do. He delivered two Super Bowl rings within a five-year time frame. That's pretty much unheard of. Does he deserve to be in the Ring of Honor? I think so."

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