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Pro Football / Week 10 | In the Spotlight

Smith Shows He Hasn't Lost a Step

November 09, 1998

Emmitt Smith says his goals are so high he rarely achieves them. No wonder he was so emotional about the milestones he reached Sunday.

Smith became the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 12,000 yards and passed Tony Dorsett to become the leading rusher in Dallas Cowboy history. His 163 yards in 29 carries gave him 12,105 and was a big reason why Dallas beat the New York Giants, 16-6, at Irving, Texas.

"Today was a special day for me and my family," said Smith, whose cheering section included his father, Emmitt Sr., who flew in from Florida, and a big group of friends.

Smith joined Barry Sanders as the only active members of the 12,000-yard club by shaking several Giants on a 20-yard run in the first quarter. Three carries later, he broke outside for 32 yards to break Dorsett's team record of 12,036 yards.

Dallas ran another play before somebody thought to stop the game and get him the ball.

When the feat was finally announced, the crowd of 64,316 gave Smith a standing ovation.

"I wanted to do it right here in Texas Stadium because this is where the dream actually began," Smith said. "To tie it all up with the victory makes it even sweeter."

The 163 yards also were Smith's most since Oct. 29, 1995--a span of 48 games--and the eighth-best game of his career.

"It was almost like he had already decided that today was the day he was going to do it and nobody was going to stop him," Coach Chan Gailey said.

Since Gailey has revamped the offense, Smith has gone over 100 yards five times in nine games.

Now in his ninth year, he has the second-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history (117) and his 124 touchdowns overall are fifth best.

Smith, who keeps all his touchdown balls, knows how to appreciate personal achievements. But he always expects a lot from himself.

"My personal goals are so high that every year I don't always achieve it," he said. "But it's fun to try. If you don't do it, fine. You just reload and go back and try to do it again next year."

BUT HIS GAME IS REALLY UGLY

Kansas City Chief quarterback Elvis Grbac was called the "Sexiest Athlete Alive" in People magazine's Nov. 16 issue.

Grbac, however, has not been much of a hit lately on the football field. Chief fans have booed him lustily at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City is 0-4 since Grbac returned from a shoulder injury and he was benched in the first half of Sunday's 24-12 loss to Seattle.

The former Michigan quarterback was among 12 men chosen from a variety of fields. Harrison Ford won top honors, capturing the "Sexiest Man Alive" title.

So, what does Grbac have to say about all of this?

"I don't even know how I got picked on it," he said. "There's guys in that locker room that are 10 times better-looking than I am. It's just one of those things. I'm dumbfounded by it. So let's just drop it right here."

FRIENDS ARE QUITE WORRIED ABOUT TAYLOR

It is impossible for Joe Morris to minimize the depth of his concern for Lawrence Taylor, the New York Giants' troubled former all-pro linebacker whose life seems to be unraveling in the wake of an arrest last month on charges of drug possession.

Quite simply, Morris is afraid Taylor is going to die.

"I worry about Lawrence Taylor every day," said Morris, the former running back who was a teammate of Taylor's from 1982-89. "If something happened to him, if he lost his life, I would not be surprised. I love Lawrence Taylor, and I always will, and I'd do anything in the world to help him out. But yes, I'm afraid for him. I'm very afraid for him."

So is virtually everyone else who has been a part of Taylor's life. As the 39-year-old attempts to recover from substance abuse that began in the early 1980s, those closest to Taylor can only watch helplessly.

"We all worry about him staying alive, because we've known there has been a problem," former Giant linebacker Harry Carson said. "It was different when he was playing, because there were mechanisms in place that would kind of keep patrol on him and help keep him honest. But once he left the game, there are no mechanisms, and he can't control it."

Helping Taylor no longer seems to be the issue. Instead, the issue is whether Taylor will help himself dig out from beneath the mountain of problems he faces.

'THE BODY' SHOWS WHY HE'S NOW 'THE MIND'

Don't expect the Metrodome to be replaced by a new stadium now that Minnesota has elected former pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura as its governor.

Ventura was on the sideline during Sunday's game against the Saints at the Metrodome. A Fox Sports reporter interviewed the governor-elect and asked him his opinion of a new stadium. "Well, the Metrodome is only 16 years old," Ventura responded. "We have schools older than that that should be updated first."

Sounds pretty good for a supposedly dumb pro wrestler.

THINGS TO REMEMBER FROM SUNDAY'S GAMES

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