Cowboys vs. Giants: Emmitt Smith Questioning Dallas' Mental Toughness is Golden

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith as Smith prepares to receive his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Former Dallas Cowboys running back, and the NFL's all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith recently called out the mental toughness of his old team, and it couldn't have come at a better time. 

On Sunday night, the Cowboys hit the road to take on one of their arch rivals, the New York Giants. It's essentially the NFC East title game, and the Cowboys need all the motivation they can get. 

In the past few weeks, Dallas has struggled in big moments, losing in overtime to a subpar Arizona Cardinals squad, failing to win in the clutch against the Giants and being thrashed by the Philadelphia Eagles

Sure, Tony Romo was hurt in the game against the Eagles, but all that meant was other Cowboys needed to step up.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and now the Cowboys must win their final game of the year in order to go to the playoffs. 

In an interview with Todd Archer of, Smith gave some praise to Dallas, but what truly matters is his shot at the Cowboys' toughness:

Talent-wise, I think they have it. Leadership-wise, they have some good leaders on the ballclub. Do they have enough? Probably not. Can they go up to New York and be mentally tough in this situation? I think Jason (Garrett) has done a very good job of preparing the guys to be physically and hopefully mentally tough, but I think mental toughness is the thing needed in games like this.

Mental toughness for four quarters or five quarters, if you have to go that far. But that's something our Cowboys have not been able to do in close games. And that's where mental toughness comes into play.

Are you listening, Dallas? 

One of, if not the greatest Cowboy ever is basically saying he doesn't believe you have what it takes to get the job done. 

Based on what he and the rest of the NFL has seen this year, the Cowboys are lacking something. 

Credit Smith for saying this before Dallas plays in its biggest game of the year, because it's something the Cowboys need to hear. 

Having blown multiple fourth-quarter leads this season, the Cowboys needed a wake-up call.

Hearing things from the coaches and the outspoken owner are one thing, but when one the greats has questions about you as a team, that's something that should hit right at home. 

The pressure is on for the Cowboys to succeed, which is nothing new. However, since it's such a crucial game and the team hasn't been clutch for a good portion of the season, something had to be done. 

We'll soon find out if Dallas is able to make Smith eat his words, and something tells me the Hall of Fame running back would be perfectly fine with that. 


Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter