Following the release of the new Madden NFL 25 video game, we will be breaking down the careers of some of the game's "unlockable content" players—which includes Hall of Famers like Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Reggie White and even true NFL pioneers like Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh.
Here is a full profile on the NFL's all-time leading rusher: Emmitt Smith.
Emmitt Smith came out of the University of Florida at the perfect time: a young, rich and passionate owner was ready to build the Dallas Cowboys into a Super Bowl champion.
Smith was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft, but he decided to hold out for the entire offseason and preseason of his rookie year. He eventually signed on Sept. 4 of that year, and he immediately proved he was worth the hassle. No. 22 finished his rookie season with 937 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns en route to taking home the 1990 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
While Smith was not the most liked NFL player by any means, he compiled one of the greatest NFL careers ever by breaking records and helping the Cowboy dynasty win three Super Bowls during their reign as the NFL's powerhouse during the 1990s.
During his 12 seasons with Dallas, Smith was named to eight Pro Bowl rosters including six consecutive selections in his first six NFL seasons.
Smith averaged over 100 yards per game in three separate years and also led the league in touchdowns, rushing attempts and touchdowns three times apiece.
The Pensacola, Fla., native holds the NFL record for career rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns and rushing yards.
During this first-ballot Hall of Fame career, Smith compiled quite an extensive trophy case, which houses a Rookie of the Year Award, the 1993 NFL MVP Award next to the 1993 Super Bowl MVP Award and a first-team selection to the All-1990s NFL roster.
At 5'9", it is easy to understand why many scouts said Emmitt Smith was too small to play running back in the NFL.
After watching this incredible highlight film, though, it becomes even easier to understand why they were wrong.
On the NFL Network's Top 10 Gutsiest Performances, Emmitt Smith landed at No. 4 after playing a 1993 game with a separated shoulder.
The Cowboys were in a must-win situation in the last game of the season because a first-round bye during the playoffs was at stake during this matchup against the New York Giants.
Emmitt was tackled from behind by a Giants defensive back—separating his shoulder and bruising his sternum on the same play.
Instead of sitting the game out and resting up for the playoffs, Smith returned to the game and finished with 168 yards and 10 catches to secure home-field advantage—and eventually a second straight Super Bowl.
After recording ungodly numbers in high school—like his 8,804 yards, 106 touchdowns and two state championships in four years—the Pensacola native decided to enroll nearby at the University of Florida.
In his freshman year in Gainesville, Smith rushed for an SEC-best 1,341 yards. While his sophomore year was cut short due to a knee injury, Smith returned to All-American form in 1989 by setting the school record with 1,599 yards and 14 touchdowns, prompting the superstar to leave Florida for the NFL draft.
In Smith's three trips to the Super Bowl, he rushed for 289 yards on 70 carries and scored five touchdowns.
The Cowboys made use of their star's dual-threat abilities in all three Super Bowl appearances—throwing to Smith a total of 11 times for 56 yards.
Smith was named the 1993 Super Bowl MVP, and the Cowboys won all three title-game appearances (1992, 1993 and 1995).
There is no question that Emmitt Smith was one of the greatest running backs to ever play football. However, as we are subject to viewing seemingly every weekend of Adrian Peterson's 2013 NFL season, no running back is complete without a talented offensive line.
During his longtime career with Dallas, Smith was protected by some of the best offensive linemen in NFL history—namely Larry Allen, The Sporting News' 95th-greatest football player of all-time.
Smith finished the highest of these legendary teammates as the 28th greatest NFL player in history, according to The Sporting News.
While the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s were one of the greatest dynasties in sports history, what happened off the field during this time was far more incredible.
In the book, Pearlman talks about Emmitt Smith's "love for Emmitt Smith," as well as the rest of the running back's journey through the NFL.
Boys Will Be Boys is a must-read for any sports fan and is without a doubt one of the greatest sports books ever published.
After his Hall of Fame-worthy 13 seasons wearing the No. 22 jersey in Dallas, Smith decided he was not finished playing professional football and finished his career as an Arizona Cardinal.
Smith started 20 games for the Cardinals in his two seasons in Arizona, scoring 11 touchdowns and adding 1,193 yards to end his record-setting career.