Last month on NFL.com, longtime Dallas Cowboys director of player personnel Gil Brandt ranked his top 27 running backs of all-time. Brandt placed Hall of Fame former Cowboys running Smith tenth. That's not a misprint. Tenth.
And that's not sitting well with the man who rushed for the most yards in NFL history.
NFL fans have long debated the merit of Smith's accomplishments, especially since rival Hall of Famer Barry Sanders retired after just 10 NFL seasons. Many believe that Sanders would have reached the record before Smith, and possibly may have ran for enough yards to hold Smith off for good.
But it never happened that way. That's a fact.
"I'm not going to overly concern myself with it. Because at the end of the day, eighteen three fifty-five speaks for itself. One hundred sixty-four speaks for itself," Smith told the Dallas Morning News in a lengthy feature.
Smith's career rushing total is 1,629 yards ahead of No. 2 Walter Payton's 16,276 -- and 3,086 yards more than No. 3 Barry Sanders' 15,269. His rushing touchdown total dwarfs those of No. 2 Marcus Allen (123) and No. 3 Tomlinson (115).
It's highly doubtful either of those records will be broken, yet for whatever reason, 12 years after Smith's retirement, those achievements don't resonate in the minds of some.
"Because it's too easy," Smith says. "It's too easy. It's too easy."
However, the News argues another fact that we simply can't deny: winning.
"Smith's three Super Bowl titles equal the combined Super Bowls and NFL titles won by the nine players ranked ahead of him -- one each by No. 9 Tony Dorsett, No. 2 Payton and No. 1 Jim Brown."
"During Sanders' ten seasons, the Lions were a pedestrian 78-82 and made the playoffs five times. Their 1-5 postseason record included losses by 31, 21 and 10 points."
So who was the best NFL running back of all time? Here's how the News' Brad Townsend ranked em' up:
10. Marcus Allen
9. LaDainian Tomlinson
8. Marshall Faulk
7. Eric Dickerson
6. Earl Campbell
5. O.J. Simpson
4. Barry Sanders
3. Walter Payton
2. Emmitt Smith
1. Jim Brown