FLASHBACK: Emmitt Smith grateful to God after breaking NFL's rushing record

15 years ago today, October 27, 2002, Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, surpassing Walter Payton.

Emmitt broke the record on an 11-yard carry against the Seattle Seahawks and went on to finish the day with 109 rushing yards and a touchdown.


Smith told CBS 11 in Dallas that the day he broke the record was setup perfectly by the Lord.

“How crazy is this,” Smith said in January of 2016, “wanting to become the all-time leading rusher and having it happen right there at Texas Stadium with that roof open, so God could look down on his favorite team. It was special.”

Smith told CBN that his faith in Christ was rooted in a scripture given to him by his grandmother when he was a teenager.

“Proverbs 3, verse 5 and 6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.’ Anytime I found myself in a situation, I would lean on that verse.”

Emmitt would play 2 more seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals before retiring in February 2005. In 2010, Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and gave a speech that started with a simple thank you to his Lord.

“Thank you to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for blessing me with the talent to play the sport that I so dearly loved for almost three decades.”

Today Emmitt is a very successful businessman. Together with his wife Patricia, he strives to give hope to those who dream big though the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities.

“My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has given me the passion, the love I have for what it is that I want to do,” says Emmitt. “He has shown me you can do whatever you want to do. Keep me first, you can be whatever you want to be. And I truly believe that. I can walk around with confidence knowing that my God has my back. I can walk around in confidence believing that he has purposed my life for greatness, not necessarily just in football.”