Cowboys very nearly didn’t pick Emmitt Smith

IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones gave NFL Network an exclusive tour of the team’s war room at Valley Ranch.

During this tour, we got a chance to look at the Cowboys’ original draft notes on Emmitt Smith from the 1990 NFL Draft. The Cowboys inititally weren’t going to select Smith, instead coveting linebacker James Francis from Baylor. When the Bengals picked Francis with the No. 12 overall selection, the Cowboys — who owned the No. 17 overall pick — were sent scrambling. After a lengthy back-and-forth discussion, the Cowboys finally opted for Smith.

It’s amazing to consider that the NFL’s all-time leading rusher was almost not a Cowboy.

— Michelle Beisner

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