A perfect script for Smith

Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith joins Michael Irvin as the latest to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The events unfolding at Saturday’s Hall of Fame news conference are heartwarming. There’s a lot of emotion in the room as the players reflect on the path their lives have taken.

Emmitt Smith, like Jerry Rice moments before him, knew today was coming. But he still became emotional while recounting a story about a past conversation in which his father explained how proud he was and told Emmitt, “You’re living my dream.” It was pretty heavy stuff.

Smith, who spent his time on stage red-eyed from the tears, said there was no way to prepare for today.

“This moment is so real,” he explained. “You try to grasp the magnitude of this, but when your’re stitting back there and you’re waiting for your name to be called, it’s just real. It’s special. You don’t know how you’re going to feel until that moment.”

It has to be special for Smith that he’s sharing today with former teammate Michael Irvin and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is in the audience. Troy Aikman and Ed “Too Tall” Jones were also in attendance to support Smith.

“Nobody could have wrote a script this perfect,” Smith said about joining in the same class as Rice. “Avatar, as good as the movie is, James Cameron couldn’t have done a better job.”

— Frank Tadych

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