CANTON, OHIO — The fans had waited for it, and the Cowboys fans gave Emmitt Smith a thunderous ovation when he gave his induction speech. And those flash bulbs in the crowd never seemed to dim, constantly flashing brightly for the entire speech.
Of course, he got another huge cheer when he referenced America’s team. Honestly, this crowd had been waiting to really pop all night, and the fans took advantage.
And if we ever need any confirmation, the Cowboys fans still love Jimmy Johnson, as his name drew a big cheer. Too bad there was not a camera on Jerry Jones at this point.
Smith’s biggest theme was that he could not do it alone. Smith called out Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, asking them to stand. Smith said that you cannot have one without the other. And after that the partisan crowd started the familiar refrain of “Moooooose,” Smith asked Daryl Johnston to stand.
With tears rolling down his cheek, Smith told Johnston, “You mean the world to me. Not just because we shared the same backfield, but because you sacrificed so much for me. People don’t understand what it took to be a fullback in our system, the sacrifices you made, not simply your body but your whole spirit.
“You took care of me as though you were taking care of your little brother. Without you, I know today would not have been possible. You sacrificed so much. I love you Daryl from the bottom of my heart.”
And you have to wonder if a guy like Johnston would ever get Hall of Fame consideration considering what he did for the Cowboys offense. Probably not, but Johnston got a proper acknowledgment in Canton.
In the end, the heavy Cowboys crowd demanded a great performance from Smith. And like he always did during his playing days, Smith delivered.
– Adam Rank