TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Emmitt Smith is approaching another milestone 18,000 career yards rushing. No one else has made it even to 17,000.
Smith needs 59 yards against Miami on Sunday, and the way the Dolphins are defending the run, the goal is reasonable, even on an Arizona Cardinals team that has lost 17 straight on the road.
That means I've run a long ways,'' Smith said.It means a lot. Heck, there has not been a back in the National Football League to go over 18,000, so that's pretty special.
``It was many years that people said nobody's going to get to 17, and here I am looking at 18.''
In his 15th season, Smith enters Sunday's game with an NFL record 17,941 yards rushing, 1,175 more than No. 2 Walter Payton.
He just continues to make his mark on history,'' offensive tackle L.J. Shelton said.I'm glad that, hopefully, I will be a part of it when he does it. It's definitely a big honor to be part of it.''
Already this season, Smith has eclipsed Payton's record of 100-yard games with 78. Smith also owns the record of career rushing touchdowns with 160.
The 35-year-old running back has two 100-yard games this season _ not coincidentally in Arizona's two victories. He has not hidden the personal satisfaction that came with those performances. Maybe some of the quickness is gone, but not his uncanny ability to find the crease in the defense.
I still have it,'' Smith said.As long as I've got that vision and as long my legs can still move a little bit, I think I can get the job done.''
The problems arise when there are no creases to find, as was the case most of last season.
He sees blocks before they happen, and he's able to capitalize on them,'' Shelton said.We have to have some holes for him first, but if it's there, he'll find them.''
There have been plenty of holes in Miami's defense. The Dolphins (1-7) are 30th out of 32 teams in run defense, allowing 149 yards per game. Arizona is 2-5.
I think we match up well with them to run the ball,'' Shelton said.They have a front that, when they're on their game and if we don't execute, they can stop us. But I like our matchups against these guys.''
Smith is fifth in the NFC in rushing with 523 yards, and an average of 4.0 yards per carry. He's scored five touchdowns.
I think he's on target for 1,000 yards,'' coach Dennis Green said.He's good and healthy. He feels good. He's been an instrumental part when we've won. When we've been close, he's still had 60 or 70 yards.
``I think he's going to have a good flow throughout, and hopefully we'll win while he's doing that.''