The NFL’s all-time leading rusher thinks that the NFL has “lost its mind.” The league is considering adopting a new rule that — we’re not making this up — would make it illegal for a ball carrier to initiate contact with an opposing player with the crown of his helmet.
Emmit Smith knows more than probably anyone else in football history about carrying the ball. He ran for 18,355 yards during his NFL career, most of those with the Dallas Cowboys. An undersized back who was not known for blazing speed, Smith was one of the most courageous players ever to play the game. The 5’9″ back was a beast who fought for every inch.
On the proposed rule, Smith is succinct.
“If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?’’ Smith said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “You’ve absolutely lost your mind.’’
“As a running back, it’s almost impossible (to not lower your head),’’ said the Dallas Cowboys legend. “The first thing you do is get behind your shoulder pads. That means you’re leaning forward and the first part of contact that’s going to take place is your head, regardless.“I disagree with the rule altogether. It doesn’t make any sense for that position. It sounds like it’s been made up by people who have never played the game of football.’’
Unfortunately, it is. It’s being made up by lawyers. About 2,000 former NFL players are suing the league over head injuries. The proposed rule is a response to those lawsuits, which could destroy the league and drastically alter the sport forever.
Not every player is supporting those lawsuits. Fellow former Cowboy Deion Sanders says those suing players are just in it for the money.