Some of you might recall Emmitt Smith predicting last summer that the '09 Cowboys would finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs. During a conference call Monday, I gave Smith the opportunity to make a prediction for this season. He stopped short of predicting a trip to the Super Bowl, but he's a lot more optimistic this time around.
"This year, they have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to,'' Smith said of the Cowboys. "Hopefully those guys have taken this offseason and said next year should be our time. They made giant strides.''
Smith's 7-9 prediction stung some of the current Cowboys last year and they brought it up again when they finally won a playoff game. When I asked Smith on Monday whether he was willing to predict a Super Bowl appearance for the Cowboys, he said, "I think they have the potential to get there."
Sounds like a man who's gotten out of the prediction business. But the fact that Smith said this Cowboys team reminded him a lot of his '91 team is high praise. That Jimmy Johnson-led team broke through to win a wild-card game before being destroyed by Detroit the next week. In '92, the Cowboys bounced back to win the Super Bowl.
In other news, Smith said he's completed his Hall of Fame speech. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will present Smith at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, next month. Smith said he had to make a tough choice between Jones and Daryl "Moose" Johnston.
Asked if he'd try to match Michael Irvin's powerful speech, Smith said it's not something that had entered his mind. He said his speech will be the ultimate "thank-you opportunity," so I'd set the over-under on names mentioned at 50. I attended his retirement speech a few years back, and he mentioned so many names that it became comical.
Now if I could just figure out why a reporter decided to pepper Smith with questions about his experience on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Didn't he win that contest like five years ago?