Emmitt Smith is considered one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, but he hasn’t been able to remain a part of the league after he retired in 2004. He tried his hand at broadcasting, but that didn’t go well and he left TV after just a short time working at NFL Network and ESPN.
But unlike some retired professional athletes, Smith has been able to successfully transition into the business world after his playing career ended. He has various business ventures that he makes money from — and he may have Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to thank for his post-NFL success.
Emmitt Smith’s NFL career
Smith spent 15 seasons in the NFL, the first 13 with the famed Cowboys. He ended his career with 18,355 rushing yards and 164 touchdowns, with another 11 receiving touchdowns, giving him a total of 175 scores for his career.
Even 15 years after his retirement, Smith remains the league’s all-time leader in rushing attempts (4,409), rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. And his 175 total touchdowns trail just Jerry Rice for the second-most in NFL history among non-quarterbacks.
Add to that the fact that Smith was part of the Cowboys team that won three Super Bowls in the ’90s, and he is remembered as one of the league’s all-time greats. As a result, the 1993 NFL MVP was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Jerry Jones’ financial advice to Emmitt Smith
Smith is good with money now, but that wasn’t always the case. He earned a $1 million signing bonus when he first signed with the Cowboys in 1990. Around that time, he made what he called a “youthful financial decision” by buying a $100,000 car when he was 20 years old.
Spending $100,000 back then would be the equivalent of about $200,000 in today’s money. As he went on his football career and life, though, he got critical financial advice from people he trusted.
Perhaps the best piece of advice Emmitt Smith got was from Jerry Jones. Smith recalls Jones as teaching him about finances with a simple statement: “Have a big front door and a small back door. Take in as much as you can, and spend as little as you can.”
Smith would take those words to heart and stop splurging — as he did when he spent six figures on the Mercedes SL — and start saving and investing his money for his post-football career. And that life lesson has paid off for the Hall of Famer.
Emmitt Smith’s business ventures and net worth
Smith has focused his post-football business ventures on real estate. He owns real estate company E Smith Communities, which buys and invests in properties that “will bring opportunity and positive, lasting change to an area in need of economic development,” according to Smith.
The broader company Smith owns is Emmitt Smith Enterprises, which includes his real estate, construction, and asset management businesses. Among the companies he has invested in is The Gents Place, a men’s grooming company that he became a co-owner of after being a customer and quickly noticing its potential to become a real player in the industry.
Since Smith’s 2016 investment in the company, it has grown from four upscale men’s grooming and lifestyle clubs to 14, with plans to continue expanding across America. Smith says if he is going to invest in a business, he needs to be passionate about it and he “look[s] at things that are game changers, things that people may gloss over, something that’s very disruptive.” All of Smith’s investments have paid off to the tune of an estimated net worth of $50 million.