NFL

What Happened to Cowboys Star Emmitt Smith After Retiring From the NFL?

He may be closing in on his 51st birthday, but Emmitt Smith still has moves. The former Dallas Cowboys great was already a mover and shaker in the business world and has recently become the go-to man in spreading important messages.

Emmitt Smith has been in demand this month

Emmitt Smith hopped on board this week as the spokesman for the Dallas Regional Chamber as it promotes a program to connect men and women who’ve lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic to openings in the metropolitan area.

The NFL’s career rushing leader is appearing in a marketing campaign across radio, television, billboards, and social media. “Some of the very people who cheered so hard for me throughout my career in football are now the ones I’m rooting for to get back on their feet,” he says.

That gig comes on the heels of the former Dallas Cowboys star working with Florida government officials earlier in the month. The Pensacola, Florida, native recorded a video with state Attorney General Ashley Moody to encourage residents to adhere to the “Safer at Home” guidelines as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out.

Prior to that, Smith was the face of a Super Bowl LIV promotion in Miami for the Marriott Bonvoy travel program as part of his endorsement deal.

Smith is a natural choice for such roles. After a scholastic and college career that made him a hero in Florida, Smith played the first 13 of his 15 NFL seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and became a fan favorite for his performance on the field and his aversion to controversy other than a pair of holdouts over contracts.

The Dallas Cowboys legend has moved smoothly between endeavors

Pardon the pun, but Emmitt Smith got off on the right foot not long after retiring from the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals in 2004. Competing in the third season of Dancing with the Stars, Smith teamed with Cheryl Burke to win top honors over a field of celebrities including Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez.

One of his rare misfires in retirement was Smith’s work as an NFL studio analyst with the NFL Network and then ESPN. Smith struggled to put his thoughts together quickly and articulately, and neither assignment lasted. But that didn’t keep the former Dallas Cowboys player from plugging away in the business world.

Smith got a boost in entering real estate development by teaming with retired Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who started dabbling in the field during his playing days and built his firm into a major player in Texas real estate before going national. Their first collaboration in Phoenix gave Smith access to more clients and money.

Smith branched out on his own in commercial real estate with the creation of E Smith Legacy and also formed a commercial construction company. Looking to diversify in 2016, he bought into The Gents Place, a members’ club providing grooming and spa services. The company began in the Dallas suburbs and has more than a dozen locations with an eye toward franchising.

The football years

Emmitt Smith was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, his first year of eligibility following a no-doubt-about-it career.

Smith rushed for 18,355 yards, which continues to stand as the NFL record, and scored 175 touchdowns, second to Jerry Rice. He led the league in rushing yards four times in five years beginning in 1991, his second pro season.

Smith also played on three Dallas Cowboys championship teams for coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.