Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Friday, August 6, 2010
Emmitt Smith and Jerry Jones on speeches

By Calvin Watkins



CLEVELAND -- On Saturday night, Emmitt Smith will get inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's closure for the NFL's all-time leading rusher, from an athletic standpoint.

What he'll say will be not about him, but about everybody else who helped shape his life as a football player.

"The overall theme for me and the baseline for this entire weekend is not necessarily about me," Smith said to reporters in Canton, Ohio, on Friday. "It’s about the people truly that have helped shape the foundation which I stand upon. That stretches back to Pensacola itself, the coaches that I had in Pop Warner football all the way through high school, college as well as the National Football League. Unfortunately from a time standpoint, I only have so much time. I’ve got to pick and choose which ones I need to talk about."

Jerry Jones will introduce Smith, who is scheduled to be inducted last Saturday night. Jones introduced Michael Irvin when he was inducted in 2007. The Cowboys owner and president said he will take that experience to help him in his speech about Smith.

Jones, who has always enjoyed a personal relationship with a bulk of his players, said he's going to be nervous and emotional when he makes his speech about Smith.

"I'm worried at any time I've made a public speech," Jones said this week. "If I'm not nervous, I really would, frankly I like it when I'm a little under the weather, or more than I should, I like to be able to be on top of it and overcome it and it seems like I have a little more energy when I'm talking."