On Oct. 27, 2002 Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith passed Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
On the 14-year anniversary of that accomplishment, let’s take a look back at the game story from that historic day.
Smith’s 11-yard burst over left guard in the fourth quarter moved him past Walter Payton and made him the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Smith finished the game with 24 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Smith, 33, has 16,743 yards. Payton had 16,726.
“Today was a special day,” Smith said. “But I just can’t pat myself on the back, because so many people were instrumental to this journey.”
“I don’t know how long it’s going to last, because you’re dealing with some unique circumstances like free agency and the salary cap. I don’t know if you’re going to find someone who will do it with one team like Walter did it and like I did it.”
Payton had held the record since 1984. Jim Brown had the record from 1963 to 1983.
Smith finished his career with 18,355 rushing yards on 4,409 carries. It’s a record that may never be broken.