IRVING, Texas - The NFL's all-time leading rusher now looks back at his career and wonders what it will mean going forward.
As new concussion research files in and more players exhibit adverse effects to hits during their career, former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith is concerned about how concussions could affect his life later on.
"I do worry about it," Smith said at an event for The Salvation Army and the Youth Education Town in Arlington. "Why shouldn't I worry about it? I'd be naïve not to worry about it."
Smith said he knows former players like Jim McMahon and Tony Dorsett are experiencing problems or worries because of concussions, and he wouldn't be surprised if he's next. Smith, who rushed 4,409 times, is the only running back with at least 4,000 carries in his career.
"There are many guys that I watch growing up, we all watch growing up, now are starting to have those issues," Smith said. "They're much older than I am, so why would I not think that if I'm on this planet long enough, have reached their age, that I might not have those issues?
"Look at the facts. I carried the football more than anybody. That means I've been hit more than anybody. So at the end of the day, why wouldn't I be concerned?"
Smith has no plans of making any sort of return to football. Instead, he'll continue on Dancing with the Stars, which he said is hard on his feet, but not on his head.
"I'm going to sit here and cheer these guys on, because I think we have a real good chance," Smith said. "I think we have a real good chance of making the playoffs this year. I really do."