As much noise as Emmitt Smith made on the field, it's worth noting that his life off it has been as quiet as any player's. Controversy and legal trouble were never an issue for the Hall of Fame running back.
But, as a member of the '90s Cowboys, he certainly was around plenty of other players who ran into trouble.
In other words, he's as qualified as anyone to explain how a teammate would view the current situation with Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Speaking to NFL.com at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe, Smith was as tactful as one would expect Bryant's fellow players will be when training camp begins in Oxnard, Calif.
"There's enough people commenting on it, anyway, anything I do is going to be piling on," Smith said. "That's a level of maturity that must take place . . . This is where people have to be patient with people like Dez or younger players. Everybody has to mature. Sometimes, some folks mature a lot quicker than others. I mean, that's just something everybody has to be patient for. Just pray that the guy understands and gets it at some point. Because if he doesn't, he's definitely messing with his future and he's messing with his ability to really connect with the fans."
One of the players Bryant is often compared to and a former teammate of Smith's, Michael Irvin made it clear this week that he is more concerned about Bryant's development as a person than his progress on the field.