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Throwback Thursday: Records Fall In 2002 Clash With Seattle


In honor of the popular social media trend "Throwback Thursday," and in preparation for Sunday's game with Seattle, let's look back a few years for this week's installment of "TBT."

In 2002, the Cowboys were in the midst of a third straight 5-11 season under head coach Dave Campo.

Two of the lone bright spots on that young team were a pair of veterans nearing the end of their respective careers.

On one October day, both of them made it to the record books less than an hour apart.

In the third quarter, safety Darren Woodson became the Cowboys' all-time leading tackler when he surpassed Lee Roy Jordan (1,236) with one of his game-high eight stops.

But just like Woodson was for most of his career, even his historic moment was overshadowed by the offense.

That day is remembered more for Emmitt Smith's run to the NFL record books by surpassing Walter Payton as the league's all-time leading rusher. Smith entered the day needing 94 yards to eclipse Payton, who had racked up 16,726 yards during his illustrious 13-year career with the Chicago Bears.

But the record was finally within his sights, Smith zeroed in on the record and enjoyed his best game of the season to that point, rushing for 109 yards. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith was just 13 yards from the record when he walked back onto the field with a much-anticipated offensive drive.

On Throwback Thursday we take a look at the day Emmitt Smith broke the all time rushing record in 2002 against the Seahawks.

"I was totally aware of how much I needed," Smith said years later. "When I saw I was 13 yards away, I knew this was the drive that I was going to do it. I was sure. There was no doubt. With the crowd going crazy as it was, I said, 'This is the time.' I had to do it for them, for everyone."

After a couple of carries, put him nine yards away, his 10-yard run in the third quarter proved to be the record-breaker as he busted right up the gut behind lead fullback Robert Thomas. The game was stopped as Smith's teammates mobbed at the middle of the field. Smith was able to hug his family members and even former fullback Daryl Johnston, who was on the sidelines working for Fox sports.

After a five-minute stoppage, the game resumes and Smith capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown, his 150th of his career, to tie the game.

The Seahawks prevailed in the end with a last-second field goal to win 17-14, but despite the loss, the day still belonged to Smith, who eventually pushed the record out to 18,355 rushing yards.

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