The NFL Competition Committee introduced a list of proposed rule changes Thursday — several of which are targeted toward improving player health and safety. One of those rules immediately found a high-profile critic.
Hall of Fame running back and all-time NFL leading rusher Emmitt Smith vehemently disagreed with the proposal to penalize players who lead with the crown of their helmets. Smith told KRLD-FM the idea won’t sit well with NFL running backs.
“If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?” said Smith on Thursday in an exclusive interview with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “You’ve absolutely lost your mind.”
Smith went on to say that since running backs are taught to run behind their shoulder pads, it would be almost impossible for them not to lead with their heads. He concluded that the proposal was “made up by people who have never played the game of football.”
The Dallas Cowboys legend, who amassed 18,355 rushing yards during his NFL career, suggests the proposed rule only would make the referee’s job tougher. Smith called the league’s definition of a “defenseless” player subjective and worried that the proposed rule will take away from the integrity of the play on the field.
– Marcas Grant, contributing editor