NFL General

Emmitt Smith sheds light on why Barry Sanders walked away

Most of the time, when we come across Emmitt Smith, we’re expecting to hear something that resembles gibberish more than analysis. But if there’s anything ol’ Emmitt should know, it’s running backs. So, when he responded to the question of why he believed Barry Sanders stepped away from the game, he actually made sense for the first time since becoming a member of the media.

I have had that conversation with Barry and Barry basically shared with me that he had had enough of football, No. 1, and possibly enough of dealing with the situation that he had to deal with up there in Detroit, being the go-to guy the whole time and not having the support, or what is perceived as a complete support staff around him like I had.

Obviously I had a great quarterback with Troy Aikman and I had Michael Irvin and and Jay Novacek and so forth. But when you looked at the Detroit Lions, and as I look at it and evaluate what Barry Sanders meant to that organization, he meant everything in the entire world to that organization. And for him not to have had a championship run is kind of disappointing and I think a person can only go through that for so long before they get enough.

And as you get older, football starts to wear on you. It wears on your mind mentally as well as beating your body up physically. And so if the organization doesn’t look like it is headed in the direction you want it to go in, it can definitely weigh on you heavily.


[]: Emmitt Smith: Why Barry Sanders retired from Lions

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