PRO FOOTBALL : Smith Keeps Cowboys in Running : NFC: Dallas ends two-game losing streak by shutting down the Cardinals, 17-9.
Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s most productive rookie ballcarrier last season, shows no signs of slipping in his second year.
Smith gained 182 yards and scored first-quarter touchdowns on runs of 60 and 12 yards Sunday night as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Phoenix Cardinals, 17-9.
It was only the second time in Dallas history a back has had two runs of 60 yards or longer in a season. Smith broke a 75-yarder two weeks ago against Washington. Tony Dorsett recorded a similar feat in 1977.
Smith, who rushed for 937 yards last season, said he was more proud of a 37-yard carry he had in the fourth quarter that led to Ken Willis’ 41-yard field goal.
“I made that run when we really needed it,” said Smith, who set 58 rushing records at the University of Florida.
Smith had 109 yards in 11 carries by halftime for the Cowboys (2-2).
“He causes you to miss tackles,” Cardinal linebacker Garth Jax said. “It just happened that he hit the gaps where we weren’t.”
Entering the game, Willis had made all five field-goal attempts this season. But he missed attempts of 48, 52, and 45 yards before he found the range for the three-pointer that put away the win.
Greg Davis kicked two 32-yard field goals and a 29-yarder for the Cardinals (2-2), who have gone 10 quarters without a touchdown by the offense.
The Cardinals closed the gap to 14-6 by halftime before the defenses took over as a thunderstorm hammered the area of Sun Devil Stadium with lightning and brief rain.
Tom Tupa, who completed 24 of 37 passes for 247 yards but was unable to get the Cardinals across the goal line, threw a pass to Ernie Jones in the right corner of the end zone about five minutes into the second quarter. But Dallas cornerback Issiac Holt managed to get a fingertip on the ball, and Jones dropped it.
Smith’s first touchdown came on the Cowboys’ third play when he ran up the middle, slipped between attempted arm tackles by Michael Zordich and Tim McDonald and outran the pursuit to the end zone.
On the next Dallas possession, Troy Aikman completed passes of six, 13 and 22 yards to fullback Daryl Johnston to give his team a first down at the Phoenix 13-yard line. After two plays, Smith broke off right tackle and scored.