Now a junior at Stanford University, E.J. Smith is finally getting his first shot at being the Cardinals' primary running back. The son of Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith, E.J. rewarded his team quickly with an 87-yard touchdown on his first carry in the season opener against Colgate.
Plenty of eyes were already on Smith given his bloodline. His dad is the NFL's all-time leading rusher by a wide margin, a record that may never be broken as offenses now focus more on the passing game and running backs rarely have Emmitt's longevity.
E.J. doesn't just have a famous father. He's been a top recruit throughout the last few years and is considered one of the top breakout candidates for the 2022 college season. He wasted no time validating those projections with his performance yesterday.
Smith finished his first game as Stanford's starting RB with 118 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries. He also chipped in five catches for 37 yards receiving as the Cardinals trounced the Raiders 41-10 to start the year.
E.J. isn't just Emmitt's son but is also a native son of Texas, born in Dallas around his father's final year with the Cowboys in 2022. He attended Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas before heading to Stanford.
Of course, we can't help but wonder about the prospect of E.J. continuing the family legacy with the Cowboys. We know Jerry Jones certainly thinks about these things, having already given Larry Allen Jr. a shot during the 2019 training camp and always taking a personal interest in his players and their families.
We can be sure that Jones knows E.J., probably very well, and his college career is something the organization is paying attention to.
Whether or not that leads to E.J. Smith ever joining the Cowboys is a fantasy for future consideration. But for now, we can at least enjoy seeing another #22 running wild and making his father and Dallas proud.