Emmitt Smith loves visiting New York.
“There are Dallas Cowboys fans all over the world … even here,” the NFL’s all-time leading rusher said with a chuckle. “Nowhere is enemy territory for us.”
Smith, the Pro Football Hall of Famer who spent the bulk of his 15-year career as a star running back for Dallas before retiring in 2004, lined up against the New York Giants in both the regular season and the playoffs, saving some of his best performances for the Cowboys’ bitter NFC East rivals. It’s no surprise, then, that he has some thoughts on the current turmoil in the Meadowlands.
“The Giants have hit a spell right now, and obviously it’s not a good one,” noted Smith, who now works in real estate and was in town Tuesday as part of the grand opening celebration of the Charmin Restrooms at Times Square. The restrooms, which are free to the public and cleaned after every use, are located at Broadway and 48th Street. They will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Dec. 24.
“The organization is a little off-kilter, but they’ll be back. The Maras are great people, number one,” Smith continued, referring to co-owner John Mara and his family. “The team chemistry is completely thrown off, for whatever reason, but it’s not like they don’t have talent.”
Smith isn’t overly concerned with the NFL’s declining TV ratings, either.
“The way people are watching the game has changed,” he said. “People spend more time looking at their cellphones than watching TV. But the league still has a lot of great players and great teams, and fans see that. Guys like [Arizona Cardinals wide receiver] Larry Fitzgerald… a lot of people look to him and respect him. And I haven’t met a kid in America that doesn’t love OBJ [Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr.]”