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NFL legend Emmitt Smith predicts what could be key factor in Super Bowl, talks 'disappointing' Cowboys run


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So much of the focus going into Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles has been on the quarterback battle. Patrick Mahomes is searching for his second Super Bowl title, and Jalen Hurts is going after his first.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith believes time of possession and the run game could be key factors in the outcome.

"In order for Philly to win or any team to win, they’re gonna have to protect the ball. I know one of the things that suffers the most when you give a defensive coordinator two weeks to prepare — at least that’s the way it was in the past — the running game is what usually suffers," Smith explained to Fox News Digital. 

"But in this particular case, I think the running backs have the opportunity to blow this game wide open and perhaps see a running back get MVP this week."

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Philadelphia boasts a running corps that features Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. The Chiefs have seen success with rookie Isiah Pacheco over the last few games and activated Clyde Edwards-Helaire off injured reserve.

Smith, the NFL’s all-time rushing leader who ran for 289 total yards in the Super Bowls he played in for the Dallas Cowboys, believes Pacheco could be an X-factor, but the Eagles have the weapons. 

"I’m watching both sides," he added. "Pacheco is the most explosive one right now, but I’m watching both sides of the ledger because Philly has everything they need to be as good as they need to."

Smith played 13 seasons with the Cowboys, was a three-time Super Bowl champion and the MVP of the 1994 Super Bowl. But, since 1995, the Cowboys have not even gotten to an NFC championship let alone a Super Bowl.

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The Cowboys finished 12-5 for the second straight season but again failed to make a meaningful run in the playoffs.

"It was disappointing," Smith told Fox News Digital of the Cowboys’ run. "I think that they did all they could do. It’s just so much more work that needs to go into what we’re doing right now as the Dallas Cowboys organization in terms of getting our football team to go to the next level in a playoff. They’ve done a great job of making it to the playoffs, but they have not done a good job staying in the playoffs. They got some work to do."

But what needs to be improved on a team that’s won 12 games two years in a row? Personnel? Coaching?

"It’s a combination of both," Smith said. "We can upgrade personnel in areas to help CeeDee Lamb and help Dak (Prescott) out coaching-wise. We can try to reduce the playbook to where our guys are experts at some form of offense and then build from there."

Smith talked to Fox News Digital on behalf of Bounty. The former running back wanted to remind fans to make sure they pair their wings with a paper towel during Super Bowl LVII.

"You cannot have football without wings, and you can’t have wings without Bounty," Smith said, adding that he usually cooks his wings in an air fryer.

He added that he is a big flats guy and loves ranch dipping sauce.

Super Bowl LVII kicks off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on FOX.

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