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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Former NFL player Emmitt Smith attends the Reebok Pump 20th Anniversary at Pop Burger on November 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Reebok)
Before the 2009 season, former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith caused a stir when he predicted that the team would go 7-9 and miss the playoffs completely. The prediction apparently stood as a sore spot around Valley Ranch; when the team defeated the Eagles in week 17, and the JerryTron cut to an image of Smith sitting in Jerry Jones's suite, many of the players were (half) jokingly miffed.
But as Jones said on a radio appearance shortly thereafter, Smith was more than a little happy to have missed the mark on his prediction. Beyond that, his prognostication as it pertains to the Cowboys has taken a dramatically sunny upswing as of late. One of the reasons for this--and, according to Smith, the singular reason last season's prediction was so far off--is Miles Austin.
"Miles Austin," Smith said,per the Dallas Morning News. "Thank you, Miles Austin. You made my 7-9 pick to 11-5. But without you at best they might be 7-9 because of what you were able to do. He gave them a shot of B-12 in the arm."
Far from 7-9, the Cowboys as we've come to know them are on the cusp of being a viable Super Bowl contender, according to Smith.
"I think they're very close [to being a Super Bowl team]," Smith said. "With the growth I've seen from a leadership standpoint, the talent has always been there but you look at that team and they turned a corner."