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Emmitt Smith is Not a Fan of Proposed Rule Change

The rule would make it illegal for running backs to lower their helmets into contact

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A proposed rule change would make it illegal for ball-carriers to lower their heads and initiate contact with defenders with the crown of their helmets. Obviously, the hope is that it will make the game safer. But what the rule will actually do, according to Hall of Fame running back and All-Time Leading Rusher Emmitt Smith, is leave running backs with no choice but to be sitting ducks for closing defenders.

    To put it another way, Smith thinks the whole idea is pretty stupid.

    “If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?” Smith told 105.3-FM The Fan on Thursday. “You’ve absolutely lost your mind.”

    Of course, it’s not a rule, yet. The change will be proposed by the Competition Committee at the NFL owners meetings next week. From there, 24 of 32 owners will have to approve the measure before it goes into effect.

    “As a running back, it’s almost impossible (to not lower your head),” Smith said. “The first thing you do is get behind your shoulder pads. That means you’re leaning forward and the first part of contact that’s going to take place is your head, regardless.

    “I disagree with the rule altogether. It doesn’t make any sense for that position. It sounds like it’s been made up by people who have never played the game of football.”

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