Emmitt Smith Criticizes Cowboys’ Toughness

In the midst of a topsy-turvy season, where each component of the team has been under the microscope, many have criticized several areas of the Cowboys — from their coach to quarterback to defensive coordinator.

The latest to speak up was a franchise legend, who’s unsure if Big D has what it takes to overtake Big Blue on Sunday night.

Per Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, former running back Emmitt Smith openly questioned the Cowboys’ mental toughness Thursday, saying they need to bring their A-game for 60 minutes if they want to start off the new year right — as NFC East champs.

“Talent-wise, I think they have it,” Smith said in an ESPN interview. “Leadership-wise, they have some good leaders on the ballclub. Do they have enough? Probably not. Can they go up to New York and be mentally tough in this situation? I think Jason (Garrett) has done a very good job of preparing the guys to be physically and hopefully mentally tough, but I think mental toughness is the thing needed in games like this.

Smith added, “Mental toughness for four quarters or five quarters, if you have to go that far. But that’s something our Cowboys have not been able to do in close games. And that’s where mental toughness comes into play.”

There’s facts to support that claim by the league’s all-time leading rusher.

Dallas has experienced four fourth-quarter collapses this year, leading to losses against the Jets, Lions, Patriots, and Giants — all by four points or less.

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