Calvin Watkins on the barriers arrayed against breaking Emmitt Smith's record:
The current specialization of the NFL -- where teams now use two and three running backs and pass more often -- will likely add longevity to Smith's possession of the record. Even Smith's former team, the Cowboys, primarily use two running backs in Marion Barber and Felix Jones.In today's NFL there are just a few teams using one main running back: St. Louis (Stephen Jackson), Minnesota (Adrian Peterson), Baltimore (Ray Rice), Jacksonville (Maurice Jones-Drew) and Tennessee (Chris Johnson). The use of more backs provides fewer opportunities for players to get more yards.Last season, eight different running backs had games with at least 30 carries. In the 2002 season, when Smith broke Payton's record, 21 players had games with 30 or more carries. "The trend now is you get more and more guys splitting time with other people. Sometimes that will help extend their career," said Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete. "That's a lot of yards [Smith] got. Who knows?