Why ex-Cowboy Emmitt Smith is a rare Hall of Famer

Former Chicago Tribune sports editor Cooper Rollow made the most famous presentation in the history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.
When it came time to discuss the NFL’s all-time leading rusher in 1993, Rollow rose from his chair and uttered two words – “Walter Payton” – then sat down.

It was that simple. Payton was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. A true first-ballot Hall of Famer. Nothing more needed to be said. The same with Joe Montana. Ira Miller of the San Francisco Chronicle used a few more words in his presentation of the four-time Super Bowl champion San Francisco quarterback – but not many more.