Smith only wanted the ball -- and showed he's so valuable


ATLANTA -- Emmitt Smith had a simple message for offensive coordinator Norv Turner at halftime of the Super Bowl last night.

"The only thing I said to Coach Turner was, 'Coach, get me the ball some kind of way,' " Smith said after the Dallas Cowboys rallied from a 13-6 deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills, 30-13, in Super Bowl XXVIII.

On the Cowboys' first drive of the second half -- after James Washington tied it with a 46-yard touchdown run with a fumble recovery -- Turner got Smith the ball.

Over and over and over again.

In an eight-play, 64-yard drive, Smith carried seven times for 61 yards to give the Cowboys the touchdown that put them ahead to stay.

Smith carried for 9, 3, 9, 7, 14 and 4 yards before quarterback Troy Aikman gave him a break by throwing a 3-yard pass to Daryl Johnston.

Smith then broke a tackle and went 15 yards for the touchdown that put the Cowboys ahead 20-13.

"He shoved it to me the whole drive," Smith said. "After we scored, I said, 'Coach, Coach . . . you've got to find someone else to get the ball to.' "

Smith carried twice in the next drive that resulted in a punt before taking two plays off. It wasn't surprising the Cowboys didn't get a first down without him, but he came back to finish off the 132-yard day that earned him the MVP honors.

Turner, who is going to fly to Washington tomorrow to meet with Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and is expected to become the team's coach, said: "We just finally wised up. We thrive on being balanced. We were going to mix it early, and the more we mixedit, the more they kept playing coverage. So, we talked about it at halftime and ran a couple of plays that were a little different for me and were able to get [Smith] to break some runs and the offensive line just took over."

One of the things they did was pull left guard Nate Newton to the right side to team with Kevin Gogan and Erik Williams.

Quarterback Troy Aikman said, "At halftime, we knew we had to get some type of running game going and start pounding 'em a little bit, and that's what we were able to do."

Smith, who had 41 yards in 10 carries in the first half, carried 20 times for 91 yards in the second.

On his celebrating after his first touchdown, Smith said: "That's just a part of my personality at that point in time that I could not control. During that whole drive, I was very enthusiastic. I was happy I was getting the ball that much. When you're getting the ball and you're moving the ball and the offensive linemen are blocking and plays are happening for you, you have a tendency to get very excited. Once we scored that touchdown, I was just full of joy."

Despite his day, Smith was surprised to be named MVP.

"I thought James Washington had it sewed up. I mean he had a great game all day, guys. It's a good thing we're fraternity brothers and one of us had to get it. I'm glad that I got it. . . . He's glad that I got it. I wish he could have got it also. I wish it could have been a 'co' [co-MVP]," he said.

Washington caused one fumble, returned another one for a touchdown and intercepted a pass, but the voters tend to favor offensive players.

The Super Bowl climaxed a tumultuous year for Smith, who held out the first two games, was limited to one carry in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons because of a hamstring injury and then played in pain with a shoulder separation to help beat the New York Giants in overtime in the regular-season finale.

Smith, who also was named the regular-season MVP, was asked whether the honors made up for the frustrating start.

"It's never better. You're never happy. You're never satisfied. For me, there's a lot of room for myself to grow and for the team to grow. This has been a great year for all of us -- the Cowboys organization, myself and my teammates," he said.

Smith said his shoulder isn't completely healed and that he'll skip the Pro Bowl.

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