Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith started 219 games in the NFL and absorbed abuse in every one of them. When you rush the ball 4,409 times, you're going to take a beating.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu estimated this week that players suffer between 50 and 100 untracked head injuries during their career. Few played as long as Smith, who spent 15 seasons in the league.
When Smith was asked about Polamalu's admission that he's lied about head injuries to stay in games, the Hall of Fame running back said he'd do the same.
"Oh, most definitely," Smith told NBC SportsTalk, per ProFootballTalk.com. "At the end of the day, if I can make it happen, I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to do what I have to do."
That might sound foolish, but Smith -- like Polamalu -- talked about the mind-set of a young NFL player, being counted on to help his team win.
"How many people think about -- 'Someday, I'm going to be 50?' -- when they're 20-something years old?" Smith said. "As a young player, you can go through certain things that you might not understand the repercussions right then and there because it's in the moment."