Much of the focus in Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles has been on the quarterback battle. Patrick Mahomes is looking for his second Super Bowl title, and Jalen Hurts is after his first.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith believes time of possession and running game could be key factors in the outcome.
«For Philly to win or any team to win, they’re going to have to protect the ball. I know one of the things that suffers the most when you give a defensive coordinator two weeks to prepare, at least it is.» It was in the past — the running game is what usually suffers,» Smith explained to Fox News Digital.
«But in this particular case, I think the running backs have an opportunity to open this game wide open and maybe see a running back get MVP this week.»
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Philadelphia has a running back staff that includes Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. The Chiefs have had success with rookie Isiah Pacheco in recent games and activated Clyde Edwards-Helaire off the disabled list.
Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher who rushed for 289 total yards in Super Bowls while playing for the Dallas Cowboys, thinks Pacheco could be an X factor, but the Eagles have the guns.
«I’m seeing both sides,» he added. «Pacheco is the most explosive right now, but I’m looking at both sides of the ledger because Philadelphia has everything it needs to be as good as it needs to be.»
Smith played 13 seasons with the Cowboys, was a three-time Super Bowl champion and the 1994 Super Bowl MVP. But, since 1995, the Cowboys haven’t even reached an NFC championship, let alone a Super Bowl.
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The Cowboys finished 12-5 for the second straight season, but again failed to make a significant playoff run.
«It was disappointing,» Smith told Fox News Digital of the Cowboys’ run. «I think they did everything they could do. It’s a lot more work that we need to do in what we’re doing right now as the Dallas Cowboys organization in terms of getting our football team to the next level in a playoff.» They’ve done a great job making the playoffs, but they haven’t done a great job staying in the playoffs. They have work to do.»
But what needs to be improved on a team that won 12 games two years in a row? Staff? Training?
«It’s a combination of both,» Smith said. «We can improve personnel in areas to help CeeDee Lamb and help Dak (Prescott) as a coach. We can try to narrow the playbook down to where our guys are adept at some form of offense and then build from there.»
Smith spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of Bounty. The former running back wanted to remind fans to make sure to pair his wings with a paper towel during Super Bowl LVII.
«You can’t have football without wings, and you can’t have wings without Bounty,» Smith said, adding that he usually cooks his wings in a deep fryer.
She added that she likes big shoes and loves ranch sauce.
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Super Bowl LVII kicks off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on FOX.