128 yards against Arizona puts Emmitt closer to 1,000 yards


Tuesday, December 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Emmitt Smith's season-best performance against the Arizona Cardinals has brought him closer to his quest for an NFL-record 11th 1,000-yard season.

He gained 128 yards in the Dallas Cowboys' 17-10 loss to Arizona, giving him 818 yards for the season with two games to play.

The Cowboys play the San Francisco 49ers in Texas Stadium on Sunday, then close the season a week later on the road against the Detroit Lions.

Smith has missed two games with injury and is averaging just 58.4 yards per game, but head coach Dave Campo said he believes his running back has a good shot at 1,000 yards. He said the Cowboys will do their best to get him there.

``The last two games will be based around our running game. He will have a chance to get the football,'' Campo said.

The Cowboys aren't doing anything special for Smith, Campo said. It's the same game plan they've used since rookie quarterback Quincy Carter returned to the lineup a month ago.

Campo said the running game has been the focus of the Cowboys' attack, and as long as Carter vcan convert third downs, Smith will get a chance to run as much as possible.

Campo said rookie fullback Terry Witherspoon, who was signed off the practice squad last Friday, had a part in Smith's success against Arizona. Smith had 95 of his 128 yards after halftime, when the Cowboys started running the ball outside with the 5-11, 250-pound Witherspoon leading the way.

``I was very pleased with Witherspoon. He made a lot of key blocks as we were going to the perimeter in the second half. It was a good game for him. He earned some more playing time,'' Campo said.