One NFL player you forgot played for your favorite team

NFL 2020 (Photo by James V. Biever/Getty Images)
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Note: This post is updated as of the 2023 NFL Season

Every NFL franchise has had at least one player on their roster that just seemed out of place — much like Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards.

When we think of Jordan, we don’t think of him wearing the Wizards uniform late in his career. Instead, we remember him winning NBA titles for the Chicago Bulls. That could end up being the same with Brady, as time will tell if he’ll be remembered more for the dynasty he built with the Patriots or being the ageless wonder that won another championship on a brand new team.

Having said that, it’s time we now look at all 32 teams and identify their most popular player of all-time, that you might not have remembered even suited up for anyone outside of the team they are known to be a member of.

RB. 32. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Emmitt Smith. 2003-2004. player. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals – Emmitt Smith

The NFL’s all-time rushing leader, Emmitt Smith, finished his 15-year career with 18,355 yards on the ground. He also won three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the first round back in 1990.

Smith played in Dallas for 13 seasons and to this day, he’s a Cowboy. He went into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Cowboys and he’s always referred to as a former Cowboys great. There are few people in the league who are more tied to their franchise than Emmitt Smith — much like the aforementioned Tom Brady and the Patriots.

All of that is true, but Smith didn’t finish his career with Dallas. The former NFL MVP was released ahead of the 2003 season as new head coach Bill Parcells decided he wanted to go younger at the position.

Fans had a hard time saying goodbye to Smith, who made eight Pro Bowls in his Dallas career, but Parcells had enough clout to get away with such a move. Although, there were some fans who were happy with where Smith ended up.

The Cowboys had a huge following in the Phoenix area and Smith wound up signing with the Arizona Cardinals on a two-year deal. Smith was injured in his first season with Arizona, while playing in Dallas, but had one final decent campaign in 2004.

That year, the 35-year-old Smith had 937 yards rushing and nine touchdowns — and he added a 21-yard touchdown pass as well. It was a short stint and easy to forget, but Smith added to his league-leading totals by 1,193 yards by heading to the desert to close out his career.