Smith's deal next step in his retirement process

Updated: March 17, 2005, 8:24 PM ET
Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- Former Dallas running back Emmitt Smith signed a one-year contract with his old team Thursday so that he can retire from the NFL as a Cowboy.

The league's leading rusher spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

After Smith submits his official retirement notification to the NFL, he will be placed on the Cowboys' reserve retired list.

Smith, 35, ran for 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns in his career, both NFL records. He closed it out by running for 937 yards and nine touchdowns in Arizona last season.

Smith, who announced his retirement last month, was drafted by the Cowboys in 1990 and played 13 seasons with the club.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press