|Browns running back Trent Richardson grew up idolizing Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith, who he considers a mentor. (US Presswire)|
QB Brandon Weeden played at Oklahoma State with Dallas WR Dez Bryant. Browns WR Greg Little was a teammate of standout Cowboys ILB Bruce Carter. And RB Trent Richardson played the same position at the same high school as Emmitt Smith and considers the Cowboys legend a mentor and hopes to see him at the stadium.
Weeden took over the starting job at Oklahoma State the year Bryant joined the Cowboys. But although Weeden bided his time in practice and on the sideline when Bryant played at Oklahoma State, he marveled at the skill set of his teammate.
"Dez is my boy," Weeden said. "I saw things from him that I never saw anyone do route-running wise and catching the ball."
"Get physical with him," he said. "Bump him around a little bit, and let him know you're there."
Little was equally praiseworthy of Carter, who is emerging as one of the premier linebackers in the NFL. Carter is second on the team with 66 tackles. Only Sean Lee, who has been placed on IR, has more. Carter leads the Cowboys with eight tackles for loss.
"Bruce has started to play more sideline-to-sideline," Little said after watching his former teammate on tape. "He's a very athletic guy. To see how he get the defense lined up and make calls, he's really grown."
Richardson doesn't have to concern himself with his Dallas connection -- thankfully for the Browns. He grew up idolizing Smith, who is the NFL's career rushing leader. Richardson wore a Smith jersey as a youth in Pensacola, Fla., and said he wanted to be like him.
"He's the person I wanted to be like the most when I grew up," he said.
Richardson developed a mentor-student relationship with Smith that has proven fruitful. Richardson even watched Smith place first on the popular reality show Dancing with the Stars.
"He's got moves, man," Richardson said. "He's a champion in all phases."
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