Emmitt Smith, Ezekiel Elliott apparently don't have a great relationship right now

You don't have to be a huge fan of football to know that Emmitt Smith and Ezekiel Elliott have two big things in common: They were both first-round picks, and they were both drafted by the Dallas Cowboys

After being selected with the 17th pick in 1990, Smith spent 13 years with the Cowboys and rushed for a franchise-record 17,162 yards with the team. Twenty-six years later, the Cowboys grabbed Elliott in the first round and then he promptly went out and set the Cowboys' rookie rushing record in 2016

Despite their obvious connection, Smith says the two aren't that close

"I wouldn't say [we have] a great relationship," Smith told UPI this week. 

Of course, you don't have to be friends with someone to respect what they do, and that sounds like the relationship that Smith and Elliott currently have. 

"I think we have a mutual respect for one another," Smith said. "I think Zeke is a great addition to the Dallas Cowboys and will make a big difference when he gets back."

With Elliott getting set to sit out the final week of a six-game suspension that started in November, Smith did offer some advice to the Cowboys running back with the key takeaway being that you have to be "extra careful" off the field this day and age. 

"Well, what I would say is that the world right now is so polarizing," Smith said. "You have to be extra careful in terms of what you do, where you do it and how you go about doing it. He's a young kid. Just like a lot of young players coming out of college, you have to learn how to balance the working life and play kind of scenarios and understanding where to do things and where not to. That's the balance he has to learn."

After spending a total of 15 years in the NFL, Smith sounded like a guy who knows exactly what Elliott is experiencing as the star running back for America's Team. 

"It's a different environment when you become a professional athlete and so many people are around you taking pictures of you when you aren't even aware of it," Smith said. "So you definitely have to be cautious."

Smith finished his NFL career with 18,355 yards, which is the most in NFL history. Although that might be a tough number for Elliott to reach, he's already passed him in one department: rookie rushing yards. 

Elliott finished his rookie year with 1,631 yards, which was better than Smith's rookie season in 1990 when he finished with 937 rushing yards. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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