An all-time great running back feels the pain that another dynamic running back  is suffering. The Dallas Cowboys released former Pro Bowler Ezekiel Elliott this week, and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith has nothing but compassion for the power back.

Smith knows that no matter how many times a player has taken on the role of hero for his team, the attitude in the NFL is “what have you done for me lately.” Elliott appears to have lost at least a step in recent years, and the Cowboys no longer believe he can bring value in his role as the team's primary ground gainer.

While the move of the Elliott release was not a surprise, it still hurts many long-time Cowboys supporters, including Smith.

“The NFL stands for not for long. Everyone else, go get your money because they have no love for you. … Thank you Z for giving everything you have, including playing injured all of last year.”

Elliott gave the Cowboys running game instant credibility when he was drafted with the No. 4 pick in the first round of the 2016 draft. He dominated from the start, rushing for a league-leading 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns in his rookie year by combining overwhelming power with surprising speed and top instincts.

He was nearly as good in 2018 when he rushed for 1,434 yards, 6 touchdowns and a 4.7 yards per carry average. Ezekiel Elliott has also excelled as a receiver throughout his career, catching a career-high 77 passes for 567 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2018.

Elliott's production slipped last year while battling injuries, rushing for 876 yards with 12 touchdowns and a 3.8 yards per carry average.