Emmitt Smith: Why the Patriots are in for a rough game against the Eagles defensive front

Former Cowboys running back and Pro Football hall of famer Emmitt Smith sat down with Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show to talk about his pick for the Super Bowl. Here are some highlights:

Thoughts on Michael Irvin saying he wants the Eagles to win in order to stop the Patriots from having a second run of three out of four Super Bowl wins

Emmitt Smith: My thoughts are sure, that's one aspect of it. That's not how I'm looking at it though. I like the Eagles because, number one, defenses win championships. And I think the Eagles are built inside-out. I think they're offensive line and defensive line is extremely, extremely good, especially that defensive front. The defensive front is unbelievable.

I haven't seen their defensive front this good since the Buddy Ryan days with Jerome Brown and the rest. I haven't seen them play like that. These guys are playing, and have played solid football, in my opinion the most consistent football out of all the teams in the National Football League this year even with the loss of Carson Wentz. Defensively, this team is built for games like this.

You think the Eagles will win this game?

Smith: Yes, I do think they're going to win this game. I think that offensively, with the running game with Ajayi, and Blount, and the third guy that they actually have, and Nick Foles. When I look at coaches, I'm asking myself are they making the right decisions? Are they making the right adjustments? So when Wentz went down, the question was can Nick Foles do it? Because everybody in their minds said Philadelphia's done including myself.

Then what I saw was the coaches made an adjustment. They adjusted the offense to Nick Foles' capabilities, and started leveraging his abilities to do a number of different things with the football with [run-pass options] and everything else, which they already had, but Nick Foles is a better quarterback than most people want to give him credit for because we all remember his days with Chip Kelly, which was not so good. So when you move on, everybody has the tendency of thinking that you're not that guy. But when you have coaches, and sometimes you fit in the system, and sometimes you don't, and it just didn't work out in that system. People automatically assumed he can't play, and I think he can.

Thoughts on Tom Brady being the great equalizer to the Eagles' defense

Smith: Oh, I know he is. There's no doubt about it. Here's the beautiful thing that I love about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is you take 16 years of a body of work like Tom Brady has produced, but you also have to look at the eight Super Bowls that he's participated in, which is absolutely incredible. One would think naturally not to bet against a Tom Brady kind of guy, and when you say that, you have to think about the best quarterback to ever play the game is Tom Brady in my opinion.

But I've got to give a little bit of leeway over here to the Eagles and their defense. Again I'm looking at the Eagles defense and saying I actually believe in this defense in a way that can really transform a game.

And Brady, Jacksonville got some pressure, and this team here is going to come with just as much pressure if not more pressure. And all around offensively as well as defensively and special teams-wise, the Eagles are a much more solid team. When I see that, I'm like pressure after pressure after pressure, knockdown after knockdown after knockdown against Brady, it could be tough.