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Maybe tonight’s Dallas Cowboys win and first 5-0 start in almost 25 years will ease the sting, but there’s a local sports celeb absolutely making a fool of himself on TV these days. No, not Mark Cuban. It’s another Dancing With the Stars contestant, third-season winner Emmitt Smith.

If you haven’t seen or heard Smith’s work on ESPN’s wildly popular Sunday NFL Countdown show on Sunday mornings, prepare to cringe. It’s ridiculously bad. Embarrassingly awful. If you were as terrible at your job as Emmitt is at his, you’d be filling out unemployment papers this morning instead of cashing a paycheck off a million-dollar salary.

On the field Emmitt helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls and rushed for more yards than anyone in NFL history. But on the studio, well, where to begin? How about yesterday: When asked by host Chris Berman to analyze the Detroit Lions’ offense, Emmitt responded, “Mike Martz have them rolling.” Just when you’re astounded by his rudimentary lack of subject-verb agreement or habitual use of “Let me axe you something …”, Emmitt will combine his atrocious delivery with inaccurate information.

Seriously, the dude’s creeping down to Eric Dickerson territory. Yesterday Emmitt referred to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Marcus Stroud as “Marco Strauss,” he reported that Houston Texans running back Ahman Green would be back in the lineup (he was ruled out on Thursday and was on Sunday’s inactive list), and his detailed, insightful breakdown of the Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game, culled from 15 years as an elite player?

“I’m going with Brett Favre and the Packers defense," he said. "I hope they get a running game to make it even better. So …”

Of course, yesterday was standard operating procedure for Smith, whom ESPN execs are counting on for his power to reel in DWTS viewers, not his perspective. Earlier this season, he called the Chargers (1-2 at the time) the best 0-3 team in the league, and referred to the Patriots as a golf club. See for yourself. --Richie Whitt

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