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Retired Dallas Cowboys prove it’s never too late to make a career change into real estate.
July 31, 2019

Ex-Dallas Cowboys Get Into the Real Estate Game

by The CE Shop Team

These Dallas Cowboys Prove the End of a Career is Just the Start to Another.

Every athlete has his or her day. Sometimes it comes when they least expect it. Other times, they can see the writing on the wall from a mile away. When it comes, how it arrives, and the overall outcome will always vary. What will always stay constant is that one day, every professional athlete will have to throw in the towel and retire from the sport that made them who they are. 

While that day will happen, what comes after is a plethora of choices. Does one simply sit back and live off the fruits of their labor while golfing away the rest of their remaining years drinking Mai Tai cocktails and mid-afternoon backgammon? Or do they embrace change, and start a new career?

For these Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys, sitting back and relaxing wasn’t in their plans. They instead took the skills they learned on the gridiron and applied them, proving it’s never too late to start a flourishing career in real estate. 

Roger Staubach

Possibly the most famous Hall of Fame Dallas Quarterback, Roger Staubach retired a two-time Super Bowl champion, amassing over 22,000 yards with an 83.1 QB rating. His day came April 1st, 1980

Roger knew retirement was inevitable, which is why he prepared for it in 1970-1977 working for the highly-touted real estate firm Henry S. Miller Company during his offseasons. "I couldn't have retired at my age and just played golf. First of all, they didn't pay quarterbacks what they do today. And I was 27 with three kids. I kept thinking about [what would happen] if some linebacker takes off my head and I can't play anymore," Staubach said.

Once his career ended, Roger went on to found The Staubach Company. At first, the company teamed up (and eventually bought out) broker Robert Holloway, developing vacant office buildings. The company eventually moved away from commercial development to become the representatives for corporate clients looking to purchase or lease space. His timing for this change was immaculate since the booming office construction followed by the failing Texas Oil industry led to relatively cheap office space. His firm also worked in residential development in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. The company has worked with publicly traded companies such as AT&T and McDonalds and was sold in 2008 to Jones Lang LaSalle for $613 million

Today, Roger, although retired from the real estate game, has been working with Dallas Cowboys’ Owner Jerry Jones to create residential homes and apartments right next to the team’s 91-acre world headquarters and practice facility in Frisco, Texas.

Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith is arguably considered the best running back in NFL history, amassing a league-record 18,355 yards over a glorious 15-year career. His day came February 3rd, 2005

When his career ended, Emmitt went into sports broadcasting with ESPN. But his true passion was real estate. Just like his Cowboys brethren, Emmitt has been committed to investing in real estate since the 1990s. Using this breadth of real estate knowledge, he went on to found E Smith Realty Partners, representing companies such as NTT Datas with the development of their Plano U.S. Headquarters

Now, Emmitt has taken his talents to the Big Apple to team up with the Newmark Group. The new company will work together in commercial property brokerage, construction, and development

Emmitt says his company, rebranded as E Smith Advisors, will sport around 50-100 employees in markets all throughout the country. Their website says, “Every audience values service. Can you do what you say you can do when you say you can do it? Service breeds trust. Service and attention must be consistent throughout the relationship – not just when the lease is ending.” Their most recent projects have been The Zenith building and Science and Technology Park at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Darren Woodson

In 1992, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Darren Woodson out of Arizona State University with the 37th pick. He would go on to win three Super Bowls while making the All-Pro first team four times. His day came December 29, 2004.

Like his peers, Darren went on to become a football analyst for ESPN, appearing on staple programs like First Take, NFL Live, and Sportscenter. He also created the app GuideHop, a guided tours and activities eCommerce site, and Counter Find, a software company that identifies counterfeit merchandise sold online. 

Darren wanted to expand his horizons beyond the sports world, which led to him getting his commercial real estate license and joining ESRP, the same company that worked with Emmitt Smith.

“We have discussed teaming up for quite some time and the timing was right to get serious with those conversations,” ESRP CEO Sharon Morrison said. “We’ve talked many times over the last year about what it takes to win the war for talent and bringing on a leader of Darren’s caliber is an exciting opportunity for him and for us.” 

Darren is now a partner with ESRP, and looks to commit his full efforts toward helping grow their commercial real estate business into a national powerhouse. 

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