‘Like a hit of Mr. Clean’: Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, other pros get boost from smelling salts

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott’s claim last Sunday that he uses smelling salts every game doesn’t make him unique among professional athletes playing contact sports.

The most common use for smelling salts in sports isn’t to wake up unconscious players. What happens more frequently is players choose to sniff them because they believe it makes them more alert and ready to play.

"It happens a lot in the (NHL),” former NHL star Jeremy Roenick said.

YouTube videos support that contention, particularly one lengthy compilation of television shots capturing NHL players’ reaction as they sniff smelling salts, on the bench, before the game. It’s not difficult to find photos of NFL players with smelling salts. When Michael Strahan played in the NFL (1993-2007) he estimated that 70-80% of players used smelling salts to give themselves a spark.

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