1- Jim Brown was the best of all time hands down. He only played 9 seasons for the Cleveland Browns, but set records it took a long time to break. He did all this in less games per season than today’s superstars play in. He had 2,359 rushes for 12,312 yards, 106 tds and an amazing 5.2 yard per rush average. Added 262 receptions for 20 touchdowns. All the while the defenses of other teams were keying on him to stop him. His strength and quickness were both great weapons to use against opposing teams.
2- Walter Payton- In 13 seasons Walter Payton did wonderful things for the Chicago Bears. He could run, block, catch and throw. He was probably best known for keeping his legs moving and breaking loose when he appeared to be tackled. They called him Sweetness and we lost him way too soon when he died. He had 3,838 rushes for 16,726 yards, 110 tds and a 4.4 average per carry. He added 492 receptions for 4,538 yards and 15 TDs. All this while playing on some really bad Bears teams most of his career.
3- Emmitt Smith- For 15 years he played for Dallas and Arizona he was the best goal line back ever in my opinion. I only ranked him 3rd because he had better offensive lines most of his career than Payton and Brown. In 226 games he rushed for 18.355 yards on 4,409 carries, 164 tds and a 4.2 average. He added 515 catches for 3,224 yards and 11 tds. I also think he was the best pass blocking tailback of all time.
4- Barry Sanders- In only 10 seasons he became the most dangerous big play threat in NFL history. He ran 3,062 times for 15,269 yards.99 tds and a 5.0 average. He added 352 catches for 2,921 yards and 10 tds.
5- Earl Campbell- Ive never seen such a big man run so fast. He was used up by Bum Phillips with the Oilers and Saints or he would have had a longer more productive career. In 9 seasons he had 2,187 attempts for 9,407 yards, 74 tds and a 4.3 average. He added 121 catches for 806 yards with no tds.
6- Tony Dorsett- Had the longest run in NFL History with a 99 yarder for Dallas against the Vikings with only 10 men on the field for the “Boys” He was pure speed and the only player I ever saw run down Darrell Green of the Redskins from behind. In 12 seasons in Dallas and Denver he rushed 2,936 times for 12,739 yards, 77 tds and a 4.3 average. He added 398 catches for 3,554 yards and 13 tds.
7- OJ Simpson- Now known for some bad things but he was a great RB, and the first to break the 2,000 yard mark for a season. In 11 seasons with the Bills and 49ers he ran 2,404 times for 11,236 yards, 61 tds and a very good 4.7 averages. Added 203 catches for 2,142 yards and 14 tds.
8- Eric Dickerson- Maybe best known for wearing every kind of protective device or pad known to man. Part of SMU’s famed Pony Express Backfield with Craig James in college he took the NFL by storm. In 12 seasons with the Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons he ran 2,996 times for 13,259 yards and 90 tds for a 4.4 average. Added 281 catches for 2,137 yards and 6 tds.
9- John Riggins- In 14 seasons with the Jets and Redskins The “Diesel” was know for breaking tackles and scoring tds. He ran 2,916 times for 11,352 yards, 104 tds and a 3.9 average he added 250 receptions for 2,090 yards and 12 tds
10- Marcus Allen- Like Water Payton he could run, catch and throw. In 16 seasons with the Raiders and Chiefs, he ran 3,022 times for 12,243 yards, 123 tds and a 4.1 average. He added 587 receptions for 5,411 yards and 21 tds.