Here we are. At the culmination of our first edition of the Top 10. We gave honorable mentions and listed the sixth through tenth best running backs in the National Football Leagues history in our last blog. Time to release our final five.
To recap, our Honorable Mentions were as follows; Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson and Thurman Thomas.
Below is the players ranking from 10 to 6.
10. LaDainian Tomlinson
9. Franco Harris
8. Tony Dorsett
7. Marshall Faulk
6. Adrian Peterson
Now for the final edition My Top 10 RB's in NFL history All-Time.
No. 5 Eric Dickerson
"Eric Dickerson was a freak of nature," said Marcus Allen, on the NFL Films The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players in 2010. Dickerson's size and speed allowed him to rack up the numbers earning him the fifty second spot on the NFL's all-time greatest player list and fifth on our all-time running back list.
The former member of the Pony Express duo at SMU (Southern Methodist University) sits at No. 9 overall on the all-time leading rusher board with 13,259 yards. Drafted by the Rams and later traded to the Colts, Dickerson only played in 146 games in his career. He rushed the ball 2,996 times through his 12 year career. He averaged 4.4 yard per a carry and scored 90 rushing touchdowns.
This 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee owns the rights to four league rushing titles, a membership to the 2,000 single-season yard club and still holds the single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984 with the Rams. Dickerson is a 6-time Pro Bowler, a 5-time All-Pro, the 1983 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and the 1986 AP offensive Player of the Year.
No. 4 Jim Brown
Jim Brown is a living legend among the NFL and the pro athlete community. Brown, only played in 118 games throughout nine seasons in the NFL. He also played in an era ('57-'65) when the season was only 12 games ('57-'60) and 14 games ('61-'65) long.
At 6'2" tall and 232-pounds, Brown was a force to be reckon with on the gridiron. He rushed the ball 2,359 times in his career for 12,312 yards. He won the rushing title eight of the nine seasons he played football. Brown is still ranked 11th all-time with 12,312 yards and 12th all-time in a single-season with 1,863 yards during his 1963 campaign.
Brown racked up the touchdowns back when seasons were much shorter, as he totaled 126, which 106 of them came via the ground attack. He is also ranked 5th among all players all-time with 5.2 yards per carry, only behind Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Marion Mortley, and Jamaal Charles.
This Pro Football Hall of Fame full Back was inducted in 1971 following his 9-time Pro Bowl nods. He was also a 8-time All-Pro, an NFL Champ (prior to creation of Super Bowl), 3-time MVP, and the 1963 Bert Bell Award winner.
No. 3 Barry Sanders
Ranked fourth all-time on the career rushing list with 15,269 yards, Barry Sanders was is the most elusive running back to ever play football. Standing a mere 5'8" and 203-pounds, Sanders made defenses feel like they were trying to bottle a breeze. He played in 153 games while running the ball 3,062 times over his ten year career with the Detroit Lions.
Sanders rushed for over a 1,000 yards every season of his career, while capturing the rushing title four times. He averaged an impressive 5.0 yards per carry and scored 109 touchdowns total, including the 99 rushing TD's.
The former Lions great running back stands among only seven other men in history to have rushed for 2,000 yards in a single-season with his 2,053 yards in his 1997 campaign. Sanders earned pro bowl selections all ten seasons of his career, while earning All-Pro 6 times. He was the 1989 AP Off. Rookie of the Year, the 1994 Bert Bell Award winner, the 1994 AP Off. Player of the Year, the 1997 Bert Bell Award winner and the 1997 AP Off. Player of the Year.
No. 2 Emmitt Smith