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**Official** Top Ten RBs of All Time Series (1 Viewer)

Who should make the next poll as a candidate?


  • Total voters
    144

Sultans

Footballguy
I voted Sanders although I considered Payton and even Tomlinson. Thurman Thomas is my choice to be added to the list. I really feel if he and Emmitt switched places. Thurman would be perceived as the better back. Thomas is so underrated.

 

FUBAR

Footballguy
Wanted to vote Barry but went Tomlinson. 3rd most Rush/Rec TDs, not far behind Barry in yardage. Perhaps the best receiving RB ever.

Thurman Thomas needs to make the 1st list.

 

Catbird

Footballguy
Although Brown, Payton and Barry are pretty easy in my mind and in that order, after that this gets tougher depending on what we are voting for. If its best player at his peak or guy toughest to bring down, for me Gale Sayers and Earl Campbell creep into the picture along with LT, OJ, maybe Dickerson and a couple of others (Peterson?) ahead of Emmitt. If its best stats or 'had the most productive career', Emmitt can't fall any further than 4th and could be first on a numbers-dominated vote. And with production and numbers, Faulk moves up (I am first a Rams fan, but don't believe 'smartest' or 'most changed the position' means as much in a best running back ever discussion). And in terms of career production, the comparative short-timers like Sayers and Campbell and OJ fall much further back.

I know its a combination, but to me, when I think of the best running back, its the guy who most impacted a game, the guy who in his prime made the most out of a play given what he had to work with. And for me that favors Sayers, Campbell, LT and OJ. With career production an obvious component, though, unless I am convinced otherwise, I'll vote for LT next as he scores highest in both areas, then look more closely at Emmitt for unmatched production and Campbell and OJ for superior skills (with my favorite runner Sayers just having too short a peak).

 

Manster

Footballguy
these things are tough. Ultimately, I dont think you can say one guy is #1, 2, 3, etc.........

I like to group guys as I cant really choose some guys over others.

the first group, to me, is easiest. Brown, Payton, Barry, Emmitt, are above everyone else.

after that I'd put together OJ, Campbell, Sayers, LT, Dickerson, Faulk, Marcus, Dorsett. I might forget some old time guys, but I didnt see them much, if at all. just being honest.

As for the Emmitt debate: IMO, if he is not in your top 5 you are are not being honest with yourself. Pure physical ability and wow factor are not what Emmitt was about. Being dependable, getting the tough yards, making guys miss tackles, great pass blocking, leadership, toughness, durability......thats what Emmitt was about. His greatness was not in your face like Barry. His moves were more subtle, but they were great if you really watch closely. Look at Emmitts career. He was the epitome of an every down back. I believe he made those Cowboys teams tougher just by being out there. When he wasnt out there they werent nearly as good. Thats greatness.

 

Go Blue

Footballguy
'Manster said:
these things are tough. Ultimately, I dont think you can say one guy is #1, 2, 3, etc.........I like to group guys as I cant really choose some guys over others.the first group, to me, is easiest. Brown, Payton, Barry, Emmitt, are above everyone else.after that I'd put together OJ, Campbell, Sayers, LT, Dickerson, Faulk, Marcus, Dorsett. I might forget some old time guys, but I didnt see them much, if at all. just being honest.As for the Emmitt debate: IMO, if he is not in your top 5 you are are not being honest with yourself. Pure physical ability and wow factor are not what Emmitt was about. Being dependable, getting the tough yards, making guys miss tackles, great pass blocking, leadership, toughness, durability......thats what Emmitt was about. His greatness was not in your face like Barry. His moves were more subtle, but they were great if you really watch closely. Look at Emmitts career. He was the epitome of an every down back. I believe he made those Cowboys teams tougher just by being out there. When he wasnt out there they werent nearly as good. Thats greatness.
I am an Emmitt fan, but If I'm going to be honest with myself, there is no way I can put in the top 5 RB's of all time. He'd be my #1 for best career ever, but that is not the same. I agree with everything you said about Emmitt. My only issue is that running ability should be the #1 thing you look at when evaluating a RB. We all need a benchmark for a great RB. My personal benchmark is 4.5 yards per carry for a season. I want to know what the RB can do with the football every time they touch it. Emmitt played with a hall of fame QB and WR plus a pro-bowl TE for his first 6 years in the league. Then you add in the offensive line that was well above average. Emmitt never saw 8 in the box. He had plenty of room to run but could only muster 4.2 yards per carry for his career. I find it very hard to believe that a great RB could not do more with what Emmitt was given. That is the reason I can't put him in my top 5. Seasons with a 4.5 yards per carry average or higher:Jim Brown 8 of 9Barry Sanders 8 of 10Walter Payton 5 of 13Emmitt Smith 3 of 15If you look at the supporting casts of Sanders and Payton, it was truly amazing how well they ran the football. I don't think Smith belongs with the others when it comes to running ability.
 
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Manster

Footballguy
Point taken Go Blue.

Emmitt never had Bo Jackson's explosiveness or Barry's moves. Hell, he wasnt sposed to do what he did. All he did was set a goal to become the all-time leader rusher and he accomplished it.

IMO, Emmitt's durability, all-around skillset, and career accomplishments put him near the top. I think the "surrounded by great players" is overblown.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Payton should have been #1, but, failing that, should clearly be #2. Missed the "Other (None)" selection in the second poll...

 

captbly

Footballguy
As much as I love Barry, Payton was better.I have to believe anyone voting Barry didn't get to see Payton play
Not sure how you figure that. I voted Barry (just now even though the voting is over)and I know for a fact your statement about not seeing Payton play is wrong!Payton played from 1975 until 1987 Barry started in 1989.I am the same age as Barry and graduated high school in 1986. Being a Lions fan I saw the Bears play the Lions 2 times a year avidly since I was 12 (1980, which is 7 years of Payton). So I am not sure how you can say that someone voting for Barry didn't see Payton play. Payton had a better supporting cast and line then Barry did by far, yet Barry rushed for more yards per season (the measuring stick of RBs).Walter payton-1975-1987 Bears--16,726 yardsBarry Sanders-1989-1998 lions--15,269 yards Payton-played 13 years--16726 divided by 13=1286 yards avg a season.Sanders played 10 seasons--15,269 divided by 10 =1526 yards avg a seasonSure you have to factor in that some of us Lions fans also just plain hate the Bears. Maybe you have to exclude all the fans of the same team the player came from? How many of the people that voted for Payton are Bears fans? If they are Bears fans, they are not going to vote for Barry.
 

Cookiemonster

Footballguy
Point taken Go Blue. Emmitt never had Bo Jackson's explosiveness or Barry's moves. Hell, he wasnt sposed to do what he did. All he did was set a goal to become the all-time leader rusher and he accomplished it.IMO, Emmitt's durability, all-around skillset, and career accomplishments put him near the top. I think the "surrounded by great players" is overblown.
I do give Emmit credit for being the most efficient RB for his abilities. He was just a hair behind Faulk/Holmes/Barry/Sayers as far as vision. He got the most out of his runs and was very good at avoiding being pounded on. He could have earned a little higher ypc if he was a more headstrong/violent RB, but IMO the reason that he was able to play so much is due in part to the fact that he saved himself when he could. That's not a bad quality from a star player who is making a career out of it, and I can't argue that Emmit's career was easily the best aside from maybe Big Jim. I voted Barry though, and Emmit doesn't make my list for a little while. I am voting more towards, "If I want this RB on any hypothetical team, who do I want?" Who are my all-time Pro Bowl picks based on their peak? I like Dickerson, Payton, OJ, LT, Faulk, Sayers, Bo, Campbell, Peterson and TD still over Emmit. Not in that particular order. Admittedly haven't seen a lot of Dorsett.
 

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