The Best 10 Running Backs in NFL History. Top Ranking

Top 10 Running Backs in NFL History

Since the inception of the NFL, running backs have played an essential role. Even in today's era of football, where quarterbacks and wide receivers are often the rages, there is no denying that there is a certain thrill in watching an exceptional running back shred through defences, break through tackles, and leave defenders gasping in surprise. Similar incredible feelings can be obtained by playing in an online casino real money when professionalism goes along with luck, making everyone admire it. In NFL history, there have been numerous best running backs, many deserving to make this list.

However, we must narrow it down to the top 10 best running backs. They include:

  • Tony Dorsett

  • Gale Sayers

  • Eric Dickerson

  • Adrian Peterson 

  • Marshall Faulk

  • LaDanian Tomlinson

  • Barry Sanders

  • Walter Payton

  • Emmit Smith

  • Jim Brown

Tony Dorsett

Dorsett was one of the best running backs in history. Every time he touched the ball, defenders feared him. Although Dorsett never led the league in rushing yards, he surpassed 1,000 yards in a season eight times and was Rookie of the Year in 1977. Tony Dorsett was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding running backs of his time, possessing exceptional receiving skills and explosive speed. 

He later retired in 1982 as one of the Dallas Cowboys' all-time leading rushers with 12,739 yards, ranking second on the all-time list behind the exemplary Walter Payton. If you want to find a casino that the best players choose, looking for it on's top online casinos in Australia is the best option. After all, casino players hone their skills and evoke fan admiration, just like athletes.

Gale Sayers

Although his career was tragically cut shut by an injury, few players possessed an unparalleled brilliance that exuded from Sayers on the football pitch. He was also quick and had an uncanny ability to make defenders miss. Sayers etched his name in the sands of time by setting records, including six astonishing touchdowns, which still stand today. His rookie season also displayed an exceptional ability, as he scored 22 touchdowns, the highest to have been achieved by a rookie. 

As a returner, he averaged 14.9 yards per punt return and 31.1 yards per kick return. Although Sayers rebounded from a leg injury to lead the NFL in rushing yards the following year, he finally retired in 1971 following another knee injury. He was often referred to as the greatest of all time by those who played with and against him— If not for the damages, there is no telling what Sayers would have done with a few more healthy years.

Eric Dickerson

At over 6’3 tall, Eric Dickerson was pretty tall for a running back. However, he defied this by having his speed and agility take him to extraordinary heights. Dickerson burst into the scene in 1983, and his debut season displayed a great talent. He amassed 18 touchdowns and 1,808 rushing yards, crushing the 2,000-yard barrier the following year. This instantly earned him the Rookie of the Year award. Not one to rest on his oars, Dickerson blew the NFL away with a fantastic 2,105 rushing yards and scored over ten rushing touchdowns in one season. He eventually retired as one of the best rushing backs in history with 13,259 rushing yards and other record-breaking achievements such as five first-team All-Pro appearances, six Pro Bowl Selections, and finally, the Offensive Player of the Year award in 1986.

Adrian Peterson 

With a rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism, Peterson was the epitome of an ideal running back. He holds the most esteemed NFL record for the most rushing backs in a single game and ranks as one of the top five in the history of touchdowns and running backs. 97 touchdowns and 11,747 rushing yards punctuated his career. During his stint as a running back, he enthralled fans and left opponents in his wake. Peterson's greatness was evidenced by his numerous accolades and undeniable impact on the field.

Marshall Faulk

The St Louis Rams couldn't be called “The Greatest Show on the Turf'' without Marshall Faulk. He was a football phenomenon, carving a name for himself and showcasing an exceptional blend of receiving and rushing skills. In 1999, Faulk racked up 1,048 receiving yards and 1,381 yards, making him one of the three players to achieve that feat. He also led the St Louis Rams to victory in the Super Bowl and holds the NFL record for the most consecutive seasons with at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage. His accomplishments were notably rewarded with seven Pro Bowl selections, three first-team All-Pro honours, and two NFL MVP awards.

LaDanian Tomlinson

Famously known as “L.T.,” LaDanian Tomlinson is renowned for being one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. With impressive career statistics of 4,772 receiving yards, 624 receptions,13,684 rushing yards, 145 rushing touchdowns, and 162 touchdowns, Tomlinson's impact on the field was unforgettable. He also receives numerous awards, including the record for consecutive games with a touchdown, spanning 18 games, and a single-season rushing touchdown record of 28. He also received the coveted NFL MVP award in 2006, secured five Pro Bowl selections, and was named to the All-Pro team three times. These achievements earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2017. His electrifying playing style and his ability to leave his opponent grasping for thin air proved to all that he was a rare breed who could do it all.

Barry Sanders

Despite having a career that spanned only ten seasons, it was punctuated by an impressive selection to the Pro Bowl in all ten seasons, two NFL MVP awards, and four NFL rushing titles. He also had a rushing yard of no less than 1,115 for each season. Throughout his stint with the Detroit Lions, he was extraordinary. This was evidenced by his MVP title in 1997, where he culminated in a surprising 2,053 rushing yards.

Walter Payton

Looking for a running back synonymous with excellence? Walter “Sweetness” Payton was the man to call. His career was marked by all-around accomplishments and an NFL legacy that extends far beyond his contemporaries. As a nine-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion (XX) with the legendary '85 Bears, and a three-time league MVP, Payton cemented his name as one of the greats. His career total of 16,726 rushing yards currently places him as the fifth all-time greatest. His powerful arms and high steps bedazzled defenders from 1975 to 1987. His exceptional and unrivalled talent was evident to all and sundry.

Emmit Smith

Another Dallas Cowboys superstar, Emmit Smith, is an all-time leading rush back who played 226 games in thirteen seasons with the Cowboys and also the Cardinals. He's also able to easily find his end zone, leading the league in rushing touchdowns three times and rushing yards four times. His extraordinary talent for dismantling defences sets him apart from any other running back in NFL history. Even after 15 years in the league, his records for career rushing touchdowns and career rushing yards remain unchallenged, a testament to his dominance and unparalleled talent.

Jim Brown

According to stats and various reports, Jim is one of the best running backs ever. He's arguably one of the top five greatest footballers of all time. Brown dominated the game like no one could, leading the league by rushing in eight of his nine seasons and touchdowns in five. Brown also won four NFL awards and became a three-time MVP. He was also a Pro-Bowler in all nine seasons and All-Pro in eight. This cemented his status as a football legend. He likely would have gone on to put up more impressive seasons, but unfortunately, he retired at 29 to pursue an acting career.

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