Let’s Look At The 10,000 Yard Rushers
We’re going to take a look at running backs who have managed to rush for more than 10,000 yards in their careers. Having a 10,000 yard rushing career in professional football is the sign of a very good, if not great running back. Three kinds of running backs achieve 10,000 yards rushing in their careers: the very good who have a long career, the great who excel for a shorter amount of time, and the great who also have a long career. Through the end of the 2007 season there have been 23 players to gain over 10,000 yards in a season, and they are (in alphabetical order):
Marcus Allen – Raiders, Chiefs
Ottis Anderson – Cardinals, Giants
Tiki Barber – Giants
Jerome Bettis – Rams, Steelers
Jim Brown – Browns
Eric Dickerson – Rams, Colts, Raiders, Falcons
Corey Dillon – Bengals, Patriots
Tony Dorsett – Cowboys, Broncos
Warrick Dunn – Buccaneers, Falcons
Marshall Faulk – Colts, Rams
Eddie George – Oilers/Titans, Cowboys
Franco Harris – Steelers, Seahawks
Edgerrin James – Colts, Cardinals
Curtis Martin – Patriots, Jets
Walter Payton – Bears
John Riggins – Jets, Redskins
Barry Sanders – Lions
O.J. Simpson – Bills, 49ers
Emmitt Smith – Cowboys, Cardinals
Fred Taylor – Jaguars
Thurman Thomas – Bills, Dolphins
LaDainian Tomlinson – Chargers
Ricky Watters – 49ers, Eagles, Seahawks
There are three active running backs who have gained over 10,000 rushing yards in their careers: Edgerrin James, Fred Taylor, and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Only one player has gained over 10,000 rushing yards while playing their career in the 1950s and 60s: Jim Brown.
Only four players have gained over 10,000 rushing yards while playing a large part of their career in the 1970s: Franco Harris, Walter Payton, John Riggins and O.J. Simpson.
Only one team has had as many as three 10,000 yard rushers on their roster: The Dallas Cowboys (Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, and Eddie George).