Running backs are the heart and soul of every football team. They are the players that carry the weight of the offense on their shoulders, and the ones that fans look to for explosive plays and game-changing moments. However, being a great running back is about more than raw talent and speed; it’s about toughness, determination, and the ability to make something out of nothing. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top five running backs of all time, players who have set the standard for excellence in the position and left a lasting legacy in the game. From Barry Sanders to LaDainian Tomlinson, these players are true legends of the gridiron and their performances will be remembered for years to come.
Top 5 Running Backs Ever
#1 Barry Sanders
Sanders played for the Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998 and was one of the most elusive and dynamic running backs in NFL history. He rushed for over 15,000 yards and scored 99 touchdowns. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, a three-time first-team All-Pro, and a one-time MVP. Sanders was known for his quickness, agility, and ability to make defenders miss.
#2 Walter Payton
Payton played for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987 and was one of the most complete running backs to ever play the game. He rushed for over 16,000 yards and scored 110 touchdowns. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro six times. Payton was known for his toughness, durability, and ability to run, catch, and block.
#3 LaDainian Tomlinson
Tomlinson played for the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 2001 to 2011 and is one of the most productive and consistent running backs of his era. He rushed for over 13,000 yards and scored 145 touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro three times. Tomlinson was known for his vision, patience, and ability to make defenders miss.
#4 Eric Dickerson
Dickerson played for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders, and Atlanta Falcons from 1983 to 1993 and is second all-time in rushing yards with over 13,000 yards. He has also scored 90 touchdowns and was a six-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro four times. Dickerson was known for his speed and power, and his ability to break long runs.
#5 Emmitt Smith
Smith played for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals from 1990 to 2004 and is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards. He also scored 164 touchdowns, was an eight-time Pro Bowler, and a four-time First-Team All-Pro. Smith was known for his power, determination, and ability to gain extra yards after contact.