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     The backs of NFL history have to sit and marvel how this small guy from Florida managed to rush for an NFL Record 18,355 yards. Emmitt Smith actually rushed for another NFL Record 1,586 yards in the playoffs. Thats a mere 59 yards short of 20,000 yards in his career? Take a look at some of the backs who've tried to chase him down.?Tomlinson has 12.490 yards and at 31 has hit a wall. LT managed just 730 yards last year on a playoff team. LT is 5,865 yards behind Emmitt? Huh? The Smith record is incredible. The ironman was tackled 5,319 times. Cal Rip.. who ? Old Warrior #22 rarely missed a game. A few other backs have tried to give some chase. Clinton Portis got off to a good start but at 29 he has only 9,696 yards. He is out of the picture showing wear and tear already.  Ram Steven Jackson started out on fire but has slowed his pace to 6.707 yards at age 27. Most backs hit the wall at 30/31? Jackson is a laughable 11,648 yards behind Smith? Hes gone. Sf tough rb from Miami Frank Gore has gotten off to a good start but despite his play has only 5,561 yards at the age of 27. Gore isn't 1/3 of the way there? He isn't gonna come close. Gore has been banged up. It just makes the record that much more amazing. The Viking star rb Adrian Peterson has been very good with 4,484 yards in just three years. With his avg dropping every year and his Campbell like running style he will never get nearly 14,000 yards to pass Smith. Titan rb Chris Johnson is a great talent. In just two years he has 3,234 yards. But at 25 he needs 15,121 yards to tie Emmitt? Hes got what 6 years left? What Emmitt Smith did was amazing. It is a record that never will be broken. Fans can argue who the best back of alltime was but the warrior of alltime in the rb slot is Emmitt Smith.  Brian Westbrook a star rb of the last decade with the Eagles? He rushed for 5,595 yards? Thats not even 1/3 of what Emmitt ran for? Last I heard Westbrook has been put out to pasture as a finished rb. Emmitt Smith was the ultimate warrior with 194 total touchdowns in his epic career.

   

July 20, 2010  12:06 PM ET

I'll start off by saying that Emmitt definitely is one of the greatest RB's of all time, BUT no other RB has had a better team to play with than him. And he only broke the record to break the record. Barry Sanders retired out of respect for Payton's record - he could have continued to play, but decided to "hang it up" because he saw his team was a long way from winning a championship and did NOT want to continue playing for an individual record in the ultimate team sport. I recall a game when Emmitt wanted to dress for the game and go in for one play just to keep his playing streak alive eventhough he was too hurt to play - are you kidding me??? His longevity and ability to read blocks is right up there with Sweetness, but most of his yardage was a product of one of the best offensive lines in NFL history and one of the best teams in NFL history (Aikman, Irvin, Novecek, Johnson - arguably the best at their positions in the entire league in those days). Name me the great position players on Payton's teams? MacMahon, Gault, Moorehead, Suhey? The first year an offensive lineman made the Pro Bowl on Payton's team was in 1985! Three years before he retired and AFTER he had the record! I will also add that Payton retired when the writing was on the wall - Neal Anderson was seeing more playing time, so Wally called it a career. He could have went to another team and racked up more yardage. I agree with you, Emmitt was one one of the greatest, but Walter Payton stands alone at the top of the mountain.

October 4, 2010  02:05 PM ET

That GREAT line that you brought up Smith had has ZERO Hall of Famers til this day? Dorsett also had ZERO Hall of Famers blocking for him. Don't take away things from Cowboys players. We don't hear or read anyone taking anything away from the Montanas and Rices? Didn't they play with great teams? Guess that statement only applies to Cowboy players.

October 5, 2010  10:12 AM ET

people always tend to ride barry sanders jock. his o- line would have seemed great too or at least decent if he wasnt always getting the ball and running backwards all of the time. most people that say that about emmitt wasnt watching the games when he was bouncing off of tackles. he didnt always get the ball and have wide open holes. emmitt also was shaking off tacklers but the difference was that he wasnt doing too much. he ran forward and not sideways.

 
October 5, 2010  10:22 AM ET

on top of that barry sanders is a quitter. he didnt want to keep playing football because he didnt want to run for a record knowing that his team wouldnt win a championship.thats code talk for quitter

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