Jim Brown won eight NFL rushing titles in his nine NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns and is considered the most dominant and greatest football player of all time. That makes him the best player ever at his position – fullback. So who is the greatest halfback of all time? That’s the subject of our weekly Talk of Fame Network poll. Here are your options – all were first-ballot Hall of Famers:
Eric Dickerson. The NFL’s eighth all-time leading rusher. A four-time NFL rushing champion. Rushed for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns in 11 seasons and also caught 281 passes for 2,137 yards and six more scores with four teams. Set the NFL single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984.
Walter Payton. The NFL’s second all-time leading rusher. The 1977 NFL MVP and a one-time rushing champion. Rushed for 16,726 yards and 110 touchdowns and also caught 492 passes for 4,538 yards and 15 more scores in 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears. Ranks second all-time with 77 career 100-yrd rushing games. Like Brown, his team won one NFL championship.
Barry Sanders. The NFL’s third all-time leading rusher. The 1997 NFL MVP and a four-time rushing champion. Rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns and also caught 352 passes for 2,921 yards and 10 more scores in his 10 seasons with the Detroit Lions. Ranks third all-time with 76 100-yard rushing games. Along with Brown the only backs ever to average five yards per career carry.
Gale Sayers. Like Brown, a member of both the NFL’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams. A two-time NFL rushing champion. Rushed for 4,956 yards and 39 touchdowns and also caught 112 passes for 1,307 yards and nine more scores in his seven seasons with the Chicago Bears -- a career that was interrupted by two knee injuries. Sayers led the NFL in scoring in 1965 and holds the record for career kickoff return average at 30.6 yards.
Emmitt Smith. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher. The 1993 NFL MVP and a four-time rushing champion. Rushed for 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns and also caught 515 passes for 3,224 yards and 11 more scores in his 15 seasons with two teams. Smith also led the NFL in scoring in 1995 and was the key offensive player on three Super Bowl champions in Dallas. Ranks first all-time with 78 100-yard rushing games.
LaDainian Tomlinson. The NFL’s sixth all-time leading rusher. The 2006 NFL MVP and a two-time rushing champion. Rushed for 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns and also caught 624 passes for 4,772 yards and 17 more scores in his 11 seasons with two teams. The only player in NFL history to have a 100-catch, 1,000-yard rushing season in the same year (2003). Tomlinson led the NFL in scoring in 2006 when he scored a record 31 touchdowns.