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Top Ten All-Time NFL Career Rushing Leaders

Learn About the NFL's Ten All-Time Rushing Leaders
Date & Time Thursday August 7, 2014, 12:00 PM (EDT)
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NFL | Learn About the NFL's Ten All-Time Rushing Leaders

Earlier this week, we looked at the NFL’s all-time leading sackers. Today, we’re going to feature another elite group, the leading rushers in the history of the league. While it’s certainly exciting to think about the upcoming season (and tonight’s pre-season games!), I’m a history buff and there’s nothing I love more than the history of football. 


1. Emmitt Smith, who played 13 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before finishing his career with 2 seasons at the Arizona Cardinals, racked-up an incredible 18,335 rushing yards. Nobody else has even come close to touching this record.


2. The famed Walter Payton, who spent his entire 13 year career with the Chicago Bears (and was a member of their infamous '85 D), had 16,726 rushing yards during his time in the league. 


3. Barry Sanders, who amassed 15,269 rushing yards during his 10 year stint with the Detroit Lions, is still a beloved figure around the league. As I’m sure you recall, Sanders played a major role at last year’s revamped Pro Bowl. 


4. Curtis Martin, who played 3 seasons with the New England Patriots before going to the New York Jets for 8 years, had a grand total of 14,101 rushing yards in his career. 


5. LaDainian Tomlinson (the most recent LT to grace the gridiron), had 13,684 rushing yards, during his 11 year career with the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets. Tomlinson hung-up his cleats in 2011, more recently than anyone else on this list. 


6. Jerome Bettis, more commonly known as The Bus, was drafted in 1993 by the Los Angeles Rams. Bettis played for the Rams organization for just 3 years before moving to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he truly made his mark over the course of a decade. In his lengthy career, The Bus racked-up 13,662 rushing yards. 


7. Eric Dickerson, who played for the St. Louis Rams, the Indianapolis Colts, the Rams again, the Oakland Raiders, and the Atlanta Falcons in an 11 year span, had a career total of 13,259 rushing yards. 


8. Tony Dorsett, who played 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before finishing his career with a 1 year stint at the Denver Broncos, amassed 12,739 career rushing yards. 


9. Jim Brown, who played 9 seasons for the Cleveland Browns and remains a household name in northeast Ohio, had 12,312 rushing yards over the course of his career.  


10. Marshall Faulk, who played 5 years for the Indianapolis Colts (where Edgerrin James, who would, ironically, be No. 11 on this list, replaced him) and 7 years for the St. Louis Rams had 12,279 rushing yards during his time in the NFL.

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