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Top 10 NFL Running Backs of the 1980s

The Top 10 Ball Carriers of the 1980s
Publish Date: 05/17/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
December 14, 1984 - San Francisco, California, U.S - San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angles Rams at Candlestick Park Sunday, December 14, 1984. 49ers beat the Rams 19-16. Los Angles Rams Running Back Eric Dickerson NFL American Football Herren USA 1984: 49ers 19:16 LA Rams - ZUMAg52_ 19841214_zap_g52_015 Copyright: xAlxGolubx

Top 10 Running Backs of the 80’s Decade

10) Gerald Riggs

Riggs made three pro bowls as an Atlanta Falcon in the Decade and rushed for well over seven thousand yards and 52 touchdowns.

Video: Running Back Gerald Riggs Highlights

Running Back Gerald Riggs Highlights

9) Billy Simms

Injuries destroyed what indeed would have been a hall of fame career. Those inDecade held him to just five seasons played in the decade, and in three of those seasons, he rushed for over one thousand yards.

Video: Billy Sims Highlights

Billy Sims Highlights

8) Earl Campbell

Campbell only played six seasons in the Decade and was dominant in only three of them. He still accumulated more than six thousand rushing yards in the decade. Unfortunately, after the 1980 season, the Oilers fell apart and then he went to a below-average Saints team.

Video: Top Ten Earl Campbell Plays of All Time

Top Ten Earl Campbell Plays of All Time

7) Curt Warner

Warner was a stud who, without injury issues, would have finished much higher on the list. Warner helped turn the Seahawks into a contender with over six thousand rushing yards and 55 touchdowns. Check out our interview with Curt Warner!

Video: Curt Warner Highlights

Curt Warner Highlights

6) Roger Craig

Craig was a do it all back for some of the greatest teams in NFL history. In 1985 Craig had his most outstanding season as he accumulated had 1000 Yards Rushing and a ridiculous 1000 yards receiving. Craig should be in the hall of fame, but being on those great teams sometimes can leave you overshadowed by Montana and Rice. Check out our interview with Roger Craig!

Video: Top Roger Craig Touchdowns | Roger Craig Highlights

Top Roger Craig Touchdowns | Roger Craig Highlights

5) Marcus Allen

Allen was one of the greatest all-around running backs ever to play the game. Allen was the Super Bowl XVIII MVP and had over seven thousand rushing yards during the decade, and almost four thousand receiving yards and was named the Decadeookie of the year.

Video: Marcus Allen Highlights

Marcus Allen Highlights

4) Otis Anderson

Anderson was hurDecadeuse he was on the small market St.Louis Cardinals, and even though he had five one thousand yard seasons during the decade, he was only selected to one pro bowl game. For the decade, he scored 69 touchdowns and had over nine thousand yards rushing.

Video: Ottis Anderson Highlights

Ottis Anderson Highlights

3) Tony Dorsett

If the Cowboys had run their offense throughout the decade he might be number one on this list; he was that good! Dorsett couldDecade all as he showed, with over 2,500 receiving yards and over nine thousand yards rushing for the decade.

Video: Tony Dorsett Highlights

Tony Dorsett Highlights

2) Walter Payton

Payton had almost ten thousand yards rushing for the decade and over three thousand yards receiving. He helped the Bears to their only Super Bowl Championship and was a great leader. Payton may be the greatest all-around running back ever to play the game.

Video: Walter Payton Highlights (Final Version)

Walter Payton Highlights (Final Version)

1) Eric Dickerson

On my all decade list it came down between Payton and Dickerson for number one, but when you look at what these two great running backs did during the decade, Dickerson is hands down the best. Dickerson ran for the most Yards in the Decade and led the NFL in that category four times in the Decade. Dickerson was a one-person show on offense and, in the 1985 Divisional playoffs, ran for 248 yards to lead the Rams over Dallas. He was traded to the Colts in 1987 and took the Colts to their first playoff appearance in 1987 before losing to the Cleveland Browns.

Video: Eric Dickerson Highlights (Final Version)

Eric Dickerson Highlights (Final Version)

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