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Top Running Backs (Related Stories)


Running Back stories in the SI Vault

The First Taste Of O.J. Is OKBy Edwin Shrake, August 25, 1969Signed and sealed, Simpson delivered himself to Buffalo, "the Miami of the North," and though he was sore and unsure in the Bills' 24-12 loss to Detroit, he showed he may indeed be worth $350,000.

Hell On WheelsBy Rick Telander, December 7, 1981Having mastered The System, Dallas' Tony Dorsett is speeding to the finest season he has had since turning pro.

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He Can Run, But He Can't HideBy Dr. Z, August 16, 1982The Bears' Walter Payton has trained prodigiously for the new season, but will probably take the same old pounding.

The Ascent Of An EnigmaBy Roy Blount Jr., August 23, 1982The Steelers' Franco Harris is a man of few words but a lot of yardage, and though some derogate his style, he's climbing to a record. Motoring Along On A Freeway Of His OwnBy Rick Telander, Jaunary 13, 1986Eric Dickerson was unstoppable as he rushed for a record 248 yards to propel the Rams past the Cowboys 20-0.

A Lamb Among LionsBy Austin Murphy, September 10, 1990A gentle soul off the field, Barry Sanders runs up a storm for Detroit.

Emmitt UnpluggedBy John Ed Bradley, July 1, 1996High-voltage running back Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys may look as if he's relaxing, but don't be fooled.

How Is He So Good On a Team So Bad?By Michael Silver, September 6, 2004Tough-minded LaDainian Tomlinson is the league's highest-paid running back, but he doesn't get his props because he plays for the woeful Chargers.