List of National Football League rushing yards leaders

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For leaders of each NFL season, see List of National Football League rushing champions.

This is a list of National Football League running backs by total career rushing yards. This list includes all running backs who have rushed for at least 10,000 yards.

Active players listed in bold type.

Players with 10,000 rushing yards or more[edit]

Rank[1] Player Seasons by team Total
carries
Total
yards
gained[2]
Overall yards
per carry
average[3]
Year of induction into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
1 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys (19902002)
Arizona Cardinals (20032004)
4,409 18,355 4.2 2010
2 Walter Payton Chicago Bears (19751987) 3,838 16,726 4.4 1993
3 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions (19891998) 3,062 15,269 5.0 2004
4 Curtis Martin New England Patriots (19951997)
New York Jets (19982005)
3,518 14,101 4.0 2012
5 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers (20012009)
New York Jets (20102011)
3,174 13,684 4.3 Eligible in 2017[4]
6 Jerome Bettis Los Angeles Rams (19931995[5])
Pittsburgh Steelers (19962005)
3,479 13,662 3.9 2015[6]
7 Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams (19831987[7])
Indianapolis Colts (19871991)
Los Angeles Raiders (1992)
Atlanta Falcons (1993)
2,996 13,259 4.4 1999
8 Tony Dorsett Dallas Cowboys (19771987)
Denver Broncos (1988)
2,936 12,739 4.3 1994
9 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (19571965) 2,359 12,312 5.2 1971
10 Marshall Faulk Indianapolis Colts (19941998)
St. Louis Rams (19992005)
2,836 12,279 4.3 2011
11 Edgerrin James Indianapolis Colts (19992005)
Arizona Cardinals (20062008)
Seattle Seahawks (2009)
3,028 12,246 4.0 One time finalist
12 Marcus Allen Los Angeles Raiders (19821992)
Kansas City Chiefs (19931997)
3,022 12,243 4.1 2003
13 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers (20052014)
Indianapolis Colts (2015–Present)
2,729 12,225 4.4 Active/Not eligible[4]
14 Franco Harris Pittsburgh Steelers (19721983)
Seattle Seahawks (1984)
2,949 12,120 4.1 1990
15 Thurman Thomas Buffalo Bills (19881999)
Miami Dolphins (2000)
2,877 12,074 4.2 2007
16 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings (2007–Present) 2,412 11,725 4.9 Active/Not eligible[4]
17 Fred Taylor Jacksonville Jaguars (19982008)
New England Patriots (20092010)
2,534 11,695 4.6 None
18 Steven Jackson St. Louis Rams (20042012)
Atlanta Falcons (20132014)
New England Patriots (2015)
2,764 11,438 4.1 Active/Not eligible[4]
19 John Riggins New York Jets (19711975)
Washington Redskins (19761985)
2,916 11,352 3.9 1992
20 Corey Dillon Cincinnati Bengals (19972003)
New England Patriots (20042006)
2,618 11,241 4.3 None
21 O. J. Simpson Buffalo Bills (19691977)
San Francisco 49ers (19781979)
2,404 11,236 4.7 1985
22 Warrick Dunn Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19972001)
Atlanta Falcons (20022007)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2008)
2,669 10,967 4.1 None
23 Ricky Watters San Francisco 49ers (19921994)
Philadelphia Eagles (19951997)
Seattle Seahawks (19982001)
2,622 10,643 4.1 None
24 Jamal Lewis Baltimore Ravens (20002006)
Cleveland Browns (20072009)
2,542 10,607 4.2 None
25 Thomas Jones Arizona Cardinals (20002002)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003)
Chicago Bears (20042006)
New York Jets (20072009)
Kansas City Chiefs (20102011)
2,678 10,591 4.0 Eligible in 2017[4]
26 Tiki Barber New York Giants (19972006) 2,217 10,449 4.7 None
27 Eddie George Tennessee Titans (1996[8]2003)
Dallas Cowboys (2004)
2,865 10,441 3.6 None
28 Ottis Anderson St. Louis Cardinals (19791986[9])
New York Giants (19861992)
2,562 10,273 4.0 None
29 Ricky Williams New Orleans Saints (19992001)
Miami Dolphins (20022010)
Baltimore Ravens (2011)
2,431 10,009 4.1 Eligible in 2017[4]

Active players with 8,000 yards or more[edit]

As of Week 2 of the 2016 season.

Progressive rushing yards record[edit]

Seven players have been recognized as having held the career rushing yards record in the NFL. Since reliable yardage statistics were not recorded prior to 1932, the first NFL player recognized as the career leader in rushing yards was Cliff Battles, who played from 1932 to 1937 for the Boston Braves/Boston Redskins/Washington Redskins.[10] He led the NFL with 576 yards in 1932, and held on to the record throughout his career. Emmitt Smith has held the record since surpassing Walter Payton's long-standing total in 2002.

Reign Player Team(s) Carries Yards Average Induction
19321941 Cliff Battles Washington Redskins (19321937) 839 3,511 4.2 1968
19411949 Clarke Hinkle Green Bay Packers (19321941) 1,171 3,860 3.3 1964
19491958 Steve Van Buren Philadelphia Eagles (19441951) 1,320 5,860 4.4 1965
19581963 Joe Perry San Francisco 49ers (19481960, 1963)
Baltimore Colts (19611962)
1,737 8,378 4.8 1969
19631984 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (19571965) 2,359 12,312 5.2 1971
19842002 Walter Payton Chicago Bears (19751987) 3,838 16,726 4.4 1993
2002–present Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys (19992002)
Arizona Cardinals (20032004)
4,409 18,355 4.2 2010

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rank is through the end of the 2015 season.
  2. ^ Total is through the end of the 2015 season.
  3. ^ Average is rounded to the nearest tenth.
  4. ^ a b c d e f A player is not eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until he has been fully retired for five calendar years or is deceased; player was not eligible for induction upon the commencement of the 2015 season.
  5. ^ In 1995, the Los Angeles Rams became known as the St. Louis Rams after the franchise relocated.
  6. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2015/01/31/Steelers-champion-Jerome-Bettis-elected-to-Pro-Football-Hall-of-Fame/stories/201501310191
  7. ^ Dickerson was traded mid-season in 1987; he played three games for the Rams and nine for the Colts.
  8. ^ In the 1996 season, George's first, the Tennessee Titans were known as the Houston Oilers; the franchise relocated prior to the commencement of the 1997 season.
  9. ^ Anderson was traded during mid-season in 1986; he played four games for the Cardinals and eight for the Giants.
  10. ^ Frye, Brian (June 28, 2016). "History of the Career Rushing Yards Record". thegridfe.com. GridFe. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]