Paul Palmer (American football)

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Paul Palmer
No. 26, 25
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1964-10-14) October 14, 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth: Bethesda, Maryland
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 184 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school: Potomac (MD) Churchill
College: Temple
NFL draft: 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Consensus All-American (1986)
  • All-Pro (1987)
  • 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly (1987)
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts: 451
Rushing yards: 1,700
Receptions: 88
Receiving yards: 892
Touchdowns: 10
Stats at
Stats at

Paul Woodrow Palmer (born October 14, 1964) is a former professional American football running back. He played in the National Football League for three seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Detroit Lions, and the Dallas Cowboys.

Early years[edit]

Palmer attended Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland. He went on to starred at Temple University where he still holds several school records including career rushing yards: 4,895 (1983–86), single season rushing yards: 1,866 (1986), and single game rushing yardage: 349 (East Carolina 1986).

Palmer was the runner-up to Vinny Testaverde for the 1986 Heisman Trophy and holds rushing records during his college career at Temple University. After being found in violation of NCAA policies for signing with an agent before his eligibility expired, sixteen of his marks and the six victories the school registered in the 1986 season were eliminated from the record books.

Professional career[edit]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

He was drafted in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he led the AFC in kickoff return average (24.3 yards per attempt) and was named All Pro as a rookie.[1] Palmer rushed for 607 yards in two seasons. After not being able to take over the starting running back position from Christian Okoye, he was waived at the end of the 1988 season.

Detroit Lions[edit]

Palmer was claimed by the Detroit Lions and eventually traded to the Dallas Cowboys for an eighth round draft choice, after just five games in Detroit without a single rushing attempt.[2]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

He became the starting running back after Herschel Walker was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Palmer led the Cowboys with 446 yards on 112 carries during 9 games, on a team that would finish with a 1–15 record for the 1989 season, and that had the second lowest 16-game rushing total in franchise history (after the 2012 season), with quarterback Troy Aikman as the team's second-leading rusher with 302 yards.[3] Palmer played a key role in the only win the team had that season (against the Washington Redskins), when he registered the only 100-yard rushing game of his career, after gaining 110 yards and scoring a touchdown.[4]

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

In 1990 the Cincinnati Bengals signed him in Plan B free agency, but would not be able to make the team.[5]

Barcelona Dragons (WLAF)[edit]

He finished his career in the World League of American Football (which would later be renamed to NFL Europe) with the Barcelona Dragons in 1991.


External links[edit]