When it comes to accomplishments in the NFL very few things deserve banners within stadiums (unless you are the Indianapolis Colts).
The Dallas Cowboys have five Super Bowl banners hanging inside of AT&T Stadium to commemorate their world championships. There is another banner in the building and it celebrates one of the most impressive individual accomplishments in league history. It honors franchise great Emmitt Smith as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
While the record itself isn’t on the same pedestal that a Super Bowl win is, it is certainly something that Cowboys fans are proud of and want to hold on to forever. There is only one all-time leading rusher and the fact that is Emmitt Smith is very cool.
Could Adrian Peterson (or Frank Gore) catch Emmitt Smith soon?
Emmitt Smith has 18,355 rushing yards to his name and won’t be adding to that total. Interestingly enough, while we are in the pass-heaviest era that we have ever seen two of the other four running backs in the top five are both active. They are Frank Gore (third) and Adrian Peterson (fifth).
You may have forgotten that Frank Gore signed with the New York Jets this offseason, and considering that they have Le’Veon Bell, it is hard to see him getting a lot of opportunities to make up the difference (he currently has 15,347 yards). He’s had less than 750 yards in each of his last two seasons for full perspective.
Adrian Peterson is a bit of a different story. He currently has 14,216 rushing yards and is coming off of an almost 900-yard season in Washington last year. He had over 1,000 the year before. In fact, since landing in our nation’s capital two years ago, Peterson has found the resurgence that he seemingly was hoping for in 2017 when he signed with the New Orleans Saints (then Alvin Kamara happened).
While it has only been two years and this number would be somewhat difficult to sustain, Adrian Peterson has averaged 970 yards in his two seasons with Washington. He would have to play a little over four more years and hold that same pace, and what do you know, he is considering apparently playing maybe four more years.
In 2024 ... 39-year-old Adrian Peterson will STILL be running over defenders?!?!
The future Hall of Famer says he believes that’s entirely possible ... telling TMZ Sports he’s gunning to play FOUR more years in the NFL!!
“Man, why not four more years?” AD says. “Why not?!”
Of course, Peterson has never made it a secret he wants to play a whole lot longer than most running backs ever do ... but four more years is a big goal even for him.
Adrian Peterson has never won a Super Bowl and if he’s unable to, having one of the game’s more prestigious records is a nice consolation prize of sorts. It makes sense for him to chase Emmitt Smith until he feels like it is no longer sustainable.
Of course, it is certainly worth mentioning that Washington has Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, and both command attention and carries that would otherwise go to Adrian Peterson this season, so it’s not just age that he is up against. Until he and Frank Gore are both retired there will still be an opportunity for each of them to reach the record, it is just a matter of whether it happens or not.
Do you think Emmitt Smith’s record is safe?