With recent rule changes aimed to increase scoring, today’s NFL has shifted to a league dominated by quarterbacks and passing attacks. However, not long ago, franchise running backs were the focal point of every successful NFL team. In a league that has seen so many iconic feature backs throughout its history, it’s impossible to assemble an “all-time greatest” list that doesn’t spark at least some level of criticism. In an effort to account for variables such as shortened seasons and injuries, career averages were a major determining factor when comparing players. For example, Jim Brown may rank 9th on the all-time rushing list, but he ranks 1st in career yards per game. Should Brown be penalized because the NFL season lasted only 12 games from 1957-1960 and just 14 games from 1961-1965?
The final slide includes honorable mentions — extremely worth players who just missed the cut. Here are the 10 greatest running backs in NFL history.