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PFT Planet picks Barry over Emmitt, in a landslide

nfl_a_sanders1_195 AP

We put it out to a vote, and the outcome makes Reagan-Mondale look like a photo finish.

Nearly 85 percent of you have picked Barry Sanders over Emmitt Smith in a poll of PFT Planet.

Only 12 percent picked Smith, and three percent called it a tie.

Frankly, we’re surprised it was that close.  Though Emmitt is a Hall of Famer, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and the all-time rushing leader, Barry Sanders was and is one of a kind, and in our book Sanders is in the mix with Jim Brown and Walter Payton as the best ever, with Emmitt at the top of the second cut.

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95 Responses to “PFT Planet picks Barry over Emmitt, in a landslide”
  1. bangthedrum22 says: Jul 15, 2011 11:54 AM

    I think a big factor in this is peoples dislike for the cowboys.

  2. gregjennings85 says: Jul 15, 2011 11:56 AM

    Next poll, Mike?

    This was good stuff, and might help homers come down from their biased views (not likely).

    I suggest:

    Better QB – Manning or Brady?

  3. Knightlines says: Jul 15, 2011 11:58 AM

    …or that Barry was just way better.

  4. skins23 says: Jul 15, 2011 11:58 AM

    If Barry had had Emmitt’s offensive line and other offensive options like Dallas had at TE, WR, and a QB like Aikman, he would have rushed for 20,000 career.

    The guy played on bad teams where defenses could focus just on him and he still was ridiculous.

    Barry and Manning are probably the two best players I have seen in my lifetime. Two guys who I would tune in to watch, just to appreciate their genius.

  5. yelix says: Jul 15, 2011 11:59 AM

    Barry was more fun to watch and was literally the only real offense that team had. He also ran behind a worse O-line. No disrespect to Emmitt or his accomplishments, but this is a pretty easy decision to make.

  6. gregjennings85 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:00 PM

    bangthedrum22:

    I think a bigger factor, in Emmitt getting as many votes as he did, was the Cowboy faithful’s bias.

    In a related note, your name leads me to believe that this issue was particularly close to your heart.

    My condolences on the earth-shattering news that Emmitt Smith is by no means the best RB ever, let alone better than Barry Sanders.

  7. rebuiltsince2010 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:01 PM

    I think a big factor in this is people knowing that Barry was just flat out better

    however you can’t deny Emmitt’s talents, toughness, and playoff performances …. and he does have those rings

  8. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jul 15, 2011 12:02 PM

    Bangthedrum22 hit the nail on the head. Emmitt has 3 superbowl rings to his credit which his team would not have won without his hard work, leadership and dedication. Dallas haters are everywhere!

  9. ytnewton says: Jul 15, 2011 12:02 PM

    No bangthedrum22 it’s because Barry was better than Emmitt, simple really.

  10. cfz28 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:03 PM

    Agreed. Should’t even be that close.

  11. trickbunny says: Jul 15, 2011 12:08 PM

    Emmitt was ssslllooow compared to Barry. Emmitt was in the right place at the right time, behind a massive, powerful, offensive line that was one of the best of all time. That line was so good that the punter could have lined up at RB and found holes/gained yards.

    Ask yourself this: What kind of numbers would Barry Sanders have put up, had he played behind the O-line the Cowboys had for the first half of the 90s? More than Emmitt, for damn sure.

  12. selgaeinla says: Jul 15, 2011 12:10 PM

    Hating the ‘Girls has nothing to do with it. Emmitt ran behind one of the best offensive lines in the history of the game. Sanders carried the Lions on his shoulders for years.

  13. thegreg1 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:11 PM

    Barry will always benefit from the “What if” factor… What if he played out a full career? What if he had a better team?

    He is the better in my mind, but how good we will never know

  14. nyctexan says: Jul 15, 2011 12:12 PM

    This is just another opportunity for ppl to do some cowboy hating. Haters love not giving Emmitt any credit for being the most successful RB of all time… and not quitting on his team.

  15. phuzzball says: Jul 15, 2011 12:14 PM

    I’m not a Cowboy fan at all, but I respect Emmitt Smith and if I were a GM, I would put him on my team in a heartbeat.

    However, Barry Sanders was a team by himself! (I am not a Lions fan either). All he needed was a slit, even if behind the LOS, and he got you 5 yards.

    Being a Dolphin fan, I would’ve given anything if he and Marino could’ve been on the same team. They would’ve had to invent Super Bowl Toe Rings!

    (For all you Jets fans…that would be because they would’ve had more than 10).

  16. mjkelly77 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:16 PM

    Nah …. Barry was just better. One of a kind.

  17. rayvens says: Jul 15, 2011 12:19 PM

    In a nut shell.. its like picking Manning or Brady.

  18. dikshuttle says: Jul 15, 2011 12:22 PM

    @banger – yeh. That & reality.

  19. philgrek says: Jul 15, 2011 12:22 PM

    Hahah. Well guess what? You can vote all day, every day and Emmitt is and was one of a kind. In fact, they call him…

    crap, what do they call him again?…

    ah yes!,.. it was …….

    ……..the All Time Leading Rusher in NFL History!!!
    ….(don’t forget 3x Super Bowl Champion)
    ….and psssst (don’t forget Super Bowl MVP)

    Everything else is pointless banter, useless conjecture.
    What a pointless ‘article’.
    The title should be “PFT Planet gathers together to demonstrate their hate for all things Cowboys”

    Hey stats haters….better sit down with your boy Barry because thats all he’s got. No rings, no records (except for most negative plays from scrimmage). Cue the thumbs downs

  20. abqpacker says: Jul 15, 2011 12:25 PM

    I actually voted for Emmitt, but then went back and looked at the numbers. For Barry to put up the numbers that he did on bad teams is remarkable.

    Had he played on those Cowboys teams, we may have rushed for 10,000 more than he did.

    I would change my vote if I could.

  21. hawk22207 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:25 PM

    Barry was far more explosive and impactful than emmitt, albiet for a shorter period of time. The same comparison applies to O.J. over Payton.

  22. frankdatank23 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:30 PM

    what are you voting on ? who had the better career ? who was better in their prime ? who would you rather have on your team ? who was the better teammate ?

    If your just asking who was better… its hard not to pick the guy who reached all his goals and lasted longer.

  23. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 12:35 PM

    Sanders carried the Lions on his shoulders for years.

    —————————————————————-

    Carried them to an overall losing record.

  24. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 12:39 PM

    Barry will always benefit from the “What if” factor… What if he played out a full career? What if he had a better team?

    ———————————————————–

    Like I said, these posts are full of excuses why Barry didn’t do what Barry didn’t do, and why Emmitt did what Emmitt did. Bottom line is that the games are played for championships, not stats. That said, Emmitt has both. In 50 years Emmitt will still be the rushing champ, and he’ll still have three Super Bowl rings. Barry will still only have coulda’s, shoulda’s, and woulda’s.

  25. bhindenemylines says: Jul 15, 2011 12:42 PM

    bangthedrum22 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 11:54 AM
    I think a big factor in this is peoples dislike for the cowboys.
    ———————————————–

    And so far the 23 Thumbs Down to 78 Thumbs up would confirm that.

  26. teal379 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:44 PM

    Barry was better – hands down. Doesn’t even take into account bad commercials for beard dye.

    Barry may have had more negative plays but EVERY play he had the ball, he had to make someone miss or elude a tackler, and this guy was usually between Barry and the QB. IOW – 5 yards behind the line. Every play.

    Emmitt was blessed enought to not have to worry about defenders until he already had 5 yards of positive yardage.

  27. kalispellmt says: Jul 15, 2011 12:46 PM

    It’s simple, Barry didn’t do DancingWithTheStars.

  28. hail74 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:49 PM

    Emmit never quit on his team cept that year he held out the 1st 2 games of season for a new contract. Both loses that cost the girls a playoff visit. How did emmit do in arizona?

  29. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 12:49 PM

    Hating the ‘Girls has nothing to do with it. Emmitt ran behind one of the best offensive lines in the history of the game.

    ————————————————————–

    Nobody ever used that as a qualifier for Jim Brown, and he played behind arguably the very best OL in NFL history. Yeah I know, Barry would have had 90,000 yards if he ran behind the Browns’ OL.

  30. vacman9100 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:49 PM

    Barry Sanders is at least 4 times the back emmit ever was. Barry’s only real problem was the lions were the joke of the nfc cental (now nfc north.) take Barry off the lions all those years. they would be lucky to win half of thoses games.
    now take emmit off the cowboys…. do they win 3 superbowls. dont think so. i do believe they do win at least 1 or 2 without emmit.
    I do believe the cowboys would have done the 19 and 0 with Barry. At least 1 time.
    THANK GOD he didnt play for the cowGIRLS.

  31. 1stngoal says: Jul 15, 2011 12:49 PM

    I agree with the poll. As good as Emmitt was, he had the luxury of running behind one of the best O-Lines throughout his career with Dallas. Where-as Barry was exciting to watch because of the way he could improvise yards on every play.

  32. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 12:50 PM

    Barry may have had more negative plays but EVERY play he had the ball, he had to make someone miss or elude a tackler, and this guy was usually between Barry and the QB. IOW – 5 yards behind the line. Every play.

    Emmitt was blessed enought to not have to worry about defenders until he already had 5 yards of positive yardage.

    —————————————————————–

    Yeah, sure.

  33. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 12:52 PM

    How mad are you guys that the Lions had a 4-3 record in games that Sanders missed, and the Cowboys had a 1-6 record in games that Emmitt missed?

  34. bangthedrum22 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:52 PM

    The same people who think barry is the greatest rb off all time are the people who argue that marino was the great qb of all time . All stats no rings. Why are people so hard on lebron ? Because he hasnt won rings.

  35. bangthedrum22 says: Jul 15, 2011 12:53 PM

    If barry had 1 … there would be no arguement from me.

  36. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 1:07 PM

    Emmit never quit on his team cept that year he held out the 1st 2 games of season for a new contract. Both loses that cost the girls a playoff visit. How did emmit do in arizona?

    —————————————————–

    Emmitt held out for a new contract at the beginning of the 1993 season. The Cowboys became the first team to win the Super Bowl after starting out 0-2.

    Emmitt got hurt in his first season with the Cardinals and only started 5 games but rushed for a respectable 937 yards and 9 TDs in 15 games in his final season.

  37. markdamack says: Jul 15, 2011 1:09 PM

    Here’s a nice excerpt from an article from the NYTimes

    There seems to be a perception that Emmitt Smith played only on great teams in Dallas and that he ran only behind powerhouse offensive lines, with a Hall of Fame quarterback (Troy Aikman), a Hall of Fame wide receiver (Michael Irvin), an excellent receiving tight end (Jay Novacek) and a great blocking fullback (Daryl Johnston), and that we don’t know how he would’ve done with a bad team. That’s simply not true.

    We know how Smith would have fared with a losing team, with a bunch of mediocre quarterbacks and an average offensive line, because those are exactly the types of teams he played on at the end of his career in Dallas.

    In each of Smith’s last three seasons (2000-2002), the Cowboys finished 5-11 for Dave Campo. They had one of the worst offenses in football. Aikman started 11 games in 2000 before retiring. The Cowboys’ other quarterbacks during this period were the 37-year-old Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf and Chad Hutchinson.

    By 2000, Irvin, Novacek and Johnston were gone. (Novacek’s last season with Dallas was in 1995.) The Cowboys’ leading receiver in 2000 was James McKnight. Their tight ends were Jackie Harris and David LaFleur, and the fullback was Robert Thomas. The offensive line was made up of aging veteran former stars combined with young guys like Kelvin Garmon and Solomon Page.

    Although he was clearly declining and playing against defenses that were focused on stopping him on every play, Smith still rushed for 3,199 yards during this period and averaged about four yards per carry. That was one of the best three-year performances of any back of Smith’s age (31-33) in N.F.L. history. It’s even more impressive when you consider the pounding he took in the thousands of carries before 2000.”

    Go back and look at the superbowl year that emmitt holdout the first few games, see how many of them games they won with out him. All these weapons the cowboys had were benefited by Emmitt Smith, not the other way around. Look at the playoff performances, the legendary game against the giants when Smith dogie handily defeated them with one of his shoulders dislocated. On top of everything he was humble, always gave credit where it was due, and was the real leader of those teams, not Aikman or Irvin. Aikman was great, Irvin was great, neither of them have accomplished anything close to what Emmitt Smith has.

    Barry was amazing, I’ll never take anything away from him…but top of the second tier greatest RB’s is idiotic at best. If anything you add another damn slot in the top tier and you put Emmitt on there

  38. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 1:11 PM

    “He is #1 on all the time list and trust me-the guy deserves it. You can say he played on great teams… but he made those teams great” – Barry Sanders, yesterday on Twitter

  39. bangthedrum22 says: Jul 15, 2011 1:18 PM

    @melonnhead

    “He is #1 on all the time list and trust me-the guy deserves it. You can say he played on great teams… but he made those teams great” – Barry Sanders, yesterday on Twitter
    ——-
    case closed.

  40. brasho says: Jul 15, 2011 1:19 PM

    I might be among the biggest Cowboy-haters around and I don’t think there is any contest here, Smith was far better than Sanders.

    The people that think Sanders was better than Smith are going totally by stats and highlight reel films.

    Barry Sanders was always the worst RB in the league, every year, in runs for 2 yards or less and negative yardage, every year! It wasn’t an abnormal statline for Barry to have 19 carries for 41 yards and then to see Barry break a 59 yarder and end up with 20 carries and 100 yards. Stat and fantasy geeks might think that is a great day but it usually wasn’t.

    What the stats didn’t tell was that Barry’s constant negative or very little yardage runs set up constant 3rd and longs for the Lions and kept their offense off the field and their defense on for far too long. He was the football equal of baseball’s pure homerun hitter (of the Rob Deer, Gorman Thomas, Dave Kingman-all or nothing variety).

    What the highlight films don’t show is that Smith, time-after-time, turned 1 yard runs into 4 yard runs, 3 yard runs into 6, and 4 yards into 10. He kept the chains moving and gave the offense the best chance to succeed by setting up 2nd and 3rd and short. Barry Sanders didn’t and couldn’t do that.

    Barry Sanders is one of the few players good enough to be able to turn a 3-13 team into a 9-7 team, but he was also inconsistent enough to be able to turn a 13-3 team into 7-9. If you can’t rely on a RB to give you 3 yards when you need it, then he can’t be considered GREAT.

    And before anybody points to Barry’s line and say that he did the best with what he had, perhaps so… except for the fact that Lomas Brown, Ray Roberts, Kevin Glover, and Kevin Mawae all blocked for Sanders AND made Pro Bowls. Herman Moore, Germaine Crowell, and Johnnie Morton were all fantastic WRs during their day, and NO he never had a great QB… but how many QBs can truly be great when they are faced with constant 3rd and 12s?

    I don’t particularly like Smith, I always rooted against him, but there is something to be said about a guy that gets the tough yardage when he needs it and plays his best when it is most important. Smith is not the greatest RB I’ve ever seen, I pick Walter Payton, Terrell Davis, and even Eric Dickerson as better players during their primes.

    You can’t be a winning football team facing constant 3rd and longs, and due to Sanders’s style of running, the Lions were faced with them constantly. Despite the highlight reel runs, Sanders was not a RB that gave his team the best chance to win games (see Lions 9-7 record AFTER he retired).

  41. kestagg says: Jul 15, 2011 1:26 PM

    wow… barry finally won an award… im sure he would trade this one in for just one of the three rings emmitt has… oh wait… thats right… IF barry had emmitts line and IF barry had aikman… facts are … 18, 355 rush yards 3 titles and 11 straight 1,000 yard seasons puts emmitt in the books at number 1

  42. eazye76 says: Jul 15, 2011 1:31 PM

    I guess that means that 12% of the people who read this site are Cowboys fans.

  43. fcs34 says: Jul 15, 2011 1:39 PM

    The Lions should be fined annually for driving Barry from the league. And for sucking.

  44. Vegas Guy says: Jul 15, 2011 1:41 PM

    Barry did 90% of the work to get his yards.. Emmitt did about 10%. It’s pretty much that simple.

  45. marinephinfan says: Jul 15, 2011 1:48 PM

    I’m surprised it was this close also. Comparing Barry to Emmitt is like comparing an F-18 to a DC-9.

    I went to high school with Emmitt. He was a senior when I was a freshman, our school and city idolized him. So, you’d think that someone like me would be biased towards Emmitt, right?

    Wrong.

    Emmitt was a great RB, no doubt. However, I would have given anything to see Barry play for the Cowboys in the 90’s and also play for as long as Emmitt did. Man, Barry would have 20K yards and there would be NO question (actually there really isn’t a question now) who was better. There would be Barry…………….and everyone else.

  46. gcsuk says: Jul 15, 2011 1:57 PM

    @brasho
    You had me until:
    “Herman Moore, Germaine Crowell, and Johnnie Morton were all fantastic WRs during their day.”
    OK, Herman Moore was an excellent WR, Johnnie Morton was a very good complement to Moore (not sure if I could use “fantastic”), but Germane Crowell?!?! REALLY?!?! FANTASTC?!?! You throw out a word like “Fantastic ” on Germane Crowell, you lose ALL credibility.

  47. sdb0ltz says: Jul 15, 2011 1:59 PM

    I can’t believe “Emmit” and “second cut” were used together in a sentence.

    Both are legends, no need for comparisons.

  48. skins23 says: Jul 15, 2011 2:11 PM

    Nobody tuned in to watch Emmitt run. They did for Barry.

    Nobody thinks Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the best basketball player ever.

  49. returnofmeezle says: Jul 15, 2011 2:15 PM

    those that think emmitt is better have never played football before. not even close

  50. gimmeabruschi says: Jul 15, 2011 2:15 PM

    It was easy to tell Sanders was better, assuming you were fortunate enough to have sight that is.

  51. spartyfi says: Jul 15, 2011 2:17 PM

    @melonhead: in 50 years the record will have been broken a couple of times and no one will remember who Emmit was but EVERYONE will remember who Barry Sanders is!

  52. Christian says: Jul 15, 2011 2:17 PM

    Barry Sanders is a better commentator, too.

    And as long as we’re talking tops of all time (Brown, Payton, Sanders), I will chime in for my dad (who, like Lenny thinks the internet is the lining of your swimming suit) and ask: what about Gale Sayers?

  53. nahcouldntbethat says: Jul 15, 2011 2:25 PM

    This is not anti-Cowboys bias. It’s the Marshall Faulk or Curtis Martin argument elevated to the top of the ranks.

    Both were great backs. One of them was a superstar who redefined his position and one of them was an extraordinarily durable back who played behind a great line and ground out an amazing career.

    If you’re looking at who would have been better in a neutral setting it’s pretty clear that Sanders and Dickerson were the guys you’d hitch your wagons to if given the choice.

    That doesn’t take anything away from Smith, who was the most durable back of all time and a great threat in the redzone, and Martin who was the most reliable back in history with only 29 fumbles in 3,518 carries. 29! He’s also #1 all-time in rushing attempts per game at 20.9.

  54. nahcouldntbethat says: Jul 15, 2011 2:26 PM

    Edit: meant Eric Dickerson or Curtis Martin.

  55. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 2:34 PM

    If you can’t rely on a RB to give you 3 yards when you need it, then he can’t be considered GREAT.

    —————————————————————-

    Probably the truest statement posted on PFT today. OK, so maybe Barry didn’t have the best OL but you know who else didn’t have the best OL? Ricky Williams last year. He still gave the Dolphins 4.2 yards on 3rd and 2 on average.

  56. fordman84 says: Jul 15, 2011 2:47 PM

    My question is this: If Emmitt had such an amazing OL, then why aren’t they all in the HOF?

  57. bobhk says: Jul 15, 2011 2:47 PM

    I think Barry was great but Emmitt was probably better and this is coming from a 49ers fan. I absolutely hate everything about the cowboys but you have to give props to greatness. Emmitt just got better and better as the game went on and he was the reason that the cowboys won those three championships, not the other way around.

  58. biggerballz says: Jul 15, 2011 2:49 PM

    barry sanders disappeared in the playoffs while emmith shined. so no, he’s not in the same breath with payton and brown.

  59. ottervgolfer says: Jul 15, 2011 2:49 PM

    Most of you guys are forgetting about Barry’s style of running. He told them to just block straight ahead. He didnt want them making certain holes he would pick his holes. Then Bobby Ross came to town and changed that and asked barry to run in the designed holes … anyone remember that year!! I do he ran for 2000 yards. I like Barry alot but he isnt the better running back between the two. More exiting ..Yes but he couldnt get the tough yards when they needed them.

  60. fordman84 says: Jul 15, 2011 2:49 PM

    Oh, and Mike the next question should be this: “Who had the better franchise in the 90’s…Dallas or Detroit”. The results of course would be a lot closer than this poll, and would prove that this was skewed by Dallas haters. Barry was a the better runner, but not the better RB. Emmitt got his team three rings, scored TD’s, outrushed Barry and cared enough to keep playing. Barry could bounce around in the backfield and look cool. But Barry WAS the better runner. Too bad he had no heart.

  61. bobhk says: Jul 15, 2011 2:50 PM

    fordman84 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 2:47 PM
    My question is this: If Emmitt had such an amazing OL, then why aren’t they all in the HOF?
    ———–
    Actually Nate Newton, Erik Williams, Stepnoski were probably the best OL during that time, but I agree with you. They did not make Emmitt. Emmitt was great anyway. I remember the game where he carried the cowboys to victory against the giants with separated shoulder. Damn, I hate them but he was great. Just when you thought you stopped him, he’d wear you down.

  62. spartyfi says: Jul 15, 2011 3:05 PM

    brasho, while I follow your logic, you are forgetting that the Lions did NOT use Barry in short yardage as much as you may think. They had a GREAT lead blocker and power fullback in Corey Schlesinger. He is the one that was there for short yardage.

  63. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jul 15, 2011 3:15 PM

    Wow. You can really tell who the Cowboys fans are. I wasn’t a fan of the boys or lions (or their rivals), and I know Barry was the best. Emmitt was greatness too, but Barry was on another level. 2000 yards at 6.1 a pop? Thats sick. There has only been 3 players in the NFL (over the past 20 years) that made me tune in just to watch THEM. Those players are/were Favre, Vick, and Barry. The greatest of those 3 was Barry.

  64. Little Earthquake says: Jul 15, 2011 3:31 PM

    All-time leading rusher is impressive but also a longevity record. Like Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record – impressive, but not impressive enough to consider him better than Jordan or Magic.

    Super Bowl trophies and MVPs are great too, but the former are won by teams, and the latter just means you played big in that single game. Which has its own place in the greatness discussion, but that doesn’t make Emmitt better than Barry, just as it doesn’t make Doug Williams better than Dan Marino.

    The problem with this debate is that Cowgirl fans take it personally that there was a better back during Emmit’s days. Emmit was a great back – no question. Barry was just better.

  65. Burritto says: Jul 15, 2011 3:34 PM

    Arguing running backs is retarded.

  66. kirmie says: Jul 15, 2011 3:35 PM

    markdamack – What a stupid article and argument. Barry holds the record for most negative rushes (see Lions’ OL) and yet he NEVER had where he averaged less than 4.3 YPC. Emmitt had only 4 seasons where he had 4.3 YPC or better. You argue Emmitt averaging 4.0 ypc from 2000-2002 yet it is realy 3.95 and he only had 4.0 or better one of those 3 seasons. Heck, Barry even averaged over 5 yards per in HALF of his 10 seasons with second to last year averaging 6.1 YPC and did all these amazing things with QB’s like Rodney Pete, Scott Mitchell, and Charlie Batch.

  67. cowboyfan45 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:36 PM

    Two different backs, Sanders was a running back, Smith was a rusher…

    Emmitt blocks, Sanders never did, Emmitt can catch the ball out of the backfield, Sanders could not, Emmitt constantly gained yards on every run, Sanders did not, if you want flash, then Sanders, but if you are going to win champioships, Emmitt is a the better back

  68. kirmie says: Jul 15, 2011 3:37 PM

    fordman84 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 2:47 PM
    My question is this: If Emmitt had such an amazing OL, then why aren’t they all in the HOF?
    —————
    Ask Cris Carter who isn’t in yet or Dick LeBeau who just got in last year. It only took Dick what? 35 years?

  69. gamewarrior405 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:50 PM

    Larry Allen is in the HOF.

    Lions HOF= Barry Sanders

    Dallas HOF= Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, & Larry Allen. (Future: Deon Sanders & Charles Haley..and coach Jimmy Johnson)

    Emmitt averaged 2 yards before first contact. No matter what skills an RB has, that is evidence of a seriously dominate offensive line.

    Emmitt is a HOFer and so is Barry. The difference is Barry has achieved the iconic status of “Legend” like Sweetness and Jim Brown. Enough said.

  70. kirmie says: Jul 15, 2011 3:51 PM

    melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 2:34 PM

    If you can’t rely on a RB to give you 3 yards when you need it, then he can’t be considered GREAT.

    ——————

    You mean like on 3 and 2 or less? So like in 1997 when he averaged 4.6 YPC in that situation? Or 3.6 in 1996? Or 3.6 in 1995? Or 6.0 in 1994? Or 3.1 in 1993? Hmmm, all of those are over 3 yards. The only year since 1993 (since that is as far back as the recording of this stat) that Barry didn’t average at least 3.1 YPC in that situation was 1998 with Charlie “I got beat out by Gus Ferrotte” Batch.

    Emmitt Smith on the other hand? Yeah, from 1993 through 2004 Smith only accomplished 3.0 YPC in that situation or better 4 times. So Barry did it 5 times in 6 years while Emmitt did it 4 times in 12. Which one can’t you count on for 3 yards again?

  71. kirmie says: Jul 15, 2011 3:52 PM

    cowboyfan45 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:36 PM

    Two different backs, Sanders was a running back, Smith was a rusher…

    Emmitt blocks, Sanders never did, Emmitt can catch the ball out of the backfield, Sanders could not, Emmitt constantly gained yards on every run, Sanders did not, if you want flash, then Sanders, but if you are going to win champioships, Emmitt is a the better back
    ————
    lol. Smith has less than 300 more receiving yards while averaging almost 4 yards less per catch. Barry was a way better receiver out of the backfield.

  72. kirmie says: Jul 15, 2011 3:54 PM

    Correction: Barry has 2 more yards per catch and 302 less receiving yards. Sheesh, the one time I don’t double check my number before writing something is on a site with no edit button.

  73. gamewarrior405 says: Jul 15, 2011 4:00 PM

    Damn it Cowboysfan45, I made my post, then saw yours. If you compare receiving stats, Sanders stats are better.

    Emmitt Smith:15 years
    515 Receptions
    3,224 Yards
    6.3 Average per reception
    11 Touchdowns

    Barry Sanders: 10 years
    352 Receptions
    2,921 Yards
    8.3 Average per reception
    10 Touchdowns

    Difference: (15 yr vs 10 yr)
    163 Receptions
    303 Yards
    1.8 Average per reception
    1 Touchdown

    Rethink your argument that Sander’s was not a good receiver. In every receiving stat category, Sander’s is better than Emmitt Smith.

    Thanks for playing.

  74. greenbaysucks says: Jul 15, 2011 4:25 PM

    If Barry Sanders had the line that Emmitt had his entire career, not only would he have the record for all time rushing, but he would have blown away what Emmitt did.

    Emmitt had such great lines in Dallas that anyone with mediocre speed and strength would be the all time leader in rushing.

  75. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 4:52 PM

    @melonhead: in 50 years the record will have been broken a couple of times

    —————————————————————–

    No it won’t. The “three yards and a cloud of dust”days are over. You goofs would rather watch sportscenter than football games anyway. Barry Sanders will be remembered like Karl Malone is remembered. If he’s remembered at all.

  76. fartography says: Jul 15, 2011 4:55 PM

    Three words:

    Yards Per Carry

  77. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:11 PM

    Both were great backs. One of them was a superstar who redefined his position and one of them was an extraordinarily durable back who played behind a great line and ground out an amazing career.

    If you’re looking at who would have been better in a neutral setting it’s pretty clear that Sanders and Dickerson were the guys you’d hitch your wagons to if given the choice.

    ——————————————————————

    Probably the only guy that benefitted more from a great offensive line than Dickerson is Jim Brown. Why do you fools only want to talk about Emmitt’s OL? Jackie Slater went to 7 Pro Bowls, Doug Smith 6, Kent Hill 3, Dennis Harrah 3, Tom Newberry 2, count ‘em up that’s 21 Pro Bowls and that’s just the Rams guys.

  78. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:13 PM

    Emmitt had such great lines in Dallas that anyone with mediocre speed and strength would be the all time leader in rushing.

    ——————————————————————-

    Must be why the Cowboys went 1-6 in games that Emmitt missed.

  79. azskinsfan says: Jul 15, 2011 5:13 PM

    You got that right.

  80. baronvonmonocle says: Jul 15, 2011 5:34 PM

    spartyfi says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:05 PM
    brasho, while I follow your logic, you are forgetting that the Lions did NOT use Barry in short yardage as much as you may think. They had a GREAT lead blocker and power fullback in Corey Schlesinger. He is the one that was there for short yardage.
    —————————————–

    Okay but let’s also keep that in mind the next time someone brings up Barry’s edge in yards per carry.

  81. baronvonmonocle says: Jul 15, 2011 5:43 PM

    gamewarrior405 says:
    Jul 15, 2011 3:50 PM
    Larry Allen is in the HOF.
    ———————————

    That’s quite a trick considering that he won’t eligible for another two years.

  82. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:49 PM

    You mean like on 3 and 2 or less?

    —————————————————————

    And goal-to-go situations inside the opponents’ 10 yard line, yes. Like in 1998, when he gained 0.9 yards per carry or in 1997 (1.2) or in 1996 (2.0), 1995 (0.8), 1994 (1.4), or 1993 (0.2). The larger point is that Barry only got 82 carries in that situation in the six seasons between 1993 and 1998 and he averaged about 0.9 yards per carry. Emmitt had 88 carries in those situations in the three years 1998-2000 alone and averaged over 1.3 yards per carry. Almost a half yard more PER CARRY.

    As far as 3rd and 2 or less is concerned, Barry really didn’t get that many carries. 60 from 1993-1998. Just 60! In that same period of time Emmitt had 119.

    The Lions just figured they had better options than Barry Sanders in those situations and you know what? They did.

  83. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:51 PM

    Larry Allen is in the HOF.

    ——————————————————

    No he isn’t. Jeez where do you guys get this stuff?

  84. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:53 PM

    Three words:

    Yards Per Carry

    ——————————————————-

    So basically you’re saying that Mercury Morris and his 5.1 yards per carry average for his career was better than both of them?

  85. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 5:59 PM

    There has only been 3 players in the NFL (over the past 20 years) that made me tune in just to watch THEM. Those players are/were Favre, Vick, and Barry. The greatest of those 3 was Barry.

    ———————————————————–

    Just so you know, Emmitt has three times as many Super Bowl rings and one more Super Bowl MVP awards as all those guys combined. But hey, at least you have highlight reels.

  86. fmwarner says: Jul 15, 2011 6:02 PM

    1. I do believe that anti-Cowboys sentiment has a lot to do with the results.

    2. Smith’s supporters cite facts, while Sanders’ supporters largely rely on conjecture.

    There is no denying Barry Sanders’ greatness, but I will still take Emmitt Smith every day and twice on Sunday. The goal of football is winning games. And while Sanders’ athleticism trumps that of Smith, Smith makes you win.

    And hell, I’m even an Eagles fan.

  87. snaponrules says: Jul 15, 2011 6:05 PM

    Smith was an average (at best) running back. He played behind one of the biggest, dirtiest and cheating-est offensive lines of all time. He was also with a pretty good qb and receiver to keep the defenses honest.
    Barry had none of those things and still excelled to the the hall of fame.
    Emmitt without them is just another average back who would even be in the top 100 players. See his AZ years.

  88. snaponrules says: Jul 15, 2011 6:07 PM

    Emmitt got blowed up in the poll only question I have is what were thosee 12% idiots thinking

  89. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 6:08 PM

    Nobody tuned in to watch Emmitt run. They did for Barry.

    Nobody thinks Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the best basketball player ever.

    ————————————————————

    Only because of Jordan and Magic… then again those guys had rings as well as numbers, too. And they played different positions than Jabbar. Is there really anybody that thinks that Barry Sanders is the best football player, ever?

    If you wanted to watch Barry, you probably had to do it on Sportscenter anyway.

  90. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 6:17 PM

    Emmitt without them is just another average back who would even be in the top 100 players. See his AZ years.

    ————————————————————

    Sure. Emmitt rushed for 937 yards and 9 TDs in 15 games in his last season, virtually identical to the numbers he put up as a rookie (937 yards, 11 TDs). Go back to Sportscenter, kid.

  91. lionsfan2086 says: Jul 15, 2011 6:19 PM

    I am tired of seeing these responses that say Barry had no heart because he quit. Playing year after year for a team that kept getting rid of it’s best players tore his heart out. Read his book and it will give you a lot of insight into his thought process.

    Also, this was posted by the guy who wrote it but it’s worth a read so I’m re-posting: http://www.thelionsinwinter.com/2010/10/barry-sanders-and-emmitt-smith-by.html

    During his career, Barry had a total of 8 pro bowls by his line. Never 2 in the same year. Emmitt had 22 pro bowls by his lineman in his first 10 years. 0 his first two seasons and between 2 and 4 the next 8 years. Emmitt also had a Hall of Fame QB and WR.

    Yes Emmitt has 3 rings, but so do Aikman and Irvin. And so do all of the other guys who were on all three of those teams. It is not a one man game, it’s a team game. The Lions as a team were worse than the Cowboys. So were a lot of teams during the 90’s. That doesn’t mean that Barry Sanders wasn’t the best because his team was bad.

    Emmitt Smith is a Hall of Fame running back and I don’t want to take anything away from his accomplishments. I believe Barry was the better running back. Its an OPINION. Nobody is going to prove anything on here. No minds will be changed.

  92. melonnhead says: Jul 15, 2011 6:22 PM

    In every receiving stat category, Sander’s is better than Emmitt Smith.

    —————————————————————

    Except catches, yards, and receiving TDs.

    Thanks for playing.

  93. b20sanders says: Jul 15, 2011 6:23 PM

    Barry Sanders 89-98
    15,269 total yards
    5.0 yds per carry
    99.8 yards per game

    Smith 90-2004
    18,355 total yards
    4.2 yds per carry
    81.2 yards per game with the Cowboys
    47.7 with Cardinals

    It wasnt until 2002 that Smith broke Paytons record for most rushing yards, had Sanders had an average season in 99, he could have broke it that year.

  94. independenttrucks says: Jul 15, 2011 6:43 PM

    Anyone else here think melonnhead is vox posting under a new name?

  95. txwj says: Jul 21, 2011 9:59 AM

    This is as close as the Lions and Barry Sanders will come to winning a Super Bowl.

    All you folks that would take Sanders over Smith would have as many Championships as Detroit has.

    Barry was the better runner, exciting to watch,

    Where was Barry on 3rd and long? (on the bench)

    Where was Barry on the goal line? (on the bench)

    Smith was the best back in Dallas at picking up the blitz, a good receiver and great at the goal line.

    That great O line that the Sanders folks always say that Dallas has was no where to be found when Smith was not on the field. Smith is the reason the Cowboys won those 3 rings. The line was good, Smith made them great.

    Smith has the heart of a Lion, Barry played for the Lions.

    You love those hi-light reels, you and Dan Marino fans can live in the world of if’s and but’s.

    Smith was a complete back, and even more than that was a complete football player.

    Cowboy haters are everywhere, I guess it is all you got. Hang onto that hate, it will keep you warm at night.

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