The NFL unveiled the running backs on its 100th anniversary all-time team on Friday night, and the league may have inadvertently revealed that the running back position has been devalued in recent years.
LaDainian Tomlinson, who appeared on NFL Network as an analyst of the all-time team, admitted he was a bit disappointed not to make the list himself, and he noted that recent running backs were excluded.
“I’m surprised there are no 21st Century running backs on that list,” Tomlinson said. “No guys drafted after 1990, so Emmitt Smith was the [most recent] guy drafted.”
Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Dutch Clark, Eric Dickerson, Lenny Moore, Marion Motley, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith and Steve Van Buren. Smith, who retired after the 2004 season, was the only running back who played in the 21st Century, and he was past his prime in his last few years and was chosen for his greatness in the 1990s
Three recent running backs made the list of finalists but not the final All-Time Team: Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Marshall Faulk.