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Dallas Cowboys’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders

Updated on December 16, 2008

Emmitt Smith

Tony Dorsett

Don Perkins

The Dallas Cowboys have a winning tradition since coming into the league in 1960. The team has won five of eight Super Bowl appearances and has fielded some of the greatest players and teams ever in the NFL. Here is a look at the Top 10 in rushing yards for this proud franchise:

Emmitt Smith (17,162)—Well, in a discussion of the greatest running backs of all-time, Emmitt Smith is not only in the conversation, he leads the NFL all-time in rushing yards. 17,162 of those 18,355 yards came with the Cowboys, who Smith played for from 1990 to 2002. Smith was part of those great Dallas teams that won three Super Bowls in the ‘90’s, and he obviously ranks first in Cowboys’ history in rushing yards. Smith’s best season was 1995, one of four first team All-Pro campaigns. That year, Smith rushed for career highs in yards (1773) and rushing touchdowns (25), adding 62 catches for another 375 yards out of the backfield. This guy was just awesome.

Tony Dorsett (12,036)—Tony Dorsett would lead most franchises in rushing yards that didn’t field a guy named Emmitt. Dorsett played for Dallas from 1977 to 1987 and racked up 12,036 rushing yards, ranking him second on the Cowboys’ all-time list. Dorsett had his best season in 1981, when he had a career high 1646 rushing yards and 1971 yards from scrimmage, with 6 total TDs, earning him his only first-team All-Pro selection.

Don Perkins (6217)—Don Perkins played his entire career in Dallas, from 1961 to 1968, and made the Pro Bowl six times in that stretch. Perkins ranks third in franchise history with 6217 rushing yards, and his best season was 1962 when he made first team All-Pro. That year, Perkins rushed for a career best 945 yards with 7 rushing touchdowns.

Calvin Hill (5009)—Calvin Hill played for Dallas from 1969 to 1974 and ranks fourth in team history with 5009 rushing yards. Hill made the Pro Bowl four times while with the Cowboys, and his best season for them was 1973, when he rushed for a career high 1142 yards with 6 touchdowns, adding another 290 yards on 32 catches as a receiver.

Robert Newhouse (4784)—Robert Newhouse played his entire career in Dallas, from 1972 to 1983 and was a part of those great ‘70’s Cowboys teams. Newhouse ranks fifth in Dallas history with 4784 rushing yards, and his best season was 1975, when he piled up a career high 930 yards rushing and 1205 yards from scrimmage, with two rushing touchdowns.

Walt Garrison (3886)—Walt Garrison played for the Cowboys from 1966 to 1974 and ranks sixth in team history with 3886 rushing yards. Garrison had a career high 818 rushing yards in 1969, but his best season was his Pro Bowl year of 1972, when he rushed for 784 yards with a career high 7 TDs, and caught 37 passes for 390 yards and 3 more scores.

Herschel Walker (3491)—Herschel Walker began his pro career in the USFL, and then his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys in 1986. Walker played in Dallas from 1986 to 1989 (before winding up in a blockbuster trade to Minnesota) and then again in 1996 and 1997. Walker ranks seventh in Cowboys’ history with 3491 rushing yards, and his best season was in Dallas, in 1988. That year, Walker went to the Pro Bowl by rushing for a career best 1514 yards with 5 TDs, and added 53 catches for 505 yards and 2 more touchdowns out of the backfield.

Julius Jones (3484)—Julius Jones played the first few years of his career with Dallas, from 2004 to 2007. Jones ranks eighth in Dallas history with 3484 rushing yards, and his best season was 2006, when he rushed for a career high 1084 yards with 4 rushing TDs, and added 9 catches for 142 yards.

Marion Barber (3039)—Marion Barber III was part of a two-headed rushing monster in Dallas with Jones before Jones signed with Seattle in 2008. Now he’s the main guy, and has been with the Cowboys since 2005. Barber ranks ninth in Cowboys’ history with 3039 rushing yards, and is sure to climb this list if he stays with the team in the next few years. Barber’s best season was 2007, when he made the Pro Bowl by rushing for a career best 975 yards with 10 rushing TDs, and added 44 catches for 282 yards and 2 more touchdowns as a receiver.

Roger Staubach (2264)—Roger Staubach was the quarterback for Dallas from 1969 to 1979 so this is more about longevity that he is tenth in franchise history with 2264 rushing yards. Staubach had a career high 343 rushing yards in 1971, with two rushing touchdowns.


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