Philadelphia Eagles’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders
Steve van Buren
The Eagles have been an NFL team since 1933 and have mostly been competitive despite just no championships in the Super Bowl era. Being based in the Northeast makes them a defense/ground game minded team as well, and here we have a list of the team’s all-time Top 10 in rushing yards:
Wilbert Montgomery (6538)—Wilbert Montgomery played most of his career in Philadelphia and helped the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance following the 1980 season. Montgomery leads the franchise all-time with 6538 rushing yards, and his best season was 1979, one of two Pro Bowl seasons. That year, Montgomery rushed for a career high 1512 yards with nine rushing touchdowns (tied career best), and added 41 catches for 494 yards and 5 more TDs as a receiver (2006 yards from scrimmage).
Steve van Buren (5860)—Steve van Buren was an old-school running back in the days when running was how most teams gained yards. Van Buren played for the Eagles from 1944 to 1951, his only team, and was first team All Pro five times. He ranks second in team history with 5860 rushing yards. And despite 17 total touchdowns in 1945, van Buren’s best season was 1949, with a career high 1146 rushing yards and 11 TDs, adding 88 receiving yards with one more touchdown out of the backfield.
Brian Westbrook (5573)—Despite his penchant for getting injured, Brian Westbrook is one of the most dominant players in the NFL today as I write this in 2008. Westbrook has been with the Eagles, his only team, since 2002 and ranks third in their history already with 5573 rushing yards. He should soon top this list. Westbrook’s best season so far was 2007, when he was first team All Pro with a career best 1333 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns, adding a stunning 90 catches for 771 yards (also career high) with 5 more TDs. That gave Westbrook 2104 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns, and he is on pace for similar stats in 2008.
Duce Staley (4807)—Duce Staley played for both the Eagles and Steelers, but spent most of his career in Philly, from 1997 to 2003. Staley ranks fourth in Eagles’ history with 4807 rushing yards. Staley had his best season in 1999, when he rushed for a career high 1273 yards with 4 TDs, adding 294 yards and 2 more scores as a receiver.
Randall Cunningham (4482)—What is most impressive about the fact that Randall Cunningham is fifth in Eagles’ history with 4482 rushing yards is the fact that he was a quarterback. Cunningham had the ability to beat you with his arm or with his legs, making him very difficult to defend. He played for the Eagles from 1985 to 1995 and his best season as a rusher was 1990, with 942 yards and 5 rushing TDs. That season, Cunningham made the Pro Bowl by also passing for 3808 yards with 30 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions.
Ricky Watters (3794)—Like Westbrook, Ricky Watters was as much of a receiving threat as he was a runner. Watters played for the Eagles from 1995 to 1997, and yet ranks sixth in team history with 3794 rushing yards. Watters had his best season as a pro with the Eagles, in 1996. That year, Watters rushed for career highs in rushing yards (1411) and rushing TDs (13), adding 51 catches for 444 yards.
Timmy Brown (3703)—Timmy Brown played most of his career with the Eagles, from 1960 to 1967, and ranks seventh in franchise history with 3703 rushing yards. Brown had his best season in 1965, with a career high 861 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs, adding 50 catches for 682 receiving yards and three more touchdowns.
Tom Woodeshick (3563)—Tom Woodeshick was with the Eagles for most of his career, from 1963 to 1971. Woodeshick ranks eighth in Eagles’ history with 3563 rushing yards, and his best season was his lone Pro Bowl year of 1968, when he rushed for a career best 947 yards with 3 touchdowns, and added 36 catches for 328 yards as a receiver.
Tom Sullivan (3135)—Tom Sullivan played for Philadelphia for most of his career, from 1972 to 1977, and ranks ninth in team history with 3135 rushing yards. He scored 12 total touchdowns in 1974, but 1973 was his best overall season. That year, Sullivan rushed for a career best 968 yards with 4 rushing TDs, and added 50 catches for 322 yards (also career high) with one more touchdown.
Donovan McNabb (3097)—Like Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, who has been with the Eagles since 1999, can beat you with his legs as well as his arm. McNabb ranks tenth in franchise history with 3097 rushing yards. His best rushing season was 2000, one of five Pro Bowl seasons for McNabb, when he rushed for a career high 629 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. McNabb also threw for 3365 yards with 21 passing TDs and 13 interceptions that same season.