Top 10 NFL Rushing Yards Leaders Of All Time

American football is one of the most popular sports in North America. On offense, rushing is the action of running with the ball by beginning from behind the line of scrimmage. It may be referred to as a carry. The yards gained during the course of this move are referred to as rushing yards. Let us take a look at the NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

NFL Rushing Yards Leaders Of All Time

Also known as gridiron, this sport is derived from rugby football and is played between two teams of eleven players each. In gridiron football, ‘rushing’ is a term used to denote two different actions. It may mean the advancing of the ball by running with it and is the opposite of passing. It can also mean the defense action of charging toward the quarterback, kicker, or punter across the line of scrimmage.

10. Marshall Faulk

Marshall Faulk

American football player Marshall Faulk completed a total of 12,279 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1994 to 2005. He now holds the tenth place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Indianapolis Colts between 1994 and 1998. Faulk also played for the St. Louis Rams from 1999 to 2005 in his active American football career.

Marshall Faulk gained a total of 12,279 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 2,836 carries in his professional career. He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.3 in his professional American football legacy. Marshall Faulk was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

9. Jim Brown

Jim Brown

One of the most multi-talented players of all time, Jim Brown, completed a total of 12,312 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1957 to 1965. Besides, he now holds the ninth place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Cleveland Browns between 1957 and 1965 in his active American football career. Jim Brown gained a total of 12,312 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 2,359 carries in his professional career.

He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 5.2 in his professional American football legacy. Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

8. Tony Dorsett

Tony Dorsett

American football player Tony Dorsett completed a total of 12,739 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1977 to 1988. Dorsett now holds the eighth place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Dallas Cowboys between 1977 and 1987. He then also played for the Denver Broncos in the 1988 football season in his active American football career.

Tony Dorsett gained a total of 12,739 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 2,936 carries in his professional career. He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.3 in his professional American football legacy. Tony Dorsett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

7. Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson

American football player Eric Dickerson completed a total of 13,259 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1983 to 1993. Besides, he now holds the seventh place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Los Angeles Rams between 1983 and 1987. Besides, he also played for the Indianapolis Colts from 1987 to 1991. He then also played for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1992 and Atlanta Falcons in 1993 in his active American football career.

Eric Dickerson gained a total of 13,259 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 2,996 carries in his professional career. He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.4 in his professional American football legacy. Eric Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

6. Jerome Bettis

Jerome Bettis

American football player Jerome Bettis completed a total of 13,662 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1993 to 2005. He now holds the sixth place in our list of top 10 American football players with 10,000 rushing yards.

He played for the Los Angeles Rams between 1993 and 1995. Bettis then played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996 to 2005 in his active American football career. Jerome Bettis gained a total of 13,662 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 3,479 carries in his professional career.

He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 3.9 in his professional American football legacy. Jerome Bettis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

5. LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson

One of the most followed American football players on social media, LaDainian Tomlinson, completed a total of 13,684 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 2001 to 2011. He now holds the fifth place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time. He played for the San Diego Chargers between 2001 and 2009 and set a very hard NFL rushing yards record to achieve.

Tomlinson also played for the New York Jets from 2010 to 2011 in his active American football career. LaDainian Tomlinson gained a total of 13,684 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 3,174 carries in his professional career.

He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.3 in his professional American football legacy. LaDainian Tomlinson achieved his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

4. Curtis Martin

Curtis Martin

American football player Curtis Martin completed a total of 14,101 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1995 to 2005. He now holds the fourth place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for New England Patriots between 1995 and 1997. Martin also played for the New York Jets from 1998 to 2005 in his active American football career.

Curtis Martin gained a total of 14,101 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 3,518 carries in his professional career. He has an astonishing overall-yards-per-carry average of 4.0 in his professional American football legacy. Curtis Martin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

3. Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders

American football player Barry Sanders completed a total of 15,269 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1989 to 1998 and break and set new NFL rushing records. He now holds third place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Detroit Lions between 1989 and 1998 in his active American football career. Barry Sanders gained a total of 15,269 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 3,062 carries in his professional career.

He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 5.0 in his professional American football legacy. Barry Sanders achieved his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

2. Walter Payton

Walter Payton

American football player Walter Payton completed a total of 16,726 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1975 to 1987. He now holds the second place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time.

He played for the Chicago Bears between 1975 and 1987 in his active American football career. Walter Payton gained a total of 16,726 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 3,838 carries in his professional career.

He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.4 in his professional American football legacy. Walter Payton achieved his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

1. Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith

American football player Emmitt Smith completed a total of 18,355 rushing yards in his active footballing career from 1990 to 2004. He now holds the top place in our list of top 10 NFL rushing yards leaders of all time and all-time NFL rushing leaders.

He played for the Dallas Cowboys between 1990 and 2002. Smith also played for the Arizona Cardinals from 2003 to 2004 in his active American football career.

Emmitt Smith gained a total of 18,355 rushing yards and has achieved a total of 4,409 carries in his professional career. He has an astonishing overall yards-per-carry average of 4.2 in his professional American football legacy. Emmitt Smith achieved his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Final Words

There are very few records in the history of sports, NFL rushing yards leaders all time, and not just American football, which is as treasured as the 10,000 yards. That is why the players who have achieved this record are treated with great respect and celebration. Players who play this sport consider these records their targets.

All-Time Rushing Yards List

1. Emmitt Smith 18,355
2. Walter Payton  16,726
3. Frank Gore 16,000
4. Barry Sanders 15,269
5. ADRIAN PETERSON 14,918
6. Curtis Martin  14,101
7. LaDainian Tomlinson  13,684
8. Jerome Bettis  13,662
9. Eric Dickerson  13,259
10 Tony Dorsett  12,739

NFL Rushing Yards Leaders | All-Time Ranking Infographics

NFL rushing yards leaders - infographics
Infographics: NFL Rushing Yards Leaders

FAQs Regarding NFL Rushing Yards Leaders

Q. Who has the most rushing yards in the NFL season?

A former professional football player Eric Dickerson has a record of 2 105 rushing yards in the National Football League. Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. He was also nominated to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2019.

Q. Who has the most rushing yards in 2022?

Joe Mixon, an American football running back for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League, holds the 2022’s record for the most rushing yards of 3,745. He is 25 years old, played college football at Oklahoma, and was also drafted by the Bengals in 2017.

Q. Who leads the NFL in rushing yards in 2022?

Derrick Henry is a leader in rushing yards 640 of 2022; he is an American football running back for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He set the national high school football record for career rushing yards with the Yulee Hornets.

Q. Who has the most rushing touchdowns in 2022?

An American football running back, Derick Henry, has the most rushing touchdowns of 7 so far. Derick played for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He also set the National high school for career rushing yards with the Yulee Hornets.

Last Updated On: October 2022

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