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    Best Dallas Cowboys Running Backs of All Time From Emmitt Smith to DeMarco Murray

    The Dallas Cowboys are a historic team with a rich championship history. Who are the greatest running backs to ever don the star?

    Throughout the years, many great running backs have worn the star for the Dallas Cowboys, from the league’s leading rusher to the current-day backs who have made their presence felt throughout their young careers. Being a Cowboy has always come with a little bit more baggage than other places, and this group always rose to the occasion.

    We analyzed the impressive list and decided who the five best RBs in Cowboys history are.

    Greatest Dallas Cowboys RBs of All Time

    Throughout Dallas’ history, running backs with various skill sets and successes have competed for America’s Team. From league leaders with electric ability and individual accolades to greats who have contributed to Super Bowl victories, the Cowboys have been fortunate to have some of the best RBs in league history.

    Now let’s take a look at which players are among Dallas’ five greatest running backs of all time.

    5) DeMarco Murray

    DeMarco Murray’s time in Dallas was only four short seasons, but his impact was immense. With three Pro Bowl nods, one All-Pro nomination, and an Offensive Player of the Year award, Murray was as productive as they come during his time with the Cowboys.

    Murray had the speed to run away from defenders, but he also enjoyed getting physical and running them over as well. By the end of his Cowboys tenure, he had tallied 4,526 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on 4.8 yards per carry.

    There have been many great individual seasons in Cowboys history, but Murray’s 2014 season — where he finished with 1,845 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns — is one of the best a back has had.

    4) Ezekiel Elliott

    If Ezekiel Elliott’s initial pace at the start of his career continued, there’s no telling just how high he could have climbed up this list. However, because it hasn’t progressed that way, Elliott’s rise up the franchise’s best stops here.

    Elliott’s start out of the gate of his NFL career was historic. He led the league in rushing his rookie season with 1,631 rushing yards, then followed that up with 1,434 and 1,357 in his third and fourth seasons, respectively.

    MORE: Ranking the Best Wide Receivers in Dallas Cowboys’ History

    It could have been three years in a row with over 1,300 yards if it wasn’t for a six-game suspension in his second season. Even so, Elliott still finished with 983 rushing yards that year, proving that he was one of the league’s top RBs.

    Elliott wasn’t able to keep that torrid pace through the back half of his career. While he is still able to command respect, especially in the short-yardage and goal-to-go scenarios, his career didn’t continue to ascend as many had hoped.

    3) Don Perkins

    No. 3 on the list is Don Perkins, who was a lifer for the Cowboys. Perkins played his entire eight-year career in Dallas and was one of the most productive running backs to ever wear the star. He ended his career with six Pro Bowls and one All-Pro selection during that stretch and was a force to be reckoned with throughout the 1960s.

    The game was vastly different then, and many advancements came much later; Perkins’ numbers are still impressive and provide context for his performance. Perkins finished his career with 6,217 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns in a time when everyone knew you were going to run the ball and you had to find a way to be productive anyway.

    2) Tony Dorsett

    The runner-up on the list is Tony Dorsett, who spent 11 of his 12 seasons with the Cowboys before playing his final one with the Denver Broncos. Dorsett will always be considered not only one of the best to ever play for Dallas but also to ever set foot on an NFL field.

    He finished his career with one Super Bowl trophy, four Pro Bowl selections, and one All-Pro nod, culminating into a Hall of Fame career.

    Right out of the gate, it was clear Dorsett was going to be a star. In his rookie season, he finished with 1,007 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

    Dorsett finished his Cowboys career with 12,036 rushing yards and 72 touchdowns and averaged 4.4 yards a carry. He also tallied 382 receptions and 13 touchdowns through the air. He was able to do it all and was as dynamic of a running back as the NFL has ever seen, putting him comfortably at No. 2 all-time amongst the franchise.

    1) Emmitt Smith

    There will be debates amongst the first four names mentioned, and that’s fair. However, what cannot be disputed is who sits on the throne.

    Emmitt Smith is the clear-cut best running back in Cowboys history. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher is in every conversation when discussing the greatest to ever play the position.

    Smith spent 13 seasons with the Cowboys before playing his final two years with the Arizona Cardinals. During his time in Dallas, Smith finished with 17,162 rushing yards, breaking Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record in the process, before ending his career with a total of 18,355 yards on the ground.

    Smith is an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. He has won three Super Bowl titles, one Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowl XXVIII, and a league MVP in 1993. Smith is a member of the Hall of Fame and was selected to the 1990s All-Decade Team.

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    When you think about the greatest players in Cowboys history, very few names get mentioned before Smith. For that, along with his lengthy résumé, there can be no other man atop the list as the greatest running back Dallas has ever seen.

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