Happen upon a Dallas Cowboys forum, and at some point you are likely to find a spirited debate about who was better, Emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders. Last week in my article I made an off handed comment laughing at the idea of Barry being a better player than Emmitt. I felt it would be fun this week before players report to Training Camp in Oxnard, California to defend my “Pfft.” I won’t have an opportunity to do so once football is real again.
Let me begin by saying that I am possibly Barry Sanders’ harshest critic. I am not delusional. He was an exciting player, perhaps one of the most exciting to ever play the game. However, I am being serious when I tell you, that under no circumstance would I ever want Barry Sanders on my football team. In fact, I often say there are at least twenty Running Backs I would take over Barry Sanders. Is that silly of me? In the minds of some people I am sure it is. Allow me to defend my position.
There is no denying Barry Sanders’ big play ability. He was capable of things other RBs simply cannot do, except maybe Gale Sayers. My problem with Barry Sanders lies in the fact that he tried to do those big plays so often that he far too often handicapped his team.
I was a Fullback, and there is no greater feeling for a FB than having your lead block open a hole for the RB to hit. The Detroit Lions rarely used a FB. The main reason for this was Barry did not hit holes. He danced around, making people miss until he could break free. Not going to lie, that drove me crazy. It was exciting, no doubt, but it drove me nuts. Give me a RB who is going to try to move forward over a ballerina any day of the week.