2. Tony Dorsett, Denver Broncos (1988)
Before Emmitt Smith set the Cowboys record (and NFL record) in rushing yardage, there was Tony Dorsett. Selected second overall in 1977 out of Pitt, there were concerns about his size. Coming into the league, Dorsett was just 192 pounds which left some teams wondering if he could be an every-down back.
It did't take long for him to prove he can be just that.
As a rookie, Dorsett ran for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns. He then ran for at least 1,000 yards in every season — outside of the strike shortened 1982 campaign — until 1985. But then in 1986, Dallas signed Herschel Walker and Dorsett saw his role reduced.
He eventually asked for a trade and was reunited with Dan Reeves, a former offensive coordinator in Dallas. Dorsett was 34 years of age at the time, so he wasn't the same player we remember breaking off the first-ever 99-yard touchdown run in league history, but he was still effective.
In his lone season with the Broncos, Dorsett recorded 703 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 3.9 yards per attempt. It wasn't a wildly memorable season, which is just one of many reasons it's easy to forget it ever happened.