Ranking the top 10 Dallas Cowboys running backs of all time

• Ezekiel Elliott made quite the impact with the Dallas Cowboys

• Tony Dorsett remains a stud

• Emmitt Smith set an impossible record

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10 of 10

1. Emmitt Smith, 1990-2002

20,174 yards from scrimmage, 164 total offensive touchdowns

No. 1 All-Time Cowboys Rushing Yardage: 17,162

Moving on from Herschel Walker wasn't popular at the time but it's what turned the Cowboys into the best team in the early 1990s. While they added several star players due to that trade, none had the impact Emmitt Smith did.

Smith was a decorated player at Florida but he was just 5-foot-9 and wasn't considered fast enough for the pro game. Dallas still felt strongly enough about his potential to use the 17th overall selection to bring him in and he proved them right every time he touched the ball.

As a rookie in 1990, Smith had 937 yards and 11 touchdowns which was enough to earn the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He then ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the next 11 seasons — and was the NFL rushing yardage leader four times and the touchdown leader three times in that span.

In all, he ran for 17,162 yards which was enough not only for first in team history but NFL history as well. He added another 1,193 yards with the Arizona Cardinals and still sits atop the league with 18,355 career rushing yards.

Smith is also the NFL leader for the most touchdowns on the ground with 164 and was first in with 25 in a season — although that has since been surpassed. In Dallas history, he not only has the most rushing touchdowns with 153 but he's more than doubled Tony Dorsett, who sits in second place with 72.

In today's NFL, running backs struggle to stay healthy as long as Smith did, which makes his record seem untouchable.

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