The 300: #5 Eric Dickerson

The fifth name on our list should really need no further introduction…

NFL CAREER

Los Angeles Rams (1983-1987)

Indianapolis Colts (1987-1991)

Los Angeles Raiders (1992)

Atlanta Falcons  (1993)

 

POSITION

Running Back

 

WHY IS HE IMPORTANT?

Well, for one thing, no player has rushed for more yards in a single season than Dickerson – 2105 of them in his second season in the NFL. And for another thing, no player has rushed for more yards in their rookie season, either – he managed 1808 in 1983.

More than that, though, few non-quarterbacks have become the face of a franchise the way that Dickerson has for the Rams. Think of a Rams player, and there he is in that gaudy 1980s blue and gold number, pounding through – and often way beyond – the line of scrimmage.

In fact, so clearly associated with the Rams is he, that it is hard to believe that he actually played less than half his career with them. Dickerson was, it is fair to say, a player who knew his own worth. After a contract stand-off with the Rams during the strike-affected 1987 season, he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in a bumper, three way, deal involving the two teams and Buffalo. The Colts ended up trading away seven draft picks, plus running back Owen Gill, to acquire him.

During his time with the Colts, Dickerson became the fastest player to cover 10,000 rushing yards, took the franchise to its first playoff game in a decade – and yet it is still hard to remember that he was ever there!

His last years in Indianapolis were marred by contract disputes, and he ran into those issues and fitness ones in his brief spells with the Raiders and Falcons. None of these things, though, should detract from the fact that for the best part of a decade he carried not one but two franchises.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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    The fifth name on our list should really need no further introduction… NFL CAREER Los Angeles Rams (1983-1987) Indianapolis Colts (1987-1991) Los An
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