Eric Dickerson Indianapolis Colts & Los Angeles Rams & Los Angeles Raiders & Atlanta Falcons
"I think the one (record) I look at most and means the most to me is my rookie rushing record. You get one shot at that. You don’t get several. You don’t get 10. You get one.”
Eric Dickerson, a two-time All-America choice at Southern Methodist, was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. An immediate success, he established rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18). His efforts earned him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors.
In his second season, Dickerson continued his onslaught of the NFL record book. Twelve times during that season he gained more than 100 yards rushing, breaking the record of 100-yard games in a season held by O. J. Simpson. His 2,105 total yards rushing in 1984 shattered Simpson’s 1973 record of 2,003 yards rushing in a single season.
A workhorse runner with the Rams, Dickerson gained more than 1,000 yards each of his first four seasons with the team. In three of those seasons he gained more than 1,800 yards. Although he rushed for 1,234 yards in 1985, he missed the Pro Bowl for the first time in his short NFL career. He did, however, go on to rush for a playoff record 248 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in post-season play.
After playing just three games for the Rams during the strike-shortened 1987 season, Dickerson – in a blockbuster deal – was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Although he played in just nine games with the Colts that year, he still managed to gain 1,011 yards to finish the season with 1,288. In 1988, Dickerson, with 1,659 yards rushing, became the first Colt to lead the league in rushing since Alan Ameche in 1955.
The following season he became the first player in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons. He also became the seventh back to gain more than 10,000 yards and the fastest ever to do so, reaching the milestone in just 91 games. During his 11-year career, Dickerson gained 13,259 yards rushing, which was second all-time at the time of his retirement. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Dickerson was All-Pro in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988.