Faulk's all-purpose prowess made him an all-time great

  • By NFL.com
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Running back Marshall Faulk combined pass-catching ability and superior rushing ability to earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Where does he rank among the all-time great running backs? Is he among the top five of all-time? What other back -- Hall of Fame or otherwise -- does he most remind you of?

  • Adam Rank NFL.com
  • Faulk and Craig were two of a kind

    Making the list off the top of my head, the top five running backs in NFL history are Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson and Gale Sayers. And then you have to factor in guys like Marion Motley and Barry Sanders, so making a case for Faulk in the top five is tough. Top 10 is more like it. I would take him over Emmitt Smith, that’s for sure.

    When you think of Faulk’s all-around game, the Hall of Famer I would really compare him to would be the 49ers’ Roger Craig. Oh wait, that’s right, Craig is not in the Hall of Fame. (Maybe he should get a job in television.) As an ardent Los Angeles Rams fan who had to watch Craig play us twice a year, I feel that not having him in Canton is an injustice. He and Faulk were the first two guys to surpass 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season.
  • Dave Dameshek NFL.com
  • Definitely in the top 10

    They say the truly great running backs have unique styles, so by definition, Faulk doesn’t compare to anyone else -– but I suppose he resembled Tony Dorsett in terms of gait and speed, and Thurman Thomas in terms of versatility and physical stature.

    Where does Faulk rank all-time? Along with Dorsett, I'd put Jim Brown, Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers and Eric Dickerson ahead of him in the rushing department (no, I didn’t forget Emmitt Smith). But of course he was far superior to all those names as a receiver. Payton, Thomas, Marcus Allen and Ricky Watters make up the short list of great pass-catching running backs, but Faulk is number one in that department. He’s certainly one of the top 10 all-time running backs overall.
  • Pat Kirwan NFL.com
  • Three Hall of Famers rolled into one

    Marshall Faulk landed at San Diego State because most of the colleges in his home state of Louisiana didn’t see him as a running back. What a mistake and what a benefit for the Aztecs, the NFL and now the Hall of Fame. Faulk was a complete running back who could beat you as a receiver as quickly as he could as a runner. When I worked for the Jets and the Colts were still in the AFC East, we started signing safeties specifically to deal with Faulk. We kept Victor Green his rookie season because he had the corner skills to deal with Faulk when he lined up at receiver.

    For me, Faulk was a combination of three Hall of Fame backs: Marcus Allen, Tony Dorsett and Thurman Thomas. All three backs were accomplished receivers as well as runners. All three touched the ball more than 3,000 times with the lowest touchdown total belonging to Thomas with 88 and the most being Allen with 144. Faulk had 3,603 touches, just six fewer than Allen, and his 131 touchdowns rushing and receiving places him second in this group. When it was all said and done, Faulk had 1,500 more yards from scrimmage than any of the three HOF backs.
  • Scott Hanson NFL Network
  • Faulk deserves place in history

    I would go Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk. But that's assuming the offense is a vanilla, pro-style version which requires a running back to simply run and churn out yards. If we're assuming a diverse, pass-oriented style (think "Greatest Show on Turf") ... It's Faulk and Payton, 1A and 1B.

    One thing about Marshall -- which almost always goes unnoticed -- he played during the proliferation of the Internet and, therefore, "modern" fantasy football. There are people hooked on fantasy because they had Faulk one year and he single handedly won them their league.


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