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Barry Sanders vs. Adrian Peterson for 'Madden' cover

Ten years from today, as you saddle up to your favorite watering hole, grip your barley soda and argue with the random guy sitting next to you about who is the greatest running back in NFL history, two names inevitably will surface: Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson.

Well, we get a jump-start on the dispute.

The now-annual Madden Cover Vote, which this year asked fans to decide between "old school" and "new school" players, comes down to the shiftiest running back of the 1990s versus today's human steamroller.

Peterson has bowled over the competition in the fan voting much like he did to 2012 NFL defenses, winning each of his matchups with at least 64 percent of the votes. Sanders, however, faced a gauntlet the last three rounds, knocking off the newly retired Ray Lewis, followed by Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

Even Sanders was shocked that he squeaked past arguably the greatest player of all time:

Sanders will try to make it back-to-back Detroit Lions on the Madden cover after Calvin Johnson arguably snapped the "Madden cover curse" with his record-breaking season -- perhaps the curse just took it out on the Lions' win-loss record.

The debate about who is the GOAT never will end, but soon (the winner will be revealed April 24), one side will get to add polling data to its argument.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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