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Rookie Running Backs with Most Yards Per Carry
The Dallas Cowboys might have found their running back in DeMarco Murray(notes). With a 139 yard day against the Seattle Seahawks on November 6, Murray is now on pace for one of the best rookie seasons ever. Murray raised his average yards per carry to 6.7 after his latest game. Assuming he keeps that pace, Murray will have the fifth best yards per carry average among rookies in league history. In fact, no rookie has had a better average since 1987. Here is a look at the four running backs that currently rank above Murray.
There is a pretty good chance that a lot of people haven't heard about Feathers. After all, his rookie season took place all the way back in 1934. However, no NFL rookie has ever reached 1,000 yards in fewer carries than Feathers. As a rookie with the Chicago Bears, Feathers had 1,004 yards on 119 carries. That averaged out to 8.4 yards per run. Feathers led the league in both stats that season. However, he never came close to those rushing totals again.
Moore averaged 7.5 yards per rush during his 1956 rookie season with the Baltimore Colts. Moore carried the ball 86 times for 649 yards in 1956. He led the NFL in yards per carry in each of his first three seasons. His rookie year would be the start of a Hall of Fame career. Moore never ran for more than 1,000 yards but did the lead the league in yards per carry again in 1961. He was a five time All-Pro.
In 1952, McElhenny kicked off his Hall of Fame career by averaging 7.0 yards per carry with the San Francisco 49ers. He ran 98 times for 684 yards. He also had the longest run that season with an 89 yard sprint. He was an All-Pro in each of his first two seasons and reached the Pro Bowl six times.
In the late 1980s, Jackson was famous for being a two sport star in baseball and football. His NFL career started off in spectacular fashion with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. Jackson ran the ball 81 times for 554 yards, including a 91 yard run. That worked out to an average of 6.7 yards per run. For four seasons, he was one of the most exciting backs around until a leg injury essentially ended his career.
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