Amid threats of a protracted holdout, Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew thinks he can top former Dallas Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith‘s all-time rushing record. Jones-Drew earned the rushing title this season, leading the league with 1,606 yards. The UCLA product is currently threatening a hold out from the Jaguars unless he receives a new contract. He is currently under contract for the next two seasons.
Jones-Drew was a guest on 102.3 ESPN radio in Denver and told the hosts that breaking Smith’s all-time record is “doable”. He went on to say that Smith’s situation was different than what many running backs in the league have today. “I mean he had a Hall of Fame receiver, Hall of Fame quarterback, Hall of Fame offensive line, Hall of Fame fullback.”
Interestingly enough, I recently wrote a piece on how I don’t think any of the current crop of veteran running backs in the league will break Smith’s rushing record. Smith gained 18,355 yards in his career, and Jones-Drew is 11,501 yards behind him. If he rushed for 1,606 yards for each of the next seven seasons, Jones-Drew would not reach Smith’s total. He would have to average 1,437 yards per season for the next eight years. At that point, he would be 35.
Yes, Smith played until he was 35, but in recent years, teams are shying away from running backs over the age of 30 in favor of younger, fresher legs. More teams are featuring tandems of running backs as well.
Perhaps if Jones-Drew was a little further along at this point in his career with his rushing yardage total, a run at the record might be realistic, but it just doesn’t seem possible for MJD to achieve.
Filed under: NFL