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Jerry Rice: “Jim Brown was the best running back of all-time.”

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By Jonathan Bales

Fellow Dallas Cowboys Times correspondents Dave Kraft and Lorei Reinhard participated in a conference call with me today with the greatest wide receiver of all-time, Jerry Rice.  Rice is getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year alongside our very own Emmitt Smith.

Rice had some interesting things to say, including, “I wouldn’t consider myself the greatest wide receiver ever, but I would have to say Jim Brown is the best running back (and football player) of all-time.”  Of course many Cowboys fans would give that label to Emmitt Smith, but you can’t really knock the selection of Brown.

Rice did go on to mention the greatness of Smith and how much he enjoyed competing against Smith and the Cowboys.  When I asked Rice about his relationship with the Cowboys and other rivals, he said he would keep a close eye on what his competitors were up to.

“I used to look at Michael Irvin’s stats each week and try to keep up with him.”  True competitors fuel one another and make each other better, which certainly appeared to be the case for Rice and Irvin.

Rice also seemed indifferent to the possibility of an 18-game schedule.  He claimed “I always put in the necessary work in the offseason, so I always felt good by the end of the season.”

Of course, a longer season would mean a greater possibility of someone breaking his records, but Rice said if there’s one thing for which he wants to be known, it’s that “I didn’t play the game for the records. . .I played the game to win.”

I will post the entire conference call later today.  You can listen to our conference call with Emmitt Smith here.

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13 Responses to Jerry Rice: “Jim Brown was the best running back of all-time.”

  1. Eric Rosee says:

    Most people that were alive to see Jim Brown play would agree.

  2. I wish I could have seen him play live. From what I hear, he is also one of the best lacrosse players to ever live.

  3. Pingback: Official Jerry Rice Conference Call: “I would look at Michael Irvin’s stats and keep up with him” - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

  4. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    There are some way to see Jim Brown – NFL archive film is sometimes shown during certain specials, etc.

    From the film I’ve seen, JB was a BEAST. He was like a lineman in size compared to everyone else with WR speed compared to everyone else. He was as dominant as Wilt Chamberlain was in the NBA.

    The interesting thing is…during games, JB would get the ball and rumble forward for 5-8 yards after running over a few players, a few other bouncing off of him, getting knocked around by a few others and finally stumble forward for the gain. He would get up like every bone in his body ached and his muscles were all torn apart. It seemed like he’d barely make it back to the huddle and when he did (every time) he’d have trouble standing up. Then, the next play would start and he get the ball and do it all over again.

    I would truly say that after the little bit that I’d seen him play he was the best running back (maybe to be competed with by Barry Sanders) of all time.

  5. Yeah I heard an interview with Brown where he said he got up and walked back to the huddle like that on every play so the defense couldn’t tell when he was actually hurt and not faking it. Pretty cool.

  6. moses says:

    Jim Brown was great. He was power runner the likes of Marion Motley. The RB I liked to watch the most was Gale Sayers. He was truely awesome. Barry Sanders was another elusive RB that was great to watch. Both of them make you wonder how they made that cut or made it through that tiny hole. If Sayers had not gotten hurt and if Sanders had a better offense to play in, I think both of them would have been at the top of the RB charts

    Those two would be my choices more for their style as well as for their effectiveness.

  7. johncoleman says:

    Brown was great in his own right. However, in todays NFL he would be pressed to get his 1000 every year. Why? He was a s big as the linemen of his day and way faster. Does anybody think Paul Horning would be great today? Rice has lost his mind. Brown also played on good to great teams. For my money Barry Sanders was by far the best of all time. On a good team he would have pushed 2000 yards every year. Also barring his early retirement he would be the all time rushing leader.

  8. Sanders and Sayers are two of my favorite players of all-time. Sayers is one of the few players from his era that I believe could be a legitimate NFL player today. His game film is off the charts. He looks like a man among boys.

  9. Agree. Sanders, even with the negative runs, was the best ever.

  10. johncoleman says:

    I would also agree with you about Sayers. From his film he seemed to have elite ability. He was smooth and fluid looking. Also as far as the best ever Walter Payton is still way high on my list. He played on some pretty bad teams. So he didn’t have a line like Emmitt did. Emmitt was a great RB but his heart, grit, and toughness were bigger than his ability, and his ability is documented in history, #1 I believe. Had to get a plug in for our guy.

  11. Pingback: “22 in 22″ Day Six: Going Into the Hall with Jerry Rice - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

  12. Matthew says:

    anyone ever heard of Jim Thorpe? Probably not. He was probably in my opinion the best running back of all time. Although he doesn’t have any statistics to back him up (they didn’t keep stats in the 30’s), I read and read about him. I wish there was more info, bcuz he was a beast! I read this story about his college where he ran for a 92 yard touchdown. But it was called back for a 5 yard penalty The very next play he ran it in for a 97 yard touchdown!And that one stood. And that was against army, who at that time along with yale and harvard, were the best football playing colleges.
    that was without pads. He played for the canton bulldogs, who won championships with him in 1916, 17, and 19. They were one the the first professional teams. To learn more about thorpe, look him up on wikipedia.

  13. Matt,
    Actually I grew up 20 min from the town “Jim Thorpe” which is named after the star football player. He was actually an incredible athlete and participated in a multitude of sports.

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