Eric Dickerson says Ezekiel Elliott has no chance at rookie rushing record

For the past 33 years, Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson has held one of the most hallowed rushing records in NFL history.

Back in 1983, Dickerson rushed for 1,808 yards during his first year in the NFL, which still stands as the highest rookie rushing total in league history. Over the past three decades, hundreds of players have attempted to break the record, but none have come close.

As a matter of fact, since Dickerson broke the record in 1983, only one rookie has even rushed for 1,600 yards in a season, and that was Alfred Morris in 2012 (1,613). Adrian Peterson (1,341), Barry Sanders (1,470) and Emmitt Smith (937) are all elite running backs who fell well short of breaking the rookie record.

After 33 years though, Dickerson's record might finally fall. Through nine games, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has 1,005 rushing yards, which puts him on pace for 1,787 yards. At this point, all Elliott would need is one huge game and he'd be on pace to break the record.

Dickerson doesn't expect that to happen, though. During an interview on SportsCenter this week, the former Rams running back said that there's no way Elliott will break his record.

"Zeke does a great job of picking and choosing his holes, he really does," Dickerson said, via USA Today. "And the offensive line, they stopped everybody at the line of scrimmage. But is he gonna break that record? No, he ain't gonna break that record. That record's safe."

Dickerson has been pretty confident about his record all year. Before the season started, Dickerson laughed when Elliott told him he was gunning for the record.

"He told me through his agent that he was going to break my record," Dickerson said at the time. "I just laughed and said, 'Good luck.' Many have said that; all have failed. I like the record because you get one shot at it and that's it, because you're a rookie one time. You don't get three or four shots at that record. 'Oh, let me do it again.' Nah."

To put Elliott's pace in perspective, Dickerson was at 1,223 yards through nine games of his rookie season in 1983 after the Rams made him the second-overall pick in the NFL Draft.

If Elliott is going to break the record, he's going to have to run through some solid defenses to do it. Of the seven remaining games on the Cowboys' schedule, three of them will be against teams that have a top-10 rushing defense, including the No. 1 Ravens, No. 7 Giants and No. 10 Vikings.

Top-5 rookie rushing seasons

  1. Eric Dickerson, Rams (1983), 1,808 yards
  2. George Rodgers, Saints (1981), 1,674
  3. Alfred Morris, Redskins (2012), 1,613
  4. Ottis Anderson, Cardinals (1979), 1,605
  5. Edgerrin James, Colts (1999), 1,553
CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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