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35. Herschel Walker

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Herschel Walker
It may be called the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but for all intents and purposes it only focuses on accomplishments from the NFL and to a lesser extent the AFL.  This is too bad for Herschel Walker who chalked up monster totals in his first three years of Pro Football, but did so as a member of the New Jersey Generals of the upstart United States Football League.

Walker would go to the Dallas Cowboys and would forever try to live up to the Play Station like numbers he put up in College and in the USFL.  Walker was still very good, and put up good numbers for Dallas in both receiving and running the ball.  He was however the focal point of one of the more lopsided trades in NFL history where the Vikings sent five players and a multitude of draft picks (three of which were Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper and Darren Woodson).  Dallas would use this to build a dynasty of the 90’s, and Minnesota coaches took there frustration out on Walker who was not used to the best of his ability while as a Viking.  Herschel was still good, but his stock dramatically went down.

That lopsided trade took away from his legacy, but Herschel Walker should be remembered as a great Running Back who contributed in pass and kick return situations.  If he were a rookie today coming out of Georgia, where this is no USFL would he have had a shot to shatter NFL rushing records?

The Bullet Points:

Country of Origin:
Wrightsville, Georgia, U.S.A.

Eligible Since:

Running Back

Played for:
Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota Vikings
Philadelphia Eagles
New York Giants


5th Round, 114th Overall in 1985

Major Accolades and Awards:
Pro Bowl Selections (2) (1987 & 1988)
Second Team All Pro Selection (2) (1987 & 1988)
Most Yards From Scrimmage (1) (1987)
Most All Purpose Yards (2) (1987 & 1990)

Other Points of Note:
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards (2) (1987 & 1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Touchdowns (5) (1986, 1987, 1988, 1991 & 1992)
Top Ten Finishes: Yards/Rushing Attempt (4) (1986, 1987, 1993 & 1994)
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards/Game (2) (1987 & 1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Receptions (2) (1986 & 1987)
Top Ten Finishes: Touchdowns (4) (1992, 1993, 1994 & 1996)
Top Ten Finishes: Yards from Scrimmage (4) (1986, 1987, 1988 & 1993)
Top Ten Finishes: All Purpose Yards (7) (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993 & 1994)

Notable All Time Rankings:
8.     All Purpose Yards: 18,168
27.   Kick Return Yards: 5,084
35.   Rushing Yards: 8,225
36.   Yards from Scrimmage: 13,084
38.   Rushing Touchdowns: 61
42.   Touchdowns: 84
100. Receptions: 512

Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame:

Should Herschel Walker be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 30%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 40%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 20%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 10%
Last modified on Monday, 16 March 2015 10:34


+3 #1 jimmy26 -0001-11-29 19:00
Remember this si not the college football hall of fame. This is the pro football hall of fame. if it was the former then Walker (who is in this one and desrvedly so) would be a no brainer. But in the pros Walker was vastly overrated. As physically gifted as he was, Walker never could learn to read holes or folow blocks. As much as he was a focal point of teams to stop, he usually was and thus was never the player many thought he should have been. Potential based on his size and speed combination ranks up there with bo Jackson and maybe even jim Brown. But in actual reality he was a good back on weak teams who never was the player he could have or should have been.
+3 #2 sg15fan -0001-11-29 19:00
well said
-1 #3 Mark Chirhart 2012-07-23 17:05
He dominated during his last two years with New Jersey. I say yes.
+1 #4 Wessley 2012-09-24 05:45
Another USFLer slighted because the NFL is apparently so good. Walker got yards (1500 one season) whilst at Dallas and he was no good ? He had to share time, for a while anyway, with the over-rated Tony Dorsett don't forget. He couldn't read blocks ? What a load of rubbish. The HOF should recognise all froms of pro-football in a player's stats. That being the case, Herschel's 2411 yards in 1985 IS the pro-football record.
0 #5 David M 2014-01-05 20:42
Herschel's NFL accomplishments themselves are HOF worthy:
…retired second all-time in all-purpose yards, besting all 15 HOF RB's from the 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's.
…Walker's 8225 NFL rushing yards were more than 4 HOF RB's and nearly as many as 3 others.
…his 4859 NFL receiving yards were more than all but two RB's and more than 16 HOF RB's, including Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Emmitt Smith.
…who has more NFL kickoff return yards than Herschel's 5084? Probably no one - certainly no HOF RB.
…only player in NFL history to gain more than 4000 yards rushing, receiving, and returning.
…first player in NFL history to record TDs of 90 yards or longer rushing, receiving, and returning in the same year.
…only player in NFL history to record an 84+ yard rushing TD and an 84+ yard receiving TD in the same game.
Not only are Herschel's NFL accomplishments HOF worthy, he also deserved to be higher than 39th on your list!

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