I can't help but wonder what Tony Dorsett would've been like in today's game

DallasEast

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Dorsett was great for his time, but this thread is a perfect example of people overrating players from the past. Dorsett was small, he would've been a part time player in today's league at his size
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DTK

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Can't think of anyone playing today, but recently I would compare him to Chris Johnson.
 

America's Cowboy

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Dorsett was great for his time, but this thread is a perfect example of people overrating players from the past. Dorsett was small, he would've been a part time player in today's league at his size
Tony Dorsett: 5'11", 192 lbs
Emmitt Smith: 5'9", 216 lbs
Walter Payton: 5'10", 200 lbs
Barry Sanders: 5'8", 200 lbs

Compared to some of the NFL All Time best rushing leaders, Tony Dorsett definitely was not small.

Tony Pollard: 6'0", 209 lbs

Tony Pollard is about the same size, and he just rushed for 1k+ yards as a part timer as you mentioned. Even if used as a part timer, Tony Dorsett easily could have rushed for 1k+ yards every season in today's NFL and not have to be worn down like Zeke was. I would take Tony Dorsett today over any current part time RB and most full timers.
 

KJJ

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Dorsett’s playing weight averaged between 185 pounds and 192. I remember they were concerned about his size at the time. Drew Pearson commented that players couldn’t get over how small Dorsett looked when they first saw him at training camp his rookie season. Even Tom Landry was concerned about his size. With the size and strength of players today he would’ve had a tough time staying healthy at his size. During his era teams used one RB as a workhorse. Most teams these days rotate RBs. Dorsett certainly had the speed to play in today’s game but his size would’ve been an issue.
 

DallasEast

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If ACL reconstruction was back then what it is today, he would have put the rushing record so far out of reach even Emmitt wouldn't have been able to sniff it.
Add Gale Sayers to that particular what if. Maybe not in terms of raw yardage but potential legendary runs that would have filled highlight reels forever.
 

Bullflop

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Tony Dorsett would have been a present day wonder in any year, with any team one could mention.

My first thought to compare him with was Tony Pollard, although, they both have their special ways.

Incidentally, my favorite tailback of all times was Gale Sayers, with his grace and the moves galore.
 

blueblood70

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I have been watching lots of videos as well as full games from my uncles collection of 70's 80's cowboys.
I can't help but wonder what Dorsett would of been like in today's game, I honestly believe he would be even better in today's open game. This guy was shifty and smooth!!!! Hits top speed in a instant!!
I also never knew how tough of a runner he was!! Amazing back. Those who saw his career first hand... who would you compare him to today?
I cant help but wonder how Zeke and Murray would have ran behind that massive OL in the 90s es22 got to run behind in run first era..zekes 3rd all time nOW bet hes higher.,.hmm
 

MikeT22

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Amazing how quick RBs lose it now days, in spite of it being a pass happy league.

Dorsett played 12 seasons, over 2936 carries / 398 rec.

Zeke, 7 seasons 1889 carries / 305 rec

I assume defenders are bigger and faster and backs take more of a beating…or they just don’t make ‘‘em like they used to.
 

conner01

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Jim Brown is a guy who could dominate today like he did then
Dorsett would be great today but probably not as great as he was. Players are bigger and faster now
His size would be more of an issue now but he’d still be elite
But had he played in this era he would probably be 220 lol
Athletes are just bigger today
 

joseephuss

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Many said, that Dorsett would have had many more yards if Landry would have ran him more. But Landry didn't think he could hold up with a bigger work load.
I recall that as well. The strange thing is he got his carries. When he retired he was third all-time in rushing attempts with 2936 attempts just behind Franco Harris(2949 attempts) and Walter Payton(3838 attempts). TD finished second all-time in touches with 3334 behind Payton with 4330. He is still currently ranked 13th all-time in rushing attempts and touches. The man held up.
 

quickccc

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Depending upon the coaches (ala Garrett) ... he would have been quickly pounded and ran into the ground and out of the league in 4 years.
 

joseephuss

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If ACL reconstruction was back then what it is today, he would have put the rushing record so far out of reach even Emmitt wouldn't have been able to sniff it.
I like the optimism, but the reality was Dorsett probably would have barely gained another 1000 yards or so had he received the best ACL reconstruction possible by today's standards. He was 35 years old when he tore up his knee in training camp of the 1989 season. Sit out that season and come back as a part-time player for a couple of more seasons at most.
 

tyke1doe

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Tony Dorsett is the reason I'm a Cowboys fan, converted from the Skins.
However ... he would have had likely 3-4 good years playing in today's NFL and then would have been out of the league.
Dorsett was 170lbs soak and wet. No way he holds up against 250-300lb linemen and linebackers.
He'd suffer a similar fate as Zeke.
 
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