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The NFL is in the process of unveiling it’s All-Time Team as the league celebrates its 100th anniversary, and it was announced Friday that former Chicago Bears greats Walter Payton and Gale Sayers were picked as two of the All-Time Team’s running backs.
A total of 12 running backs made the cut, including Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Earl “Dutch” Clark, Eric Dickerson, Lenny Moore, Marion Motley, Barry Sanders, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith and Steve Van Buren.
Jim Brown and Walter Payton are unanimous choices at running back for the NFL’s All-Time Team.
As part of its celebration of its centennial season, the league announced the first portion of the squad Friday night. A 26-member panel is selecting the team.
Also chosen were two coaches, Paul Brown and Bill Belichick. Eight more coaches will be selected over the next month.
Walter Payton celebrates with teammates after breaking Jim Brown’s then-rushing record of 12,312 yards during a game against the Saints at Soldier Field on Oct. 7, 1984. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Joining Brown and Payton in the backfield are fellow Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, the career rushing leader; Marion Motley; Barry Sanders; Steve Van Buren; Gale Sayers; Earl Campbell; Lenny Moore; O.J. Simpson; Eric Dickerson; and Dutch Clark.
“It is cool to be with the legend himself,” Smith said of joining Brown on the squad. “The man who inspired so many other players to come from behind him. He paved the way for many of us, his passing the torch to Walter and so many others. He set the standard pretty high.”
One hundred players will make the team.