Herschel Walker believes he should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. The former Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings running back recently gave an interview to the Pioneer Press, where he said his statistics prove he should be enshrined among the greats. He also admitted he understands to some degree why — despite being eligible for the vote since 2003 — he’s never really had a chance at getting in.
Walker told the publication he knew there were some seasons during his career where he didn’t put up great numbers. After starting his career with the Cowboys, he was traded to the Vikings in 1989 in a blockbuster deal that gave Dallas five players and six future draft picks. After three seasons in the Twin Cities, he then was drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles for three more. He landed with the New York Giants for one season, before ending his career with two more seasons in Dallas.
Over the course of his career, Walker never really had huge numbers on the ground. However, he was very consistent throughout the field. He could not only carry the ball, he could also catch it and was a special teams standout. He finished his NFL career with 8,225 rushing yards and 4,859 receiving yards. He also had 5,084 kickoff return yards.
As Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk pointed out, there are only two running backs who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame that had less rushing yards than Walker — Terrell Davis and Larry Csonka. On the other hand, Walker’s total yards from scrimmage puts him 12th all-time in the NFL. When he retired, he was second in that mark, beaten only by Walter Payton.
“Let’s just forget about my USFL days,” Walker told the Pioneer Press. “Look at my stats in the NFL. Look at my combined yards. Plus, I had 500 some catches (512). Those stats are good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. That’s what people need to look at when they start talking about numbers and all that.”
Williams added the Hall of Fame is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the National Football League Hall of Fame. In other words, voters shouldn’t count out what Walker did in the now-defunct United States Football League.
He went to the short-lived competitor of the NFL out of college and put up some eye-popping numbers there. He ran for 5,562 yards with the New Jersey Generals, which — when combined with what he did in the NFL — would give him 13,787 total rushing yards in his pro football career. That number places him sixth among rushers. In other words, Williams said, Walker has a case for the Hall of Fame, however, it’s not a case other running backs couldn’t make just as well.