Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.
Even with time, Dorsett says he can’t top Payton
Originally published Nov. 15, 1985
In professional football today, only one running back has a reasonable chance of surpassing Walter Payton’s career rushing record.
His name is Tony Dorsett, he plays for the Dallas Cowboys and he says forget it – the record is all Payton’s.
“I just hope I can survive and be healthy enough to catch up to O.J. Simpson and John Riggins and Jim Brown,” Dorsett said yesterday. “Say goodbye to Walter. No way I’m going to catch up with him.”
Dorsett, who crossed the 10,000-yard mark this season, is three months older than Payton but has been in the NFL two fewer years. Perhaps, it was suggested, he could wait until Payton retires and then try to break the mark.
“Oh, no. Uh, uh. No sirree,” said Dorsett. “It gets tougher and tougher out here as the years go by. I would never try to stick around to move myself up rushing. I’m not going to put my body through this just to get more yards.
“Walter’s a bigger, stronger guy than what I am. That kind of dictates why he’s a more aggressive runner than I am.”
More like Campbell
Payton compares more in style to Earl Campbell, Dorsett said, which makes what he has accomplished all the
“Look at Earl down in Houston,” Dorsett said. “He carried the load down there and he got worn out. Walter was in the same situation. He was the focal point for that team. But he endured.
“I think it’s amazing. Walter was more aggressive. He would attack you, try to punish you. Earl got hit from a lot of different angles.”
Dorsett said Sunday’s Bears-Cowboys game should not be viewed as a battle between running backs. But he admitted he’d pay attention to Payton.
“I’ll be watching him do his thing, hoping he has his moments to shine,” Dorsett said. “But I hope he doesn’t shine too much.”