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Reason #3 - One of the best three-year runs of any running back in NFL history

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Terrell Davis’ career wasn’t the longest, but his ‘96-’98 stretch was one of the great performances by a player, regardless of position

The Maxim Party - Arrivals Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images

As we wind down this 30 for 30 series on Terrell Davis’ candidacy for the Hall of Fame, I thought it would be fun to play a little game to demonstrate how dominant Davis was over his prime three-year stretch; which is arguably the greatest three-year stretch of any back in NFL history.

Competing in this game are three current hall of famers, one likely to get in the hall of fame this year (LaDainian Tomlinson), and one who has yet to make it in (Shaun Alexander), and of course our very own Terrell Davis who should have been inducted years ago.

These backs were chosen because they had, statistically, some of the greatest three-year stretches in the NFL.

So how this game will work is we have four statistical categories and each player will be ranked 1-6 within that category. Each player will then be given a point total (6-1) based on his rank within the category (first place gets 6 points and so on).

We will then tally up the points to see who had the most dominant three-year stretch in NFL history.

Rushing yards over greatest three-year stretch

4,743 - Emmitt Smith (‘93 - ‘95)

4,751 - LaDainian Tomlinson (‘05 - ‘07)

5,011 - Shaun Alexander (‘03 - ‘05)

5,106 - Barry Sanders (‘95 - ‘97)

5,147 - Eric Dickerson (‘83 - ‘85)

5,296 - Terrell Davis (‘96 - ‘98)

Rushing touchdowns over greatest three-year stretch

33 - Barry Sanders (‘95 - ‘97)

44 - Eric Dickerson (‘83 - ‘85)

49 - Terrell Davis (‘96 - ‘98)

55 - Emmitt Smith (‘93 - ‘95)

57 - Shaun Alexander (‘03 - ‘05)

61 - LaDainian Tomlinson (‘05 - ‘07)

Rushing yards per attempt over greatest three-year stretch

4.7 - Emmitt Smith (‘93 - ‘95)

4.7 - LaDainian Tomlinson (‘05 - ‘07)

4.8 - Shaun Alexander (‘03 - ‘05)

4.8 - Terrell Davis (‘96 - ‘98)

4.8 - Eric Dickerson (‘83 - ‘85)

5.3 - Barry Sanders (‘95 - ‘97)

Awards over greatest three-year stretch

6 - Shaun Alexander (‘03 - ‘05) - 3 Pro Bowls/First Team All-Pro/MVP/OPOTY

6 - Eric Dickerson (‘83 - ‘85) - 2 Pro Bowls/2 First Team All-Pro/OPOTY/OROTY

7 - LaDainian Tomlinson (‘05 - ‘07) - 3 Pro Bowls/2 First Team All-Pro/MVP/OPOTY

7 - Barry Sanders (‘95 - ‘97) - 3 Pro Bowls/2 First Team All-Pro/MVP/OPOTY

8 - Emmitt Smith (‘93 - ‘95) - 3 Pro Bowls/3 First Team All-Pro/MVP/SB MVP

10 - Terrell Davis (‘96 - ‘98) - 3 Pro Bowls/3 First Team All-Pro/MVP/2 OPOTYs/SB MVP

Total Points

11 - Emmitt Smith (‘93 - ‘95)

14 - Shaun Alexander (‘03 - ‘05)

14 - Eric Dickerson (‘83 - ‘85)

14 - LaDainian Tomlinson (‘05 - ‘07)

15 - Barry Sanders (‘95 - ‘97)

19 - Terrell Davis (‘96 - ‘98)

And the winner by a decisive margin over four Hall of Fame players, is Terrell Davis. Davis never dipped below three points in each category and led two of the categories.

I honestly did not know what the outcome would be when I began putting this together, but it is clear that Terrell Davis had the most dominant stretch a back has ever had in NFL history.