Fourteen years ago, Emmitt Smith — the NFL's all-time leading rusher — signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals after 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys that included 17,162 rushing yards.
His post-Cowboys career wasn't great.
Smith rushed for just 256 yards and two touchdowns on 90 carries (2.8 yards per carry) over 10 appearances for a really bad Arizona team. Though he rebounded in 2004 with 937 yards and nine scores in helping the Cardinals not suck as much, the first-ballot Hall of Famer didn't live up to his own expectations.
"In my mind, I think I'm a 1,300-yard back, and I will be out to prove that," Smith said when released by the Cowboys.
Fifteen spots below Smith on the career rushing list with 11,747 yards is Adrian Peterson. As noted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Peterson — a once-elite running back who signed with the New Orleans Saints in April — is the 10th of those 16 players who switched teams in their 30s.
None of the first nine rushed for 1,000 yards in their first season with the new team (Frank Gore rushed for 1,025 in 2016, his second season with the Colts). Only five players had more than 300 yards, and three had fewer than 200 yards.
Marcus Allen is the only player to score more than six rushing touchdowns in that first season, recording 12 scores with the Chiefs in 1993, and three players (the same three who failed to rush for 200 yards) didn't have a single rushing touchdown.
Here are the numbers for the nine players who preceded Peterson.
|Rk. (Overall)||Player||New Team||Age||Year||Att-Yds-TD|