Barry Sanders, whether you agree with me or not, is the greatest running back of all time. Not Emmit Smith. Barry Sanders. #20. Smith had a great O-line in front of him as well as a great QB who had great receivers, providing a balanced attack. Barry was IT for the Lions. They had some good WR's, but never a great QB, and a piss-poor O-line throughout his career. Take that into account & compare stats again. Sanders wins by a mile. Its a shame he never had a chance to compete for a title.