Common sense would tell you that at this point, Adrian Peterson has no shot at breaking Emmitt Smith’s All-Time Rushing Record.
At 30, Peterson is more than 8,000 yards away from Smith’s mark of 18,355 yards and coming off a lost year, in which he appeared in one game and rushed for 75 yards before being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston, who blocked for Smith for many years, has gone so far as to say that the lost year meant the record was safe.
But Peterson believes he still has a chance, at least, and actually sees the lost year as a potential positive.
“I don't think it's impossible,” Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “A lot of things are still to come. ... I look at things that anything is possible. He played 15 years. I'm going into year nine but I've only got eight on the body. That's a long-term goal (to break the record).”
Despite being 30, an age that means the end is near (if they make it that far) for most running backs of this day and age, Peterson believes he has plenty of quality seasons left.
“I think I can play (past Smith's retirement age of 35),” Smith said. “I'm blessed with tremendous talent and recovery and everything, so I feel like I'll be able to play as long as I want. ... I want to play seven more (years). Eight. I really feel that I can be 38 out there and still be the best running back in the NFL.”