There is no simple answer to the question of who the better player was between Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders because it’s not a simple question. The uninformed use statistics to make their arguments, but they’re worthless in this debate. If done with other logical fans, the Emmitt/Barry debate can be a fun topic for a number of reasons: they were contemporaries, they were stylistically distinct, and Emmitt played forever while Barry retired early and left behind a bunch of “What If?” questions. Once you break down and compare the abilities of both players, you see that whether you’re an Emmitt Enthusiast or a Barry Backer, your preference depends on what you envision for your fantasy coached/owned team. This debate is a time-honored tradition, much like the Wilt Chamberlain/Bill Russell debate in the 60’s, Magic Johnson/Larry Bird in the 80’s, or for baseball fans, Ken Griffey, Jr./Barry Bonds in the 90’s.
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