Rodney Hampton of the Giants has a streak of four straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons, an achievement only four other active backs in NFL history can match. Yet a poor rushing game is stunting the growth of the young Giants, and Hampton has to assume some blame. Coach Dan Reeves may want to start working rookie Tyrone Wheatley and veteran Herschel Walker into the running game more because Hampton isn't hitting the holes with the same authority that he did three years ago. What's more, before Sunday's game his average per carry (3.2 yards) this season was the second lowest among NFC backs with at least 100 yards.
Since 1993 Hampton has been less productive than other Giant backs on a per-carry basis, which is a major reason why the Giants have been unable to catch Dallas in the NFC East race. Here is how Hampton and his backups compare with Dallas's Emmitt Smith and his seconds since the start of the 1993 season:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]