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Friday, January 1, 2010
By the decade: NFC West runners

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Shaun Alexander stands above all others as the NFC West's most productive runner during the first decade of the 2000s.

Marshall Faulk's career spanned the 1990s and 2000s, affecting his standing.

I used Pro Football reference to produce rushing totals for all NFC West players since 2000 (Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks). Four players had at least 5,000 yards. None had even 3,000 for the Cardinals.

In fact, Alexander scored more rushing touchdowns during the decade -- 100 -- than all Cardinals players combined.

According to this Pro Football Reference list, Arizona players combined for 99 rushing touchdowns during the decade. I verified that information through official league stats. The Cardinals had two rushing touchdowns in 2005. Alexander had 27.

Tim Hightower's 18 rushing touchdowns led Arizona during the decade. Also on the list: Edgerrin James (16), Emmitt Smith (11), Marcel Shipp (11), Thomas Jones (9), Michael Pittman (9), Beanie Wells (7), Obafemi Ayanbadejo (3), Josh McCown (3), J.J. Arrington (3), Matt Leinart (2), Jeff Blake (2), Jake Plummer (2), Kurt Warner (1), Anquan Boldin (1) and Troy Hambrick (1).

I'll have to remember that as one piece of evidence to consider when the time comes to discuss Alexander's case for the Hall of Fame.