The Colts Ring of Honor will be adding two new members this year. The team announced today that running backs Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson, both Pro Football Hall of Famers, will go into the Ring of Honor during halftime of the December 15 game against the Houston Texans.
In 1987, Colts general manager Jim Irsay made a huge trade to bring a fan favorite to Indianapolis, the already successful running back Eric Dickerson. He played five seasons in Indianapolis (1987-1991) and he posted three straight 1,000 yard seasons (including winning the NFL rushing title in 1988). He was a three time Pro Bowler and a two time All-Pro in his time with the Colts. With the Colts, he rushed for 5,194 yards on 1,258 carries (4.13 yards per carry), scoring 32 touchdowns. He added 138 catches, 1,120 yards and 3 scores through the passing game. For his career (11 years), he gained 13,259 yards on the ground to rank as the league's seventh-leading rusher all time. He scored 90 touchdowns to go along with his 4.43 yards per carry average. He won four rushing titles, set a then-NFL single season record with 2,105 rushing yards in 1984, was the NFL's rookie of the year in 1983, was named to six Pro Bowls and was a five time All-Pro. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1999. He was traded away after the 1991 season.
Like Dickerson, Marshall Faulk spent five years in Indianapolis (1994-1998) after being drafted by the team second overall in the 1994 draft. He posted four 1,000 yard rushing seasons and, like Faulk, he had a year over 2,000 yards (although Faulk's was all-purpose scrimmage yards while Dickerson's was purely rushing yards). With the Colts, Faulk gained 5,320 yards on the ground while averaging 3.83 yards per carry and scoring 42 touchdowns. Through the air, he accounted for 297 catches, 2,804 yards, and 9 touchdowns. With the Colts he was a three time Pro Bowler and three time All Pro, and he too was the NFL's rookie of the year, in 1984. He ranks third in Colts history in rushing yards and attempts and fourth in touchdowns. In his 12 year career as a whole, he ranks as the NFL's tenth leading rusher all time after gaining 12,279 yards (4.33 yards per carry) and scoring 100 touchdowns. Ever the duel threat, he also caught 767 passes for 6,875 yards and 36 scores. In his incredibly impressive career, he earned 7 Pro Bowl selections, was a 6 time All Pro, was the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in three straight seasons (1999-2001) and the NFL's MVP in 2000. In four straight seasons, he gained over 2,000 yards from scrimmage (1998-2001), still the only player to do that. After the 1998 season, Faullk and the team were in a bit of a contract dispute and new general manager Bill Polian didn't want that distraction with a young team. Polian would select Edgerrin James in the 1999 draft to replace him. Over the next three seasons with the Rams (1999-2001) Faulk was arguably as good as any running back has ever been.
Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk will become the tenth and eleventh inductees in the Colts' Ring of Honor, joining the 12th Man, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Hinton, Ted Marchibroda, Bill Brooks Robert Irsay, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, and Tony Dungy.
This will make three running backs in the Colts Ring of Honor, and all three should be in the Hall of Fame some day (Edgerrin James is not yet in, although he deserves to be). That's impressive, even if two of the three had more success elsewhere other than Indy.
If anybody has an issue with putting these two in the Ring of Honor, it's likely because much of their success came somewhere other than Indy (actually both with the Rams). When people think of either Dickerson or Faulk, they don't think of the Colts but rather the Rams, and that's why some might take issue with putting them in over some other worthy candidates. But I'm not going to argue it and I think that this is the right move and a good one.
Dickerson was the Colts' first big star. Faulk was one of their biggest. And now the two Hall of Fame backs will join the Colts Ring of Honor on December 15, a fitting honor to two of the greatest running backs in NFL history.