This is easy...
Henry Hynoski hands down is the goat.
Larry Allens first season was in 1994.
Here are Emmitt's seasons before Larry Allen:
1990: 937 yds, 11 TDs, 3.9 YPC (Rookie year)
1991: 1,563 yds, 12 TDs, 4.2 YPC
1992: 1,713 Yds, 18 TDs, 4.6 YPC
1993: 1,486 Yds, 9 TDs, 5.3 YPC (in 14 games)
The bolded stats are ones he led the league in. You'll notice he led the league in Yds 3 straight years, and even led the league in YPC.
That was all before Larry Allen ever blocked a down for him.
To me, it's Jerry Rice.
But if I allow the homer in me to speak for once, it's Ray Lewis! (Yes, I know he isn't the GOAT football player, but as I said, let me be a homer just a bit!)
Future Baltimore Raven
Lawrence Taylor, but if I'm feeling like a homer then Walter Payton.
No doubt in my mind it is Julius Peppers!
1. Julius Peppers
2. Reggie White
3. Joe Montana
4. Lawrence Taylor
5. Jerry Rice
I'd go with Jerry Rice. He's the only player that stats definitively back up as the GOAT. Hardest workouts and greatest route runner. 3-4 DB's could cover this guy and he would still get open.
Walter Payton is another guy you can argue as the best as well.
Moss or Dan Marino for me. On defense hard to argue against LT.
Cameron Jordan is awesome
12.5 sacks and this http://instagram.com/p/jfs5DemKo3/
Emmitt would've been great had Larry Allen never set foot in a Cowboys uni. And as for the prolonged part, I think he, like every offensive linemen ever, had some effect on Emmitt's longevity and ability, but it wasn't drastically more than most other HBs.
His last year getting 1,000 Yds was when he was 32. He averaged 3.9 YPC that year. He declined like every other HB, it was just about a year later than normal.
If you count only his yards and TDs up until he was 32 (essentially take off the garbage stats he accumulated while sucking his last few years in Dallas and Arizona) he still would have 16,187 yds and 148 TDs, which would place him 2nd and 1st in NFL history, respectively.
He was great because he was a great HB, not because his offensive line were greek gods compared to every other O-line in history. As I posted on this site before, pretty much all of the Lineman Emmitt ran behind had never went to Pro-Bowls prior to Emmitt coming along, and many had been in the NFL for awhile at that point. Similarly, most failed to go to any Pro-Bowls after they ceased playing with Emmitt.
You can attribute that to a wacky coincidence or you can believe that the greatness of the Cowboys Running game was equal parts Emmitt and equal parts the Line.
The Real L.T.
Smith has the best OL I've ever seen prior to 1994. When Allen arrived, the OL was losing players to the cap and the amazing Eric Williams lost a lot of his amazement after his accident. Smith ran behind Allen for basically the rest of his career. Without that great OL, Smith wasn't going to come close to the all-time rushing title and without Allen, I doubt he lasts as long as he did.
Larry Allen was great and I stick by opinion that he might be the best offensive player of all-time. Afterall, "He was instrumental in helping former Dallas running back, Emmitt Smith, sprint towards the all-time NFL rushing record -- Smith gained 11,463 of his 17,162 career yards with Dallas after Allen joined the Cowboys in 1994"
Good debate and at least you handle yourself better than my illiterate stalker.