Pony Express returns to ride again

February, 16, 2010
2/16/10
4:34
PM CT
Eric Dickerson and Craig James, SMU's famous backfield duo during the heady Pony Express days from 1979-82, will jointly accept the PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet Friday night at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
Dickerson
Getty ImagesEric Dickerson, along with Craig James, combined to form SMU's famous backfield duo, the "Pony Express."

Dickerson and James join a prestigious list of recipients which includes Calvin Hill (2008), Marcus Allen (2007), Walter Payton (2006), Jim Swink (2005), John David Crow (2004), Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis (2003), Earl Campbell (2002), Tony Dorsett (2001), Pete Dawkins (2000), Archie Griffin (1999) and Gale Sayers (1998).

Accepting the 2009 Doak Walker Award will be hard-nosed Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. The Heisman Trophy finalist beat out Clemson's C.J. Spiller and fellow Heisman finalist Mark Ingram of Alabama for the Doak. Gerhart rushed for more than 1,800 yards and posted 11 games of more than 100 yards.

From 1979-82, teammates Dickerson and James, collectively known as the "Pony Express", led SMU to national prominence. In their careers, they combined for 8,192 rushing yards and 70 rushing touchdowns which remains a NCAA career record for a duo. They led SMU to national championships in 1981 and 1982.

Dickerson was a two-time All-America choice for SMU and finished third in the 1982 Heisman voting. He is SMU's career and single-season rushing record holder. Dickerson went on to an 11-year NFL career where he was voted All-Pro six times and established the current NFL rushing record when he ran for an astonishing 2,105 yards in 1984. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

James was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection at SMU and ranks third on SMU's all-time rushing list. James was the first player in the Southwest Conference since 1951 to be voted All-Conference at two positions (running back and punter). He went on to a productive professional career with the New England Patriots, where he was the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in 1985 and voted to the Pro Bowl in 1986.

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