"Dirty yards” in football are usually short yardage, highly contested runs for about three or four yards. A “home run”—a clear path to big yardage and a possible score—isn’t always available, so football coaches appreciate runnings backs that can get a few “dirty yards” and create somethng positive out of nothing. The running back often gets his uniform dirty on these “dirty runs.”
“Someone who ducks his head and churns out the dirty yards” was cited in print in 2004. “Gore’s strongest area has never been dirty yards in a crowd of players” was cited in 2008. It’s not known who originated the term.
“Three yards and a cloud of dust” is a somewhat similar football term.
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Running on 3rd and 1 and failing to convert
the Mad Sweeney
He gets yards and points, but not the hard yards necessary to put away a game. I really hope we don’t give him super bucks, I want him gone. Let someone else take advantage of the OL, someone who ducks his head and churns out the dirty yards like we needed today.
Google Groups: alt.sports.football.pro.sf-49ers
Frank Gore’s problem?
Gore’s strongest area has never been dirty yards in a crowd of players. Rather, you want to get him one-on-one with a LB who he can make miss. Taking players on both sides of the ball away from the point ofattack gives him more room to make his moves.
Young Receiving Unit Gaining Experience
Saturday 10/01/2009 - Al Featherston, GoDuke.com
Lewis also likes the way his receivers run after the catch.
“We have some guys that can get what Coach Cutcliffe calls the dirty yards,” the senior QB told the Duke Chronicle in a preseason interview. “These receivers are willing to lower a shoulder and are capable of making somebody miss in the flats to pick up a couple of extra yards or break even bigger gains.”
The Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA)
HS Football: Joe Bianchini powers Apponequet past Case
By BILL ABRAMSON
Posted Oct. 11, 2009 at 12:01 AM
“He’s a workhorse for us. He gets a lot of dirty yards inside and he has to block for those powers (sweeps) so he’s a collision every single play. “
Ray rice gettin them dirty yards
9:28 PM - 6 Nov 2011
I think the bears commentator just likes to say the word ‘dirty’ #dirtyyards #nfl
1:36 PM - 9 Sep 2012
End justifies the yawns for UCLA: Phrases like “dirty yards” and “old school” were tossed around by UCLA players… http://UCLABlog.com
4:59 AM - 14 Oct 2012
“Dirty yards” was a popular term in the postgame locker room. Garrett, Murray, Witten talked about the importance of the short yardage runs
11:53 PM - 5 Oct 2014
I love the term that garret coins. Dirty yards. You gonna tackle me? I’m gonna hurt you.
3:49 PM - 12 Oct 2014
Game at a glance: Cowboys 30, Seahawks 23
Sunday, October 12, 2014 7:54 PM PDT
Offered Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, “I thought he did a really good job. Those are dirty yards.”
DeMarco Murray’s game filled with dirty yards
Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
Murray did not reach 100 yards against the Eagles, but he was able to grind out 81 yards on 31 carries while scoring two touchdowns, picking up the dirty yards as coach Jason Garrett calls them.
January 8, 2015
Garrett: Update On Injuries; Packers Prep; “Dirty Yards”
Coach Garrett speaks with the media on Thursday from Valley Ranch.