After six grueling rounds of fan voting, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders emerged as our cover athlete forMadden NFL 25. The Hall of Famer beat out reigning MVP Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. The results were announced last night during aSportsNation special, in which it was revealed Sanders took 58% of the final vote.

"The Madden NFL franchise has such a rich tradition and history, and there's no better way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary than by having one of the best players of all-time on the cover," said Anthony Stevenson, Senior Director of Marketing for EA SPORTS. "Barry Sanders has long been a fan favorite, so we're proud to have him as the face of Madden NFL 25."

The two finalists shared a similar feat in which they each rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards in 1997 while Peterson came just shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark last season, running for 2,097 yards. But while Sanders is third on the all-time rushing list, having abruptly retired from the NFL at the peak of his career, Peterson is just now entering his peak. In six seasons, Peterson has amassed8,849 rushing yards.

Madden NFL 25 marks the second year Barry Sanders has appeared on the cover of aMadden game. He also was featured in the background of the Madden NFL 2000 cover.

By Matt Liebl