Miami Dolphins 50 Best Players of All-Time
The Miami Dolphins had 31 of their first 33 NFL seasons at .500 or better, including their perfect 17-0 1972 campaign.
The NFL has been around in one form or another since 1920. Miami was initially not considered a possibility for supporting a franchise.
In 1946, The Miami Seahawks played in the All-America Football Conference, going 3-11 in their initial and only campaign.
In 1960, another contender for America's football affections emerged, the American Football League. The AFL started with 8 charter members, but Miami was again ignored.
In 1966, the AFL started to expand, allowing the Miami Dolphins to participate for the final four years of that League's existence.
While part of the AFL, the Dolphins were never competitive, going well under .500 during their first four seasons.
Since 2004, the Dolphins have struggled a bit, not managing very much on field success, and suffering through an embarrassing 1-15 campaign in 2007.
In total, 673 players have laced up their cleats and played at least one game for the Miami Dolphins. Let's count down the top 50. All rankings are based on the Approximate Value statistic, provided by www.profootball-reference.com.
50. Chris Chambers
Chris started 90 of his 100 games while on the Miami roster, including seven during his rookie season. Chris caught 405 balls for 5,688 yards and 43 touchdowns.
As a rookie in 2001, Chris led the NFL in Yards Per Catch, with 18.4. He also returned 36 kickoffs for 811 yards.
Chris made his first and only Pro Bowl in 2005.
Although Chris was never accused of being a selfless player, he always found a way to contribute to the team.
49. Eugene Morris
Morris rushed 754 times for 3,877 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also caught 46 balls for 491 yards and a TD. The majority of these stats were accrued as a backup halfback. He also returned punts and kickoffs for the Dolphins, including three more touchdowns.
Early in his career, Morris was so fast that he picked up the nickname "Mercury."
Mercury made the Pro Bowl in 1971,1972 and 1973.
He led the league in rushing touchdowns in 1972 with 12. He led all of pro football in 1969 with 43 kickoff returns for 1136 yards.
After his playing career was over, Mercury was convicted of a cocaine trafficking charge. He successfully challenged the legitimacy of certain evidence, overturning the conviction and procuring an early release (after four years).
Mercury is now a motivational speaker and frequently appears with the rest of the "perfect season" Miami Dolphins.
48. Bryan Cox
Bryan recorded 31.5 sacks during his time with the Dolphins, including 14 in 1992.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1992, 1994 and 1995 seasons.
Bryan was ever an emotional spark plug for the Dolphins including an infamous episode in Buffalo in 1993, where he brandished both middle fingers at the entire crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
47. Bob Brudzinski
Bob came to the Dolphins after four productive seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. He quickly fit in with the Bill Arnsbarger led "Killer B's." He went to two Super Bowls with the Dolphins, and is often mentioned as the answer to the question: "Who is the greatest player never to play in the Pro Bowl?"
46. Doug Swift
Doug earned a starting spot as the strong side linebacker position as a rookie. He started in that slot until his retirement in 1975. Doug anchored the defense during the Miami Dolphins Super Bowl seasons in the early 70's.
Doug was ready to return to camp in 1976 when he was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the expansion draft. Rather than report to the (soon to be legendary for all the wrong reasons) Bucs, Doug chose to retire.
He is now an anesthesiologist in the greater Philadelphia area.
45. John Offerdahl
John was a fierce competitor during his time anchoring the Miami Dolphins defense. He was selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, beginning with his rookie season in 1986. His best year was 1990, when he was chosen as a first team all NFL player.
Unfortunately for Dolfans, John played so hard that his body could not keep up. He never played more than nine games in a season after his dominating performance in 1990.
44. Mike Kolen
Era: 1970-1975, 1977
Mike was the right side linebacker during the Dolphins early 70's dynasty. His hard hitting play earned him the nickname, "Captain Crunch."
43. Roy Foster
Foster started 95 games at left guard for the Dolphins, protecting Dan Marino's blind side. He made the Pro Bowl in 1985 and 1986.
42. Jeff Cross
Jeff started 107 games for the Dolphins at right and left defensive end. He collected 365 career tackles and 59.5 career sacks.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1990.
41. Glenn Blackwood
As part of the "Killer B's," Glenn started at the strong safety postion for 106 games.
For a time, he was paired in the defensive secondary with his younger brother Lyle. The pair earned the moniker "The Bruise Brothers."
Glenn played his entire career with the Dolphins. He collected 29 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. He led the NFL in 1980 with four fumble recoveries.
40. Ricky Williams
Era: 2002-2003, 2005, 2007-2010
The winner of the 1998 Heisman trophy, Ricky rushed 1509 times for 6,436 yards and 48 TD's during his time with the Dolphins.
Ricky enjoyed a prolific and controversial career with the Dolphins. He joined the team after three seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In 2002, he rushed 383 times for 1,853 yards and 16 TD's, leading the league in attempts and yards gained.
In 2003, Ricky again led the league with carries, 392. However his yards gained fell off considerably, to 1,372. In 2004, Ricky retired amid allegations of drug abuse.
After a year's sabbatical, Ricky came back in 2005. After serving a four game suspension, he had a respectable 743 yards on 168 carries. Ricky failed another drug test and was suspended for 2006, a time during which he played on the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL.
In 2007, Ricky returned to the fish, set to split time with Ronnie Brown at HB. However, during the first game, he injured himself and sat for the whole year.
Ricky came back in 2008 and had three good seasons with the Dolphins. Ricky was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2002.
He recently signed a two year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
39. Patrick Surtain
Patrick started 82 games for the Dolphins at the left cornerback position. He intercepted 29 balls and collected four fumbles during that time.
Pat was selected to the Pro Bowl following his 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons.
38. Keith Sims
Keith replaced Roy Foster at the left guard postion and started 108 games for the Dolphins protecting Dan Marino's back. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, from 1993-1995.
37. A.J. Duhe
AJ started 89 games at right defensive end and interior linebacker.
Duhe was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1977 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1984. In spite of his prolific career, AJ is probably best remembered for his performance in one game: the 1982 AFC Championship game against the New York Jets. Duhe intercepted three passes in the second half, returning one for a touchdown. The Dolphins went on to win the game 14-0, going on to Super Bowl XVII.
36. Duriel Harris
Era: 1976-1983, 1985
In his career, Duriel caught 269 passes for 4,534 yards and 18 TD's.
As a favorite target for Bob Griese and later for the tandem of David Woodley and Don Strock, Duriel struck fear through the hearts of defenses throughout the AFC East.
35. Ronnie Lee
Era: 1979-1982 (TE), 1984-1989 (RG, RT)
Note: I couldn't find Ronnie Lee, so I just decided to use a picture of this ridiculously hot girl wearing Dolphin colors and shoulder pads. I hope you don't mind.
During Lee's first stint with the Dolphins, he was a tight end used mostly for run blocking, although he did catch 25 balls for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Lee went on to play for the Falcons in 1983.
When Ronnie returned to the Dolphins, it was as an interior lineman. He would go on to anchor the right side of the line through 1989.
He then left to play for the Seahawks for the next three years, retiring after the 1992 season.
34. Larry Gordon
Larry started 98 games in the Dolphins defensive backfield. He became a starter at the beginning of his rookie season and held the starter slot through his death during the 1982 offseason.
Larry collapsed while jogging in the Arizona desert. He was taken to an area hospital but pronounced dead soon afterward.
Although there was suspicion of drug use, the autopsy showed no evidence of such.
33. Paul Warfield
Paul played for the Cleveland Browns for the first six and the last two seasons of his football career. In the middle, he was a starting wide receiver for the Phins during their early 70's dynasty.
For the Dolphins, he caught 156 passes for 3,355 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Throughout his career, Warfield was known for his speed, grace and overall ability. He was the prototypical Wide Receiver.
Paul was selected to the Pro Bowl for each of the five seasons he played with Miami and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
32. Tim Ruddy
Ruddy played his entire career with Miami and started 140 games for the Dolphins at the center position.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 2000 season.
31. Manny Fernandez
Manny started 89 games for the Dolphins on the defensive line, mostly at left defensive tackle. Manny was just one cog in the "No-name Defense," which was in large part responsible for the Dolphins early 70's dynasty and perfect season.
Fernandez played his entire career with Miami, finishing with 35 sacks.
Manny dominated Super Bowl VII, finishing with 17 tackles and a sack.
30. Kim Bokamper
As a member of the "Killer B's," Kim, or "Bo," started 103 games for Miami, first as an outside linebacker, then later as the right defensive end.
Kim played his entire career with the Dolphins and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1979.
29. Jon Giesler
Note: Couldn't find Giesler; enjoy this picture instead.
Jon played his entire career with the Dolphins, starting 105 games from the left tackle position. Yet another in a long progression of impressive offensive linemen starting for Miami from the left side of the line.
Giesler currently owns and operates a chain of restaurants in the south Florida area.
28. Tim Foley
Tim started 101 games for Miami at various positions in the defensive secondary. Another cog in the machine that made up the "No-Name Defense."
Foley intercepted 22 passes and recovered eight fumbles for the Dolphins through his career, played entirely in Miami.
Foley made the Pro Bowl team in 1979.
27. Jim Kiick
Kiick started 59 games for Miami at the halfback position, rushing 997 times for 3,644 yards and 28 TD's. Kiick, paired with FB Larry Csonka, were coined "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Kiick was Butch.
Jim, along with Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield, famously left before the 1975 season to join the upstart WFL. They played for the Memphis Southmen. Kiick signed for the then unheard sum of $700,000. The WFL didn't last a single season, folding after 12 games.
Kiick played for Washington and Denver after returning from the WFL, although he never enjoyed any measure of sucess while employed.
Kiick had the worst day ever near the start of the 1977 season. On the day Kiick was cut from the Broncos, his wife divorced him and his house burned down.
26. Curtis Johnson
Johnson started 111 games for the Dolphins, mostly at the right cornerback position.
Curtis collected 22 interceptions and eight fumbles for Miami during his tenure in the NFL, played exclusively with the Dolphins.
25. Tony Nathan
Nathan started 63 games at the running back position for Miami. He rushed 732 times for 3,543 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 383 passes for 3592 yards and 16 more touchdowns.
Tony was a first team All-Pro as a rookie in 1979. He led the league in average yards per attempt in 1981 with 5.3 yards per carry.
24. Nick Buoniconti
Before joining the Dolphins, Nick played seven seasons for the Boston Patriots.
He started 81 games for Miami at the middle linebacker position, anchoring the No-Name Defense. He started for the Dolphins in all three Super Bowl appearances in the 70s.
Nick was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1969, 1972 and 1973. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Fame.
23. Doug Betters
Another part of the "Killer B's", Doug started 105 games for the Dolphins at the left defensive end position. He collected 64.5 sacks during his career.
Betters had an exceptional season in 1983, when he had 16 sacks and four fumble recoveries. He was selected for the Pro Bowl and awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
22. Ed Newman
Ed started 113 games on the offensive line for Miami, mostly in the RG position.
Ed started out as a decent offensive lineman, but he got better and better as his career progressed. He was selected to the Pro Bowl his final four years in the league, and was a first team All-Pro in his final season.
Also, during his final season, Newman started attending night school to procure a degree in law. He is presently a county court judge in Miami, Florida.
21. Larry Csonka
Era: 1968-1974, 1979
Csonka started all 106 games in which he appeared at the fullback position for the Dolphins. He was a brutal ball carrier who preferred to run through would be tacklers as opposed to going around them, and would often drag multiple defenders for several yards after initial contact. He rushed 1,506 times for 6,737 yards and 53 TD's. He also caught 91 passes for 688 yards and four TD's.
Csonka was the bus before Jerome Bettis was born.
Following the 1974 season, Csonka departed for greener pastures in the WFL. The league folded midway through the season, and Csonka returned to play for the New York Giants for three years before returning to the Dolphins for the 1979 season.
At the age of 33, Csonka enjoyed a very productive final season, scoring 12 TD's on 220 carries for 837 yards.
Csonka started in the Pro Bowl every season from 1970-1974, and was the comeback player of the year in 1979. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame, class of 1987.
If you were a defender playing the Dolphins while Csonka was in the backfield, then you feared "The Sundance Kid."
20. Tim Bowens
Bowens started 155 games for Miami, mostly at the left defensive tackle position.
Bowens collected 267 tackles and 22 sacks, along with five fumble recoveries and one interception during his career.
He was the defensive rookie of the year for 1994 and a Pro Bowl selectee following the 1998 and 2002 campaigns.
19. Dwight Stephenson
Dwight started 87 games for the Dolphins at the center position.
Stephenson is regarded by some as the greatest center ever to play the game. He was primarily a special teams player for most of his first two seasons. About midway into the 1981 season, he was tapped as the starter at center.
With Stephenson as captain, the Dolphins offensive line gave up the least sacks in the NFL for a then record six straight seasons, from 1982–1987.
Dwight made the Pro Bowl every year from 1983-1987, was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1985 and selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
18. Jake Scott
Scott started at both safety positions for 81 games while with Miami. He intercepted 35 passes and recovered eight fumbles. He also returned punts and kickoffs, leading the league in punt return yards in 1971 with 33 for 318.
Jake started five consecutive Pro Bowls with the Dolphins from 1970-1974.
Scott's brightest moment with the Dolphins, however, was being selected as the Super Bowl MVP, capping the perfect 1972 season.
17. Dick Anderson
Era: 1968-1974, 1976-1977
Dick started 93 games for the Dolphins at both safety positions. Paired with Jake Scott, they were arguably the most feared defensive backfield in the NFL.
Dick intercepted 34 passes with 792 return yards and 3 TD's. He also recovered 16 fumbles.
Scott was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1973, leading the league in interceptions with eight.
16. Norm Evans
Evans started 135 games for the Dolphins at right tackle.
Norm was selected to two Pro Bowls, in 1972 and 1974.
15. Bill Stanfill
Stanfill was the right defensive end for Miami, starting 91 games. During his career, Bill collected 67.5 sacks (unofficial).
Stanfill also maintained a presence at the Pro Bowl, making the team five times, in 1969 and 1971-1974.
14. Sam Madison
Sam started 127 games for Miami at the right cornerback position. Over his nine-year career with the Dolphins, he recorded 31 picks for 487 yards and two touchdowns. He also recovered four fumbles, had 283 solo tackles, 79 assists, one sack and a safety.
In 1998, he was second in the league with eight interceptions; the following year, he led the league with seven.
Madison made the Pro Bowl every year from 1999-2002.
When paired up with Patrick Surtain, the two were often regarded as the best defensive secondary in the NFL.
13. Mark Clayton
One half of "The Marks Brothers," Clayton was one of Dan Marino's two favorite receivers. Catching 550 passes for 8,643 yards and 81 TD's, Clayton could never be left unaccounted for and was frequently double teamed.
He led the NFL in receiving TD's in 1984, with 18, and again in 1988, with 14.
Mark was a Pro Bowl Selection in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1991.
12. Vern Den Herder
Vern started 144 games for Miami, mostly from the left defensive end position. He was part of the No-Name Defense early in his career and registered 64.5 sacks for the Dolphins.
He played his entire career for Miami and is currently a farmer in Sioux Center, IA.
11. Mark Duper
Duper was the other half of the previously mentioned "Marks Brothers" and started 136 games as wide receiver for the Dolphins.
Duper caught 511 passes for 8,869 yards and 59 TD's. He eclipsed 1,000 yards recieving in four different seasons, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1991.
He played in three Pro Bowls following the 1983, 1984, and 1986 seasons.
10. Jim Langer
Jim started 110 games as the Dolphins center. Langer, along with his immediate successor, Dwight Stephenson, are both members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
From 1973 to 1978, Langer made the Pro Bowl all six seasons. He is considered one of the best centers ever to play in the NFL.
9. Nat Moore
Nat started 124 games at wide receiver for Miami. He was a first team all pro in 1977.
Moore caught 510 passes for 7,546 yards and 74 TD's and led the NFL with 12 receiving TD's in 1977.
8. Bob Baumhower
Bob started 129 games for the fish, all at the nose tackle position. He was yet another of the Killer B's.
He recovered 16 fumbles and had one interception for the Dolphins. It's unknown how many sacks he collected over the years, as the stat was not tracked until 1982, but for his final four seasons, Bob totalled 14.5 sacks.
Bob is currently the owner/operator of a series of eight restaurants in Alabama known for buffalo wings. Fittingly enough, the restaurants are called "Baumhower's"
7. Bob Kuechenberg
Bob started 176 games for the Dolphins at left guard on the offensive line. This dude was an anchor. He made the Pro Bowl six times, in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983. He was a Hall of Fame finalist for eight years, but never made the cut.
6. Richmond Webb
Webb started 163 games for Miami at left tackle. He was a physical beast, standing 6'6" and weighing 325 pounds (before 300 pounders were common).
He made the Pro Bowl his first seven years in the league, 1990-1996.
During the Marino years, it was a priority to the team to make sure the left side of the offensive line was infallible. Between Webb, Roy Foster, Keith Sims, Tim Ruddy, Jon Giesler and Dwight Stephenson, Marino had very little to worry about from his blind side.
5. Larry Little
Larry started 153 games for Miami at right guard. He is another in a long line of Dolphin offensive linemen enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, inducted in 1993.
Little was instrumental in opening holes for the Dolphins vaunted early 70's rushing attack, featuring three members of this list: Csonka, Kiick and Morris.
Larry is often mentioned as the best right guard ever, and he was first team All-Pro every year from 1971-1975.
4. Bob Griese
Griese started 151 games at QB for the Dolphins. He completed 1,926 passes on 3,429 attempts for 25,092 yards and 192 TD's. He played in eight Pro Bowls in 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977 and 1978. In 1977, he led the league in passer efficiency with a rating of 87.8.
Starting at the beginning of the 1977 season, Griese started wearing glasses on the field, revealing that he was legally blind in his right eye. Soon afterward, his statline got a lot better, including Thanksgiving Day 1977, when he threw six touchdowns in three quarters.
After being nominated (and not inducted) for four years, Griese was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
3. Zach Thomas
Zach was an absolute beast on the gridiron, dominating opposing offenses from his position at middle linebacker.
Zach recorded 1,041 tackles and 598 assists. He also had 19.5 sacks, 17 interceptions for 170 yards and four TD's, 16 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
Zach played in seven Pro Bowls, 1999-2003, 2005 and 2006.
2. Jason Taylor
Era: 1997-2007, 2009, 2011
Taylor started 184 games for the Dolphins, mostly at right defensive end, later as the left outside linebacker.
Undersized for a defensive lineman, few offensive linemen could look at Taylor without fear. Taylor is driven on the football field and has so far collected 124 sacks for the Dolphins.
Jason also recorded 471 tackles, 222 assists, eight interceptions for 110 yards and three TD's, 45 forced fumbles, 27 fumble recoveries for 246 yards and six TD's and 31 scared quarterbacks.
Taylor was selected for the Pro Bowl six times: 2000, 2002 and 2004-2007. He is the all time career leader in fumble recoveries for TD. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2007 and is the active NFL sacks leader with a total of 132.5.
There is no doubt Taylor will one day be enshrined in Akron.
1. Dan Marino
I'll bet there was never any doubt in your head, dear reader, who would top this list. Marino is the all-time career leader in games played for the Dolphins, 240 of which he started.
When he retired in 1999, he owned every significant passing record in the game. He completed 4,967 passes out of 8,358 attempts for 61,361 yards and 420 TD's.
He was selected as the AFC's starter in nine Pro Bowls: 1983-1987, 1991-1992 and 1994-1995.
Dan was the NFL's MVP in 1984, when he set records with 5,084 yards and 48 TD's.
He was the NFL's comeback player of the year in 1994 and the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1998. He also starred in Ace Ventura Pet Detective and a Hootie and the Blowfish video.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, a first ballot selection.