All-Time Teams: Miami Dolphins



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Miami Dolphins All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1966

Record: 476-385-4 (55.28 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 20-21

Super Bowls Won: 2 (1972 and 1973) (Lost in 1971, 1982 and 1984)

AFL Championships Won: 0

Passing Leader: Dan Marino 4,967/8,358 | 61,361 Yds | 420 TD

Rushing Leader: Larry Csonka 1,506 Att | 6,737 Yds | 53 TD

Receiving Leader: Mark Duper 511 Rec | 8,869 Yds | 59 TD

Sack Leader: Jason Taylor 131 Sk

Interception Leader: Jake Scott 35 Int

Scoring Leader: Olindo Mare 1,048 Points

Winningest Coach: Don Shula 257-133-2



QB: Dan Marino (1983-1999)

Record: 147-93 | 59.4 Cmp% | 61,361 Yds | 420 TD | 252 Int | 87 Rush Yds | 9 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1992 and 1997 (362, 336, 378, 354, 330, 319) | Led League in Yds 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1992 (5,084, 4,137, 4,746, 4,434, 4,116) | Led League in TD 1984, 1985 and 1986 (48, 30, 44) | Led League in Yds/A 1984 (9) | Led League in Yds/G 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1992 (317.8, 296.6, 277.1, 257.3) | Led League in Rate 1984 (108.9) | 9x Pro-Bowl (83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 94, 95) | 3x All-Pro (84, 85, 86) | 1984 MVP | 1984 Offensive Player of the Year | 1984 Bert Bell | 1994 Comeback Player of the Year | 1998 Walter Payton Man of the Year | 1984 AFC Champion | Hall of Fame Class 2005


Dan Marino is obviously the choice at quarterback for the Dolphins. He revolutionized the position and routinely produced seasons that would stand out even in today's pass happy league. His 1984 season is one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback ever. Marino threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns in 1984, these were both the most ever in a single season and stood until 2011 and 2004 respectively. To put this into even more perspective, the top 25 single seasons for passing yards in NFL history are all from this century and 22 of them are from 2010 or later. Marino was clearly ahead of his time. He led the league in completions six times, yards five times, touchdowns three times, yards per attempt once, yards per game four times and quarterback rating once. When he retired in 1999, he had completed more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than anyone else in NFL history. He currently ranks eighth in completions, seventh in yards and seventh in touchdowns. Marino was voted to nine Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams and was also named the 1984 MVP, 1984 Offensive Player of the Year, 1994 Comeback Player of the Year and the 1998 Walter Payton Man of the Year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. It's worth noting that Bob Griese was great during his years in Miami as well. Griese won two Super Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bob Griese (1967-1980) | Record: 92-56-3 | 56.2 Cmp% | 25,092 Yds | 192 TD | 172 Int | 994 Rush Yds | 7 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1978 (63) | Led League in TD 1977 (22) | Led League in QB Rating 1977 (87.8) | 8x Pro-Bowl (67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 77, 78) | 2x All-Pro (71, 77) | 1977 Bert Bell | 1972 and 1973 Super Bowl Champion | 1971 AFC Champion | Hall of Fame Class 1990

  2. Earl Morrall (1972-1976) | Record: 11-1 | 53.9 Cmp% | 2,335 Yds | 17 TD | 17 Int | 120 Rush Yds | 1 Rush TD | Led League in QB Rating 1972 (91) | 1x All-Pro (72) | 1972 Comeback Player of the Year | 1972 and 1973 Super Bowl Champion

  3. David Woodley (1980-1983) | Record: 21-12-1 | 52.9 Cmp% | 5,928 Yds | 34 TD | 42 Int | 771 Rush Yds | 9 Rush TD | 1982 AFC Champion

  4. Jay Fielder (2000-2004) | Record: 36-23 | 58.4 Cmp% | 11,040 Yds | 66 TD | 63 Int | 834 Rush Yds | 11 Int

  5. Ryan Tannehill (2012-2018) | Record: 42-46 | 62.6 Cmp% | 20,434 Yds | 123 TD | 75 Int | 1,210 Rush Yds | 6 Rush TD


RB: Larry Csonka (1968-1974, 1979)

4.5 Yds/A | 6,737 Yds | 53 TD | 91 Rec | 688 Rec Yds | 4 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1971 (5.4) | 5x Pro-Bowl (70, 71, 72, 73, 74) | 2x All-Pro (71, 73) | 1979 Comeback Player of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 1987


Larry Csonka was one of the most powerful backs of all time. Csonka is still the franchise leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, even after some 40 plus years. He had three 1,000-yard seasons and was a key reason for three Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl victories, including the 1972 undefeated season. Csonka led the league in yards per attempt in 1971 and was voted to five straight Pro-Bowls from 1970-1974 and both the 1971 and 1973 All-Pro Teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.


RB: Ricky Williams (2002-2003, 2005, 2007-2010)

4.3 Yds/A | 6,436 Yds | 48 TD | 197 Rec | 1,431 Rec Yds | 6 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 2002 (1,853) | Led League in Yds/G 2002 (115.8) | 1x Pro-Bowl (02) | 1x All-Pro (02)


Ricky Williams is the other starting running back for the All-Time Dolphins team. Williams is an interesting case. He was traded to the Dolphins and had two spectacular seasons, but then he abruptly retired. Then he came back in 2005, but then violated league policy and was out of the league for a year again. Then he came back for three more seasons from 2007-2010. All that being said, when he was with the team, he was great. If it wasn't for the on again, off again career, he would have broken the franchise records in yards and touchdowns easily. Williams led the league in yards and yards per game in 2002 and in total had three 1,000-yard seasons in Miami. He was voted to the Pro-Bowl and All-Pro Team in 2002.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jim Kiick (1968-1974) | 3.7 Yds/A | 3,644 Yds | 28 TD | 221 Rec | 2,210 Rec Yds | 3 Rec TD | Led League in TD 1969 (9) | 2x Pro-Bowl (68, 69)

  2. Mercury Morris (1969-1975) | 5.1 Yds/A | 3,877 Yds | 29 TD | 46 Rec | 491 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | Led League in TD 1972 (12) | Led League in Yds/A 1973 (6.4) | Led League in Yds/Tch 1973 (6.6) | 3x Pro-Bowl (71, 72, 73)

  3. Delvin Williams (1978-1980) | 4.1 Yds/A | 2,632 Yds | 13 TD | 70 Rec | 574 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (78) | 1x All-Pro (78)

  4. Tony Nathan (1979-1987) | 4.8 Yds/A | 3,543 Yds | 16 TD | 383 Rec | 3,592 Rec Yds | 16 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1981 (5.3) | Led League in Yds/Tch 1980 (7.8) | 1x All-Pro (79)

  5. Karim Abdul-Jabbar (1996-1999) | 3.4 Yds/A | 3,063 Yds | 33 TD | 77 Rec | 527 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | Led League in TD 1997 (15)

  6. Ronnie Brown (2005-2010) | 4.3 Yds/A | 4,815 Yds | 36 TD | 184 Rec | 1,491 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (08)


WR: Paul Warfield (1970-1974)

156 Rec | 3,355 Yds | 33 TD | Led League in TD 1971 (11) | 5x Pro-Bowl (70, 71, 72, 73, 74) | 2x All-Pro (71, 73) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1983


Paul Warfield is first up at wide receiver. Warfield actually spent more seasons in Cleveland and was great with them as well, but there is no doubt he is more remembered for his great years in Miami. Warfield spent five seasons in Miami and was voted to the Pro-Bowl in all five of them. He was also named All-Pro in both 1971 and 1973. Warfields best season in Miami was 1971 when he led the league in touchdowns with 11. He was a key member of those great early 1970s Dolphins teams and named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. Warfield was enshrined in Canton in 1983.


WR: Mark Clayton (1983-1992)

550 Rec | 8,643 Yds | 81 TD | Led League in TD 1984 and 1988 (18, 14) | Led League in RRTD 1984 (18) | 5x Pro-Bowl (84, 85, 86, 88, 91)


Mark Clayton is next up at wide receiver for the Dolphins. Clayton doesn't get the respect he deserves from Hall of Fame voters. He's at least a borderline Hall of Famer and led the league in touchdowns twice and combined rushing and receiving touchdowns once. Clayton was voted to five Pro-Bowls and had at least 1,000 yards in five different seasons. He also had at least 10 touchdowns in four seasons. Clayton was one half of the famous "Marks Brothers" and is much better than he seems to be remembered for.


WR: Mark Duper (1982-1992)

511 Rec | 8,869 Yds | 59 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (83, 84, 86)


The third receiver is the other half of the "Marks Brothers", Mark Duper. Duper was great during his years in Miami as well. He's the franchise leader in receiving yards and had at least 1,000 yards in four seasons. Duper was voted to the Pro-Bowl in 1983, 1984 and 1986. Nat Moore was also great with Miami and is a close second for this spot.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Karl Noonan (1966-1971) | 136 Rec | 1,798 Yds | 17 TD | Led League in TD 1968 (11)

  2. Howard Twilley (1966-1976) | 212 Rec | 3,064 Yds | 23 TD

  3. Nat Moore (1974-1986) | 510 Rec | 7,546 Yds | 74 TD | Led League in TD 1977 (12) | 1x Pro-Bowl (77) | 1x All-Pro (77)

  4. Duriel Harris (1976-1983, 1985) | 269 Rec | 4,534 Yds | 18 TD

  5. Irving Fryar (1993-1995) | 199 Rec | 3,190 Yds | 20 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (93, 94)

  6. O.J. McDuffie (1993-2000) | 415 Rec | 5,074 Yds | 29 TD | Led League in Rec 1998 (90)

  7. Chris Chambers (2001-2007) | 405 Rec | 5,688 Yds | 43 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 2001 (18.4) | 1x Pro-Bowl (05)

  8. Brandon Marshall (2010-2011) | 167 Rec | 2,228 Yds | 9 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (11)

  9. Jarvis Landry (2014-2017) | 570 Rec | 4,038 Yds | 22 TD | Led League in Rec 2017 (112) | 3x Pro-Bowl (15, 16, 17)


TE: Keith Jackson (1992-1994)

146 Rec | 1,880 Yds | 18 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (92)


Tight end is surp