With the NFL celebrating its 100th anniversary this season, it is time to analyze all 32 teams and remember some of the greatest players to ever play the game for each of these respected franchises.
The next team to be analyzed is… the MIAMI DOLPHINS! Beginning in 1966, the Dolphins struggled in their first four years in the American Football League with three 10+ loss seasons under head coach George Wilson. But, after hiring Don Shula as their new head coach in 1970, the Dolphins became a playoff contender with five consecutive postseason berths from 1970-1974 along with three straight Super Bowl appearances in Super Bowl VI (loss to the Dallas Cowboys), Super Bowl VII (17-0 season, win over the Washington Redskins), and Super Bowl VIII (win over the Minnesota Vikings).
However, after winning Super Bowl VIII, the Dolphins would not experience another postseason victory until 1982 when they advanced to Super Bowl XVII, but came up short to the Redskins. But, after drafting Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft, the Dolphins advanced to their fifth Super Bowl appearance in 1984, but would fall short to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX. Despite losing two Super Bowls in three years, Don Shula still remained in control and led the Dolphins to five more playoff berths (including two AFC Championship games in 1985 as well as 1992) before retiring at the end of the 1995 season.
With Don Shula’s departure from Miami, the Dolphins could not reclaim their postseason magic despite another five consecutive playoff berth streak from 1997-2001 under head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt with only three Wild Card victories. After recording their first losing season in 16 years in 2004, the Dolphins fell in the AFC East standings over the next three years before claiming a division title in 2008 under head coach Tony Sparano. However, the Dolphins continued their struggles as the 2010’s began and made one postseason appearance in 2016 under head coach Adam Gase.
Now, after this brief history of Miami’s NFL franchise, here is my all time roster of the Dolphins using the 53-man roster the NFL uses today. I will separate each section of the team’s personnel into different parts and post each section.
Part 1: Offensive Backfield (Quarterbacks, Halfbacks, Fullbacks)
Part 2: Receiving Corps (Wide Receivers, Tight Ends)
Part 3: Offensive Line Unit
Part 4: Defensive Line Unit
Part 5: Linebacker Corps
Part 6: Secondary Unit (Cornerbacks, Safeties)
Part 7: Special Teams Unit
Let’s take a look at the Miami Dolphins all time defensive line unit!
Jason Taylor, the Miami Dolphins all time sack leader with 131 sacks, led the NFL with 18.5 sacks in 2002 and earned six Pro Bowl honors as well as three All-Pro selections in his 13 years with Miami. Taylor also won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2006 by leading the league with nine forced fumbles and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2017.
Bob Baumhower played all nine seasons of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and earned five Pro Bowl honors as well as an All-Pro selection in 1983. Baumhower also was a key contributor on Miami’s “Killer Bee” defense and recorded a sack in the 1982 AFC Championship. Baumhower was the 40th overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft (teammate A.J. Duhe was the 13th overall selection).
Tim Bowens played all 11 seasons of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1994. Bowens also has the 2nd most sacks of any defensive tackle in Dolphins history (22; Randy Starks had 30.5 sacks) and earned two Pro Bowl honors with Miami. Bowens was the 20th overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft (Todd Steussie was the 19th overall pick).
Bill Stanfill played all eight seasons of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and earned five Pro Bowl honors as well as an All-Pro selection in 1972. Stanfill also was a key contributor in Miami’s 1971-1973 Super Bowl runs and returned two interceptions for TD’s as a rookie in 1969. Stanfill was the 11th overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft (Fred Dryer was the 13th overall selection).
Statistics from Pro Football Reference website