NFL

Miami Dolphins’ Mount Rushmore

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In recent years, the Miami Dolphins have failed to live up to expectations, but that doesn’t take away from their rich history. As a franchise, the Dolphins have played in the Super Bowl five times, winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy twice.

With that being said, there’s been a plethora of legendary players to don the aqua green and orange over the years.

Dan Marino – When you think of Dolphins football, you may think about their perfect 1972 season first, but player wise, Dan Marino comes to mind first.

Although Marino never won a Super Bowl, he transcended the quarterback position forever.

Nowadays, it’s common to see elite quarterbacks hoist video game like numbers, but back in Marino’s day, you weren’t seeing those type of numbers.

Marino was the exception.

In just his second season, Marino broke NFL records for most touchdown passes (48) and passing yards (5,084). Both records have been broken multiple times now, but both stood for over 20 years.

Marino spent his entire 17-year career in Miami, in which he made the Pro Bowl nine times, while leading the league in passing yards five times and in touchdown passes three times.

Marino was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Larry Csonka – Unlike Marino, the great Larry Csonka knows what it feels like to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy.

As a matter of fact, he was present for the franchise’s lone two Super Bowl titles back in 1972 and 1973. While the Dolphins were very talented across the board, there’s no way they would’ve been as successful without the contributions from Csonka.

During Csonka’s eight years in Miami, he made the Pro Bowl five times, while being named a first-team All-Pro three times. He’s the franchises all-time leader in rushing yards (6,737) and rushing touchdowns (53).

Along with his spectacular statistics, Csonka will be remembered for his toughness. He once played through a broken nose amongst other injuries throughout his hall of fame career.

Zach Thomas – Unlike the previous two players, Zach Thomas came into the league with little to no expectations. Back in the 1996 NFL Draft, Thomas was selected with the 154th overall pick in the fifth round out of Texas Tech.

Thomas was considered undersized, but he proved all the naysayers wrong to say the least.

Middle linebackers are often looked at as the leader of the defense and Thomas was a clear-cut example of just that. The tackling machine played 12 seasons in Miami, in which he earned Pro Bowl honors seven times, while making first-team All-Pro five times.

Considering his size, Thomas was one of those guys capable of making plays from sideline to sideline. With the combination of speed and athleticism, Thomas was able to record four 100 plus tackle seasons.

Not to mention, Thomas totaled 17 interceptions to go along with four touchdowns for his career.

Jason Taylor – From one legendary defensive player to another.

Standing at an intimidating 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, Jason Taylor was truly one of a kind.

Not only was Taylor a freak athlete, the former Akron standout was great at using his hands to get to opposing quarterbacks. Also, Taylor was pretty good at scooping up fumbles and returning them for touchdowns.

Taylor is the NFL’s all-time leader in fumble return touchdowns with six.

Furthermore, Taylor is the franchises all-time leader in sacks with 131. Cameron Wake is a distant second with 70 sacks.

In the midst of his illustrious career, Taylor totaled six seasons of double digit sacks. All were with the Dolphins.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.