The Miami Dolphins were the ninth franchise to join the American Football league in 1966. They would go on to have one of the most successful starts in NFL history, becoming the only team to have ever achieved the perfect season just six years after its founding.
The early 1970s Dolphins would be nothing if it weren’t for legendary coach Don Shula. In his first season as head coach, Shula led the Dolphins to their first AFC wild-card game in 1970 with a winning record. They would go on to win four consecutive AFC Championships, two culminating in Super Bowl victories.
Although never reaching the same level of success, the Dolphins saw a resurgence in the 1980s with quarterback Dan Marino. In addition to two back-to-back Super Bowl victories, the Dolphins have won 13 division titles and five AFC championships.
But who would make a Mount Rushmore of Dolphins players? Take a look at the list below.
Despite never being able to claim the Lombardi Trophy, Dan Marino is without a doubt the most iconic name in Miami’s history.
Marino takes the cake when it comes to franchise records. He still holds the record for all-time leader in pass completions, passing yards and most pass touchdowns. He also currently holds the team-record for most wins with 147.
A nine-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-team All-Pro, Marino led the league in passing yards with 5,084 and 48 touchdown throws in just his second season, bringing Miami to its final Super Bowl appearance in 1984.
Bob Griese is the most decorated player in Dolphins history and went from a good quarterback to a great quarterback under the guidance of the great Don Shula.
The No. 4 overall pick in 1967, Griese performed well early on but saw true success under Shula beginning in 1970. Griese helped Miami to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances and despite missing most of the 1972 perfect season after breaking his leg, he came back in the playoffs to help bring home a ring.
He was selected for the Pro Bowl six times and is a two-time First-Team All-Pro. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
Another member of the 1972 team, Larry Csonka is a no brainer for a list of all-time greats.
An early round draft pick in 1968, Csonka built a reputation of being one of the toughest fullbacks in the league. He rushed 6,737 yards and 53 touchdowns and led the team in rushing for five consecutive seasons.
He was named Super Bowl MVP in 1973 and was named to five back-to-back Pro Bowls.
Jason Taylor’s 15 seasons in the NFL, most of which were spent in Miami, make him one of the best defensive ends in league history.
One of the best pass rushers at the time, Taylor remains seventh on the all-time career sack list with 139.5 sacks and is the all-time leader in fumble return touchdowns with six. His 246 fumble return yards are also the fourth-highest total in NFL history.
A six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-team All-pro, Taylor was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.