The Miami Dolphins have been an also-ran in recent years in the NFL, but it has a storied history featuring some of the greatest players to ever play the game. From Dan Marino to Paul Warfield to Bob Griese, the Fins have had stars at many positions. Here’s a quick look at some of the greatest Dolphins to ever suit up in the teal and orange. If you have other opinions, leave a comment below and tell us why your player should be included in the list.
If there ever was a Mr. Miami Dolphin, it should be Mr. Marino. He plummeted down the draft board until the Dolphins snapped him up in the 1983 NFL Draft with the 27th overall pick. It didn’t take long for the Fins to realize the jewel they had found. The Dolphins were always playoff contenders if number 13 was behind center. He played in nine Pro Bowls and set countless passing records with his quick release, despite being basically a statue in the pocket. For his career, Marino threw for 61,361 yards, 420 touchdowns, and 252 interceptions. His best season was in 1984 when he threw for more than 5,000 yards and 48 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions. He’s cast a shadow over the Dolphins QB position, which hasn’t been filled since.
Despite standing just 6’1” and weighing 190 pounds, Bob Griese was the unquestioned, poised leader of the Miami Dolphins through the 1970’s. He’s still the only quarterback in history to lead his team to an undefeated season and Super Bowl championship. Griese was a six-time Dolphins MVP, named All-Pro in 1971 and 1977, played in two AFL All-Star games and six NFC-AFC Pro Bowls. Griese was a first-round choice out of Purdue for the Dolphins way back in 1967. In 14 professional seasons, Griese completed 1,926 passes for 25,092 yards, and 192 touchdowns. He also was dangerous on the ground, rushing 261 times for 994 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Zonk was a 6’3”, 235 pound fullback who made opposing defenses cringe when he was running downhill towards them. Csonka was selected with the Dolphins number one draft pick in 1968. Csonka surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in all three of the Miami Dolphins Super Bowl seasons in the 1970’s. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards in 1972 to help lead the Dolphins during the only perfect season in pro football history. Csonka carried the Fins during Super Bowl VIII when he won MVP by carrying the ball 33 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. For his career, he ran for 8,081 yards, 68 touchdowns and 820 yards receiving. All the while, he fumbled the ball only 21 times in his 11-year pro career.
He only spent five seasons with the Dolphins, but what a five years it was. Warfield was selected to the Pro Bowl in all but one year with the Fins and was an All-Pro from 1971-73. Warfield was the Dolphins star receiver to match up with the Fins’ star quarterback, Griese, and stud running back, Csonka. Warfield played in a heavy run-first attack, but still caught 33 touchdown passes during his five years in Miami. All total, Warfield would pull down 156 passes for 3355 yards and 33 touchdowns during his five-year stay in Miami. Warfield averaged 20 yards per catch for his career, including averaging 25 yards per catch in 1970 with the dolphins.
While Marino was the brains of the offense, Stephenson was the key cog in the offensive line that protected Marino until 1987. He was selected All-Pro for five straight years and was named the AFC or NFL Offensive Linemen of the Year in various major polls. Stephenson played in 107 straight games and started in 80 consecutive games until the 1987 players’ strike ended the streak. Stephenson stood 6’2” and weighed 255 pounds, but was a fierce blocker who helped get the Dolphins to three AFC Championship games and two Super Bowls. Stephenson suffered a serious knee injury after the strike and when the knee didn’t respond to treatment, was forced to retire in 1988.