Phins At 50: Top 10 Backs

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Mandatory Credit:

No. 1 – Larry Csonka

The all-time leading rusher in Miami Dolphins history isn’t a running back, but a fullback. Regardless of the semantics, Larry Csonka is the best ball-carrier in the franchise’s history.

In a backfield loaded with depth, Csonka was the workhorse for the Dolphins. He carried the football for over 190 attempts from 1970 to 1974. In that time, Csonka put together three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.

Csonka was a bull in a china shop. While Morris danced and Kiick did what needed to be done, Csonka wore down defenses and plowed through linebackers.

In the playoffs, Csonka continued to power his way through defenses and proved his worth when it mattered most. In 1972, he ran for 212 yards on 51 attempts then averaged 111 yards per game in the 1973 playoffs with 333 yards on 88 attempts. Csonka scored six touchdowns in the 1973 playoffs as well.

Csonka would leave the Dolphins after the 1974 season to join the World Football League. After the WFL folded, Csonka joined the New York Giants, but couldn’t garner the same success he did in Miami.

But he would return to Miami and rush for 837 yards on 220 attempts (the most of his career) and 13 touchdowns (one via receiving) in his last NFL season.

Csonka’s stats could have been even better if he and the Dolphins could’ve agreed to terms before he left for the WFL and again after his final season in 1989. One might think if he had stayed a Dolphin, he would have easily cracked the 9,000 yard career mark.

Csonka’s 6,737 total rushing yards has kept him atop the franchise’s all-time rushing list for 36 years and counting. Even with Ricky Williams breaking single season records, Csonka’s combination of consistency, endurance, and clutch performance in both the regular season and playoffs earns him the title of greatest back in Miami Dolphins history.