Miami Dolphins at 50: Top 10 LBs

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Mandatory Credit:

No. 8 – Mike Kolen

Another member of the “No Name Defense” Mike Kolen, unlike Swift, was drafted by the Miami Dolphins…in the 12th round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

However, like Swift, Kolen jumped right into the line-up and made an impact only missing six starts from 1970 to 1974. Kolen racked up about 400 tackles in that time and picked off four passes.

A knee injury cost him the entire 1976 season, but Kolen returned the very next season. However, he was unable to overcome his knee problems and played in six games while starting in five. He retired after the 1977 season ushering in a new age of Dolphins linebackers for 1978.

Kolen earned the nickname of “Captain Crunch” for his ability to deliver big hits, which earns him the eighth spot on this list.

Mandatory Credit:

No. 7 – Bryan Cox

Perhaps Bryan Cox deserves a spot on this list just for the amount of times he publicly stated how much he hated the Dolphins’ divisional foes – particularly the Buffalo Bills.

But as it turned out, Cox was also a really good linebacker. So his sheer hatred of the Bills and their fans is just a fun side note.

Cox went from a fifth round draft pick to starting linebacker immediately as he played and started in 13 games in 1991. During that season he racked up two sacks and 61 tackles. But he would destroy those numbers the very next season.

In 1992, Cox earned 14 sacks and 127 tackles while earning his first Pro Bowl nomination. He would rack up 122 tackles and five sacks in 1993 when the team switched to a 4-3 defense.

Cox would play only two more seasons with Miami, but they would be Pro Bowl seasons. Cox would contribute 75 tackles and 25 assists in 1994 and 95 tackles with 24 assists in 1995.

Cox would not survive the wave of turnover brought on by the Jimmie Johnson hiring, but his contributions to some of the Dolphins’ best seasons in the last 25 years earns him the seventh spot all-time in franchise history.