Miami Dolphins At 50: Top 10 OLs

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Last time, the top 10 list of defensive linemen in Miami Dolphins history was revealed. So now it’s only fair to turn to their foils: offensive linemen.

The offensive line has remained a bugaboo for the Dolphins for years with the team focusing several first round draft choices to cure the problem.

One thing that makes an offensive lineman stand out is longevity, perhaps more than any other position in the game. If an offensive lineman can last an entire decade or close to it in the trenches then the man has rightfully earned the title of a warrior.

That’s the hallmark for this list. It would be interesting to include some deserving recent players on the list like Mike Pouncey and Jake Long, but they lack the endurance these lineman had. Long and Pouncey, as of the writing of this list, have not made it to 100 games played. All of the linemen on this list have withstood the test of time and participated in over 100 games.

So perhaps Pouncey or even Ja’Wuan James can earn a spot on this list at the end of their careers. However, right now this list was hard for any recent offensive lineman to crack.

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at the top 10 OLs in team history starting with some honorable mentions.

Mandatory Credit:

Honorable Mention – Jeff Dellenbach

Selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 111th overall pick in the 4th round of the 1985 NFL Draft, Jeff Dellenbach would shift across the entire offensive line for a good chunk of his career.

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Not helping Dellenbach’s efforts to crack the starting line-up was the fact that Dwight Stephenson already held the center job when he arrived. So Dellenbach started in only 13 of his first 35 appearances as a pro.

The end of the 1987 season would mark the end of Stephenson’s career and allowed Dellenbach to step in as the new starting center for the 1988 season.

The Dolphins finished 6-10 that season, but it was not the fault of Dellenbach as the Miami offensive line allowed only six sacks all season.

However, he would be moved to the left tackle position in 1989. Then after starting only two games in the next two seasons, he was moved to right tackle for the 1992 season.

Dellenbach shifted positions again in 1993. He started 11 games at center and five at right guard. He ended his career in Miami after the 1994 season when he returned to center and started all 16 games.

From 1987 to 1989, Marino was sacked only 25 times in those three seasons. Since Dellenbach started a majority of those games, he deserved a mention for helping to protect his quarterback as expertly as the line did in those years.

Mandatory Credit:

Honorable Mention – Roy Foster

It took Roy Foster some time to jump into a starting role, but the 24th overall pick in the 1982 NFL Draft would get that job in the 1984 season.

After starting only once in his first two campaigns, Foster missed only one start at left guard in the next five seasons.

In his first year as a starter, Foster earned the United Press International’s All-Conference second team honor after the season.

Foster continued to make strides as he received his first Pro Bowl nomination in 1985 and was voted by the UPI for first team All-Conference honors. Foster repeated both selections in 1986, but that season would also mark the first time Foster missed the playoffs in his career.

The Dolphins then floundered for a few seasons and then in 1990 Foster’s role became limited. After which, he joined the San Francisco 49ers and played his last three seasons in the Bay area.