PhinPhanatic.com continues their list of “Top 10 players” by position with the defensive ends.
This players who made the list was pretty easy to compile as there was a wide margin between the top 10 DEs and the rest of the pack. Where the argument begins is with the order of the bottom five.
The most controversial omission from this list would probably be Randy Starks but for the purposes of rankings, he is listed as a defensive tackle. Starks fans can expect to see him on my next “top 10” list.
With that out of the way, here are your top 10 defensive ends in Dolphins history. (Please keep in mind that some of the sack totals listed are ‘unofficial’ because ‘sacks’ didn’t become an official statistic till 1982.)
10 (tie). Olivier Vernon and Adewale Ogunleye
Since Vernon is a recent Dolphin, I suspect there will be some grumbling about his standing being too low. However, his 29
career sacks ranks him outside the top ten all-time and he was never elected to a Pro Bowl.
Ogunleye only played three season for the Dolphins, he still managed to put up 25 sacks in his two years as a starter. Unlike Vernon, Ogunleye earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2003 when he amassed 15 sacks.
8. Marco Coleman
Coleman’s position on this list is due less to his pass rushing ability, although he was steady, and more to do with his ability at stopping the run. His 24 sacks rank behind both Vernon and Ogunleye but his 205 tackles is 3rd among all Dolphins defensive ends.
7. Trace Armstrong
Before Jason Taylor came along, nobody Dolphin player I watched could ‘bend the corner’ like Armstrong. Three times he amassed double-digit stats culminating in 16.5 in 2000 and earning his lone Pro Bowl appearance. Armstrong’s 56.5 sacks with Miami rank him 7th in franchise history.
6. Jeff Cross
Like Armstrong, Jeff Cross reached double digits in sacks on three occasions. His 59.5 career sacks rank him 6th while his 365 tackles rank him behind only Jason Taylor among DE’s in Dolphins history.
5. Doug Betters
Not to be outdone by those below him on this list, Betters made
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64.5 sacks (unofficially) over his 10 year Dolphins career. His best year was, by far, 1983 when he put up 16 sacks and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
4. Vern Den Herder
Den Herder’s 64.5 sacks (unofficially) ties him with Betters for 4th most in Dolphins history. Where he surpasses Betters is that he played longer (12 seasons) and was an integral part in helping lead the Miami Dolphins to two Super Bowl championships.
3. Bill Stanfill
Stanfill, like Den Herder, was instrumental in guiding the Dolphins to their only two SB Champion seasons in team history. Stanfill’s 69.5 sacks rank him 3rd all time in that category in franchise history and he accomplished that feat in 4 fewer seasons than his teammate.
2. Cameron Wake
If it wasn’t for the pure dominance of the #1 player on this list, Derek “Cameron” Wake would be a clear choice for the top spot on
this list. His journey from the NY Giants practice squad to the CFL and finally the Dolphins is the kind of stuff movies are made of.
Wake’s spot on this list, however, has nothing to do with what it took to get to Miami and more to do with all he’s done since he got there.
Eighty-one and a half sacks, four times topping double digits and more strip sacks than you can count (okay, you can count them, it’s 21.)
1. Jason Taylor
From 2000-07, there was not a more dominant defensive end in the game than Taylor. His 131 sacks rank him first all-time in franchise history, as does his 43 forced fumbles and 2 safeties.
Taylor’s 8 INTs (3 returned for touchdowns) and 479 tackles also
rank first for defensive ends in team history.
Even though Taylor never made it to a Super Bowl, there is little doubt that he will probably go down as the greatest defensive end in franchise history.
Well, I know there is going to be some backlash from the lower part of the list. Let’s hear what you think.