Miami Dolphins: The best starter at each position in franchise history

Zach Thomas (Photo by Stephen Dunn /Getty Images)
Zach Thomas (Photo by Stephen Dunn /Getty Images) /
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Miami Dolphins
Sam Madison Miami Dolphins (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Best defensive backs in Miami Dolphins history: Sam Madison, Pat Surtain, Xavien Howard, & Dick Anderson

Sam Madison & Pat Surtain:

If there is any duo that is more 1A and 1B when it comes to positional hierarchy in Miami Dolphins history than the Marks Brothers, it is the cornerback duo of Sam Madison and Pat Surtain.

Playing a majority of their careers opposite one another, they arrived in Miami in consecutive seasons in the late 90s and were a part of one of the most feared defenses in the league in the early 00s. While many consider Madison to be the slight favorite in comparing the two, Surtain has the accolades as well as the statistics to make his case as the best cornerback in team history.

They are both back with the organization in 2022, as defensive backs coaches under new head coach Mike McDaniel.

Xavien Howard:

While many believe Madison or Surtain to be the best in franchise history, there are those that can make a legitimate argument for Xavien Howard being the one who gets to wear the crown.

Howard has been the Dolphins’ most important player over the last few years, intercepting more passes than anyone else in the league and changing the flow of games with his disruptive coverage. If he continues his dominance for a few more seasons, he could unseat his coaches for the top spot. As of the start of the 2022 season, he is two interceptions behind Surtain’s 29 and four behind Madison’s 31.

Dick Anderson:

Easily the oldest player in this collection, Dick Anderson doesn’t come short on the accolades. He had 34 interceptions in 9 seasons and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1973. Anderson played in 98 straight games to begin his career before being hampered by injuries later on.