There are 95 days left until the new-look Miami Dolphins take the field for the 2023 campaign and our countdown finally has a clear-cut winner to represent the number.
There were really only two names out there that could be even close to “in contention” for the number 95. One is TJ Turner who played for Miami over the course of the late 80s and early 90s. He was an average player for them in that span but was good enough to start a number of games during that span at defensive end.
Because Turner is not really a game-changer for this team historically, the award can’t go to him. Instead, it’s going to a guy who played his heart out for Miami during his career and put together solid seasons in South Florida.
It’s officially Tim Bowen’s day!
To the younger fans out there, Bowens might not be the most recognizable name but he was a great player for a defense that was very good during his time.
Bowens was a defensive rock for this team from 1994-2004. Over that span, Bowens earned two Pro Bowl nods and racked up 22 sacks, and was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1994 (profootballreference.com).
Bowens spent his entire career in Miami and was extremely durable until the end of his career. For me personally, Bowens’ career coincided with me first starting to get into football as a kid. I remember being excited for the Miami Dolphins defense in the early 2000s featuring the likes of Brock Marion, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, and, of course, Bowens. These players made me appreciate the defensive side of the ball more than I could have thought.
Benito Jones, an un-drafted signee, currently wears number 95 for the Dolphins. Jones hasn’t had a huge impact on this team yet but there is still time for him to grow into a contributor. Regardless of his development, I don’t think anyone is going to put on number 95 and be able to overtake Tim Bowens for this spot for a long time.