Miami Dolphins: Duper and Clayton and the Hall of Fame

Mark Clayton (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Mark Clayton (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Their names are historically etched in the annals of Miami Dolphins football. Their names exist on the Ring of Honor. But the Marks brothers are not in the HoF.

There has been a lot of talk about the Pro Football Hall of Fame lately thanks to Brian Urlacher and  Zach Thomas, because of that, the Marks Brothers are being talked about again.

There is a list of former Miami Dolphins football players that generate HOF conversation. Zach Thomas is at the top of that list and will remain there until the voters put him in. He is deserving and no one, not a single person has been able to point to a reason that he is not. Not with any degree of logic anyway.

If we move on from Thomas, the conversation tends to turn to the offensive line.

Bob Kuechenberg would probably be a HOF lineman decades ago had he not become an old curmudgeon that ticked off the media voters. Now, his induction is in the hands of the senior committee voters and the chances of him ever getting are low.

Richmond Webb should be in the Hall of Fame, especially if Tony Boselli is. But lately, the conversation is turning to Mark Duper and Mark Clayton as players that should be in the HOF. To be honest, I have never really considered them as HOF candidates and it made me take a closer look at their careers.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the voters look for when considering a WR for the HOF. To this day, I don’t believe that Michael Irvin should have been a first, second, or third ballot HOF player. 14 players have over 1,000 receptions in NFL history and of those 14, seven are already in.

Mark Clayton has 582 receptions. Duper has 511.

The numbers are not in either of their favor when it comes to yardage either. Clayton is ranked 70th in NFL history and Duper is ranked 75th. Both are over 1,000 yards shy of 10,000. They also don’t come close in touchdowns.

Many fans make the argument that many 70s-era WRs with lesser numbers are in the HOF and that is true but voters have moved on from recognizing those years and have handed them over to the senior committee. This is where the Marks Brothers find themselves now.

Miami Dolphins
Mark Duper (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Looking at the numbers hasn’t really changed my mind on either one of them. They were great players with long careers and that is a worthy consideration. 11 seasons in Miami for Duper with three Pro Bowls. 11 seasons for Clayton, 10 with Miami, and one with Green Bay. He has five Pro Bowl selections.

There is a case to make an argument but it is going to fall on deaf ears and honestly, if the Senior Committee ever named one to the HOF, you could hardly find an argument against adding the other. They are pretty much a package deal. That close in their entire careers.

Time will tell and with luck, they both will hear their names called to Canton but if I am a betting man, they won’t. If I were a voter, I’m not sure I see that path to the HOF for either of them. Especially not over Thomas, Kuechenberg, or Webb. But what stellar careers with the Dolphins!