Dolphins Big 3 make history against the Dallas Cowboys

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With Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys the Dolphins clinched the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Both teams came in looking for a signature win to their season. Jason Sanders kicked his 5th field goal of the game as time expired to help Miami improve to 11-4 on the season. 

The narrative all week was Miami’s inability to defeat a team with a winning record. Lost in that narrative was the Dolphins march toward history on offense. Entering the game Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert were mere yards away from surpassing 1,000 yards for the season. Tyreek Hill had already surpassed 1,000-yards receiving. The chase for 2 receivers and 1 running back with 1,000-yards in their respective positions was on.

The 1,000-yard mark has always been a symbol of excellence for receivers and running backs. The first 1,000-yard running back came via the Chicago Bears in 1934, his name, Beattie Feathers. In 1942 Don Hutson of the Green Bay Packers became the first 1,000-yard receiver. Although it might seem the 1,000-yard rusher happens more frequently in today's NFL, it is still a symbol of productivity.

Fast Forward to 2023 and Miami is at the door of having 3 players achieve this milestone. Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill each had over 1,000 yards in 2022. However, Miami didn’t have any running backs go over 1,000 yards on the ground in 2022. In fact, Miami hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Jay Ajayi did it in 2016. 

Multiple 1,000-yard players is no easy feat. Seven times in NFL history 2 players on the same team each rushed for more than 1,000 yards. The first instance came via Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris who both did it for the 1972 Dolphins. Only three players in NFL history have ever recorded 1,000 yards receiving and rushing in the same season. Roger Craig was the first in 1985, Marshall Faulk followed that feat in 1999, and Christian McCaffrey was the latest to do it in 2019. 

And so, coming into the 4:25 pm showdown against the Dallas Cowboys the stage was set. Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle each needed less than 100 yards each to reach 1,000 yards rushing and receiving respectively. Before halftime history had been made. Miami became the first team in NFL history with 2 players each going over 1,000 yards receiving and 1 player going over 1,000 yards rushing. 

Jaylen Waddle would go on to surpass 1,000 yards receiving for the third consecutive season. This was the first time in franchise history that any receiver had caught 1,000 yards for three straight seasons. At 31 years old, Raheem Mostert recorded 1,000 yards rushing in a season for the first time in his career. Tyreek Hill’s pursuit of 2,000 yards receiving would continue as he tallied 99 yards receiving. 

Miami’s offense is prolific and historical in their accomplishments. With history in the rear-view mirror Miami can concentrate on the next task at hand, the AFC East division. A Week 17 win against the Baltimore Ravens would clinch the AFC East title for the Dolphins and move them one step closer to making history once again.

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