We are now starting to get into some of the more interesting numbers as our look at the greatest Dolphins ever to wear every jersey number continues. You can check out numbers 11 through 20 by clicking here or numbers 1 through 10 by clicking here.
Today I will pick out numbers 21 through 30. Be sure to tell us all your thoughts on this in the comments below - as there is sure to be some debate on at least a few of my picks.
Number 21 - Jim Kiick, RB, 1968-1974
Kiick burst onto the scene as a rookie in 1968 and was instantly a fan favorite. His ability as a dual-threat player made him a terrific role player on Miami's championship teams. He was a 2 time Pro-Bowler, with both appearances coming in his first two career seasons - which is when Kiick totaled over 2,000 yards from scrimmage over those two seasons and scored 14 touchdowns. Kiick also led the AFL in rushing touchdowns in '69 with nine.
Other Candidates: Mark Higgs
Number 22 - Mercury Morris, RB, 1969-1975
Morris might be more well-known - nationally, that is - for his public comments in the weeks leading up to the Patriots near-perfect season. But Morris is known by Dolphin fans as an electric running back who was a 3 time Pro-Bowler and a major reason why the Dolphins won two Super Bowls. Morris became a full-time starter in 1972 and never looked back, rushing for 1954 yards and 22 touchdowns in Miami's two championship seasons while splitting carries with Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick. And Morris also had three career kickoff return touchdowns to go along with his accomplishments as a running back.
Other Candidates: Tony Nathan, Shawn Wooden
Number 23 - Patrick Surtain, CB, 1998-2004
As much as I love Ronnie Brown, you simply can't justify putting him over Surtain right now. Surtain's seven seasons in Miami were just awesome. He's a 3 time Pro-Bowler and 1 time first-team All-Pro. His 29 career interceptions as a Dolphin ranks 4th all-time in team history. And for a stretch of three to four years, he and Sam Madison teamed up for what was probably the best cornerback duo in the NFL at that time. But I will say that Ronnie could potentially take over this spot in my rankings in a few years if he remains a Dolphin and plays as well as I believe he can.
Other Candidates: Ronnie Brown, Troy Vincent, Troy Stradford
Number 24 - Delvin Williams, RB, 1978-1980
This was a tough one. But in the end, Williams gets the nod thanks to his exceptional 1978 season - a season that saw Williams run for 1,258 yards and 8 touchdowns while earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors. In fact, many might not know that Delvin's rushing total in '78 ranks 3rd all-time in team history - trailing only Ricky Williams and his first two seasons in Miami. Of course, Delvin wasn't as effective in his two other seasons in Miami. But no other All-Pro has ever worn the #24 jersey in Miami - which is why he gets the spot.
Other Candidates: Jack Clancy, Sammy Knight
Number 25 - Louis Oliver, S, 1989-1993 & 1995-1996
This was really a 3-way toss-up. But I decided to go with the only one of the three not to make a Pro Bowl. Why? Because Oliver was a bad-ass safety. He was the kind of safety I love to watch play - a physical guy who loves to hit. He also had 24 interceptions in his 6 years as a safety in Miami. I often think he actually gets overlooked when discussing the Dolphins' best all-time players. And that's why I'm putting him here as the greatest Dolphin to ever wear the number 25.
Other Candidates: Dick Westmoreland, Tim Foley
Number 26 - Lamar Smith, RB, 2000-2001
Smith is best remembered for his outstanding performance against the Colts in a 2000 Wildcard game in which he ran for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns - including the game-winner in overtime. That performance ranks 3rd in team history for most rushing yards in a game - and first in Dolphins' post-season history. Smith's performance that season also is in Miami's record books. His 1,139 yards rushing that year stands as the 4th most in team history, trailing only two Ricky Williams seasons and the previously mentioned 1978 Delvin Williams season. And Smith's 14 rushing touchdowns that year also ranks as the 3rd most in team history.
Other Candidates: Jarvis Williams, Lloyd Mumphord
Number 27 - Terrell Buckley, CB, 1995-1999, 2003
Not much to choose from here. But T-Buck did have a couple of good seasons in Miami. In 1996, Buckley picked off 6 passes, which ranked 4th in the league the year, and led the league with 164 interception return yards. Then in 2008, Buckley intercepted 8 passes - a career high and 2nd most in the NFL that season. But Buckley never did live up to the expectations that were set by fans upon his arrival in Miami.
Other Candidates: Gary Davis, Lorenzo Hampton
Number 28 - Don McNeal, CB, 1980-1989
Nobody really jumped out here so I went with the guy who spent the most time wearing the number as a Dolphin. After all, if you stick around for a decade, you must be doing something somewhat right. McNeal started 48 games for the Dolphins in the 80s, tallying 18 interceptions - including a career-high 5 as a rookie. Those 5 interceptions as a rookie ranks 2nd all-time in team history, trailing only the superb rookie season of the great Dick Anderson - who had 8 interceptions as a rookie in 1968.
Other Candidates: Travis Minor, Gene Atkins
Number 29 - Sam Madison, CB, 1997-2005
What can you really say about Sam Madison? He's simply one of the all-time great corners in Dolphins history. He ranks 3rd all-time in Dolphins history with 31 career interceptions - which is the most for any cornerback in team history. He's a 4 time Pro-Bowler and 2 time first-team All-Pro. He led the league in interceptions in 1999 with 7. The previous season, his 8 interceptions ranked 2nd in the league. He's also one of a few players in NFL history who can say he has returned a fumble for a touchdown, an interception for a touchdown, and picked up a safety in his career. And like I said before, together with Patrick Surtain, he was part of the NFL's top cornerback duo for a few years.
Other Candidates: None
Number 30 - Bernie Parmalee, RB, 1992-1998
Parmalee is a guy who was probably a bit under-appreciated in his years with the Dolphins. He never produced gaudy numbers - his career high in rushing yards was 868 in 1994 - but he made plays and did what he was asked to do. He was steady and reliable - a player a lot like Patick Cobbs, in my opinion. In the two seaons that saw Parmalee get to start a majority of the season ('94 and '95), Bernie averaged 873 yards rushing on 226 carries (3.9 ypc) to go with 36.5 receptions per season. In his 7 seasons with the Dolphins, Parmalee accumulated 3,265 yards from scrimmage and 18 touchdowns - not bad for a guy who made the Dolphins at the age of 25 thanks to a tryout. And prior to his tryout, Bernie was working for UPS.
Other Candidates: Ron Davenport