Gerald Small was a 5'11" defensive back out of San Jose State. Miami selected him in the fourth round of the 1978 NFL Entry Draft with the 93rd overall pick.
At first, Small was used sparingly in his rookie season, appearing in every game. He made nine tackles through the first 13 games before starting Miami's final three games at right cornerback. In those three games, Small picked off four passes, returning them for 157 total yards. This includes two in a week 15 23-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders in which he picked off quarterback Ken Stabler twice for 85 return yards and his first career touchdown. Miami advanced to the playoffs with an 11-5 record.
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In 1979, Small started all 16 games for the Dolphins at right cornerback. He totalled 29 tackles and five interceptions for 74 return yards, defending seven passes for the 10-6 Dolphins. Miami made the playoffs, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-14 in the first round.
1980 would see Miami miss the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Small again started all 16 games for the Dolphins, intercepting a career high seven passes, returning them for 46 yards, and also recovered a fumble.
In 1981, Miami posted an 11-4-1 record. Small started every game for Miami at right cornerback as the team qualified for the playoffs, but were ousted by the San Diego Chargers, 41-38 in overtime. Miami's defense led the AFC by allowing 275 points and tied for second in the NFL by allowing only 10 rushing touchdowns.
Small picked off two passes in the strike shortened 1982 season as the Dolphins finished 7-2. In the playoffs, he made one interception in each of Miami's three wins on their way to Super Bowl XVII against the Washington Redskins.
In 1983, Small missed a week four start, breaking his string of 69 consecutive starts (including playoffs), but started the other 15 games for Miami. He finished the year with five interceptions as the Dolphins again made the playoffs, this time going 12-4.
Small joined the Atlanta Falcons in 1984 for his final NFL season. He passed away at the age of 52 in 2008. He totalled 23 interceptions over 88 games for the Dolphins over his six seasons in South Florida.