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Greatest Dolphins of All-Time, By The Numbers: 51-60

Let's continue on with our look at the greatest Dolphins ever to wear each uniform number.  But before we get into our next group of ten - numbers 51 through 60 - be sure to click here to see all of the previous numbers.

Number 51 - Bryan Cox, LB, 1991-1995
Cox exploded onto the scene as a 5th round pick out of Western Illinois and quickly became a force in Miami's defense.  In his second year, Cox recorded 127 tackles and 14.5 sacks and was named a Pro-Bowler and a first-team All-Pro - quickly becoming a fan favorite thanks to his physical play on the field and his tenacity both on and off it.  He would reach the Pro Bowl two more times as a Dolphin before leaving Miami following the '95 season.  And he'll forever be remembered for the incident in 1993 when he flashed both of his middle fingers at fans in Buffalo.
Other Candidates: Rusty Chambers, Mark Brown

Number 52 - Channing Crowder, LB, 2005-
Crowder has a lot of haters who think he's an underachiever.  And he certainly isn't a spectacular linebacker.  But he's definitely a solid player whose best days are still ahead of him.  Last year, we saw just how important Channing is to this defense when he was forced to miss the week 16 matchup in Kansas City.  That game, KC ran all over the Dolphins defense and Miami's two starting inside linebackers that game combined for just four tackles.  But now Crowder must take that next step in 2009.
Other Candidates: Larry Ball, Robert Jones

Number 53 - Bob Matheson, LB, 1971-1979
Not too much to choose from here.  The choice came down to two players.  But the other possibility here was a special teamer and never contributed on the field on defense.  Matheson, on the other hand, started 51 games in Miami over his nine years - recording 15 sacks and 8 interceptions as a Dolphin.
Other Candidate: Larry Izzo

Number 54 - Zach Thomas, LB, 1996-2007
There's nothing we can say about Zach that hasn't already been said.  As a 5th round pick out of Texas Tech, Thomas was an after-tought to many.  But he impressed coaches enough in camp to win the starting job and he never looked back.  He's a 7 time Pro-Bowler and 5 time first-team All-Pro.  He also has more career interceptions returns for touchdowns than any Dolphin in team history.  And when he finally retires, Zach's number will certainly be added to the Ring of Honor and forever be listed with other of Miami's all-time greats.
Other Candidates: Howard Kindig, E.J. Junior

Number 55 - Hugh Green, LB, 1985-1991
You can make a case that Joey Porter should be listed here.  But he still needs another big year to earn this spot.  For now, Green gets the nod thanks to his 22 career sacks as a Dolphin.  The 1989 season was Green's best - starting all 16 games and recording 7.5 sacks.  But like I said, Porter is one great season away from topping Green.
Other Candidates: Joey Porter, Earnest Rhone

Number 56 - John Offerdahl, LB, 1986-1993
It's a shame his career had to end early due to injuries because Offerdahl was on his way towards become a Dolphins' legend.  He was a 5 time Pro-Bowler and was named a first-team All-Pro in 1990.  He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and he was a big-time hitter.  And he also makes some damn good food.
Other Candidates: Charles Bowser, Steve Towle

Number 57 - Dwight Stephenson, C, 1980-1987
Stephenson is simply a legend.  It took some time for second-rounder to develop.  But beginning in 1983, Stephenson was the most dominant center in the game for five seasons.  He's a 5 time Pro-Bowler and 4 time first-team All-Pro.  And in the minds of many, Dwight is simply the greatest center to ever play the game.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Other Candidates: Mike Kolen

Number 58 - Kim Bokamper, LB/DE, 1977-1985
Bokamper was a very good pass-rusher for the Dolphins in the late '70s and early '80s.  He may have never fulfilled the high expectations as a first round pick, but he did tally 40 sacks and 6 interceptions as a Dolphin.  He's also a one time Pro-Bowler.  And one wonders what might have been for the '82 Dolphins if Bokamper was able to catch the pass he deflected in the endzone against the Redskins and QB Joe Theisman.
Other Candidates: Tom Goode

Number 59 - Doug Swift, LB, 1970-1975
This one came down to two players - Swift and Bob Brudzinski.  But Swift was a key member of the two Super Bowl Champion teams in 1972 and '73.  He was 3rd on the team each season in tackles while also forcing 9 fumbles in those two seasons.
Other Candidates: Bob Brudzinski

Number 60 - Bert Weidner, G, 1990-1995
Not many options here.  The best options are three offensive linemen who basically were around to provide depth.  Weidner was an 11th round pick and started 39 games over the course of his 6 years in Miami.  He wasn't an over-powering guard when he did play, but he could usually hold his ground more often than not when he needed to.  That's all you can ask for out of an 11th round pick who simply was a reserve.
Other Candidates: Jeff Toews, John Bock