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Miami Dolphins All Time Depth Chart: Defensive End #1

Does Jason Taylor claim the Miami Dolphins' top defensive end position on the All Time Depth Chart?
Does Jason Taylor claim the Miami Dolphins' top defensive end position on the All Time Depth Chart?

With the final vote for the offense on going right now, it's time for the Phinsider Community's Miami Dolphins All Time Depth Chart to turn to the defense. For the defense, we will start with the defensive end position, which brings with it a little confusion.

As ther NFL, and specifically the Dolphins, flip between a 3-4 defensive system and a 4-3, some defensive ends become outside linebackers, and some outside linebackers spend time with their hands in the dirt as a defensive end. How do we determine which catergory to slot the player for the purposes of building the depth chart?

My first thought was to go through and figure out where each player spent more time, at DE or LB. Then, I considered making all "pass rushers" defensive ends, since I am looking at this depth chart as a 4-3 system. But, neither one of those options seemed to work. So instead, I decided I wouldn't do the work to figure it out. I would let someone else figure out where each player should be listed - specifically Pro-Football-Reference. As they enter the stats for each player into their database, they list the player with one main position (i.e., Jason Taylor, despite having all of his last four seasons listed as LB, he is not slated as a DE/LB, just a DE), so that's how I am going to make my determination.

Basically, that means pass rushers like Taylor will be defensive ends, while Joey Porter and Cameron Wake will be in the linebackers section.

Hopefully that makes sense to everyone.

The current depth chart looks like:

1st String

2nd String

3rd String

4th String

5th String

6th String


Dan Marino Bob Griese Chad Pennington


Mark Clayton Paul Warfield Mark Duper Nat Moore O.J. McDuffie Chris Chambers


Randy McMichael Keith Jackson Jim Mandich


Ricky Williams Mercury Morris Ronnie Brown Jim Kiick


Larry Csonka


Richmond Webb Jake Long Norm Evans Vernon Carey


Larry Little Bob Kuechenberg Keith Sims Ed Newman


Dwight Stephenson








The nominees for the defensive end positions played a minimum of 50 games for the Dolphins during their career. They are:

Jim Riley - The Dolphins selected Riley with their second round pick in the 1967 Draft. He would play five seasons in the AFL/NFL, all with the Dolphins. He started 50 games for the Dolphins at left defensive end, appearing in 18 more games as a reserve defensive end for both sides of the defense. He would recover four fumbles in his career.

Bill Stanfill - Stanfill was the eleventh overall pick by the Dolphins in the 1969 Draft, rewarding the team with a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie season, leading the league in interception returns for a touchdown. By the end of his career, Stanfill would have five Pro Bowl seasons, and be named in 1972 to the First Team All Pro list. Stanfill would start 91 games, appearing in 109 total, and have two interceptions for two touchdowns, along with eight fumbles recovered in his career. Since neither sacks nor tackles were official stats during his career, Stanfill is estimated to have 481 tackles with 67.5 sacks.

Vern Den Herder - Drafted in the ninth round of the 1971 Draft, Den Herder spent twelve years with the Dolphins, most of the time as the starting left defensive end. During his career, Den Herder start 144 games, adding another 22 game appearances, tallying one interception 14 fumbles recovered. Unofficially, Den Herder tallied 64.5 sacks in his career, along with an estimated 825 tackles (neither stat would be an official NFL stat during his career).

Kim Bokamper - Bokamper was the Dolphins' first round pick in the 1976 draft, immediately becoming the team's starting left outside linebacker. After four seasons at linebacker, including his one season as a Pro Bowler (1979), Bokamper would spend 1981 as a reserve defensive end, before moving to the starter's role in 1982, keeping that role through the 1985 season. During his career, Bokamper tallied 12 sacks (with sacks only being made a stat in 1982), six interceptions (one touchdown), and three fumbles recovered. Unofficially, Bokamper had approximately 480 tackles and 36.5 sacks.

Doug Betters - The Dolphins took Betters in the sixth round of the 1978 Draft, playing all ten his of his career in Miami. He would start 105 games, appearing in another 41 contests, and tally 43.5 sacks over his career (sacks only started being counted as a stat beginning in 1982, five years into his career). Betters was named to the Pro Bowl and a First Team All Pro in 1983, the first of two double digit seasons in sacks he had (16 in 1983 and 14 in 1984).

Bill Barnett - Barnett was drafted in the third round of the 1980 Selection Meeting by the Dolphins. Over his six seasons with the Dolphins, Barnett started nine games, appearing in 77, with 2.5 sacks and two fumbles recovered in his career.

T.J. Turner - Turner was selected by the Dolphins with their third round choice in the 1986 Draft. Turner would start at left tackle from 1986 until 1991, serving primarily as a reserve in his final year of 1992. During his career, Turner started 83 games, appearing in 101 games, totaling 16 sacks in his seven seasons, with eight fumbles recovered.

Jeff Cross - The Dolphins selected Cross with their ninth round pick in the 1988 draft. After his rookie year, in which he started once, but played all 16 games at both defensive end spots, Cross spent his remaining seven years as a starting defensive end for the Dolphins, moving from right defensive end to the left side in 1993. Cross was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1990, when he tallied 11.5 sacks. Cross also had two other seasons (1989 and 1993) with double digit sacks (10 and 10.5 respectively), ending his career with 59.5 total sacks. He would start 107 of the 125 games in which he appeared, with one career interception, ten forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 377 tackles.

Marco Coleman - Coleman was the twelfth overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Dolphins. He would spend four seasons as a starter for Miami, his rookie year split between left outside linebacker and right defensive end, with the other three years solidified at right defensive end. Over his four years, Coleman would start 62 of the 63 games in which he would appear, tallying 24 sacks, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 226 tackles. He would spend the rest of his career with the San Diego Chargers (3 years), Washington Redskins (3 years), Denver Broncos (2 years), Jacksonville Jaguars (1 year), and Philadelphia Eagles (1 year).

Trace Armstrong - Armstrong with the twelfth overall pick in the 1989 Draft by the Chicago Bears. After spending six seasons as the starting left defensive end for the Bears, Bowens came to the Dolphins, where he split time as a starter and a reserve player. He would play for six years with Miami, finishing the 2000 season with 27 games started for the Dolphins, with 95 total appearances, 56.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, seven fumbles recovered, 187 tackles, and one Pro Bowl selection (2000). Armstrong would play his final three seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

Jason Taylor - Taylor was sleected in the third round of the 1997 draft by the Dolphins. He would go on to tally 131 sacks, eight interceptions (three touchdowns), 43 forced fumbles, 27 fumble recoveries (six touchdowns), 712 tackles, and two safeties during his 13 seasons with the Dolphins, concluding last year with the Dolphins players carrying him off the field. Adding in his two seasons abroad (one with the New York Jets and one with the Washington Redskins), Taylor would total 139.5 sacks in his career, finishing sixth all time on the NFL career sacks list, second all time in career fumble return yards, and fourth all time in career safeties, as well holding the record for fumbles returned for a touchdown (6). Taylor was named to the Pro Bowl six times during his career (all with Miami), as well as being selected as a First Team All Pro three times. Taylor was the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the 2007 NFL Walter Payton Many of the Year.

Kenny Mixon - Mixon was the second round pick by the Dolphins in the 1998 Draft. During his four seasons with the team, Mixon would start 50 of the 59 games in which he played. He would total 6.5 sacks, one interception (for a touchdown), two passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 133 tackles. He would spend his last three seasons in the league with the Minnesota Vikings.

Lorenzo Bromell - Drafted in the fourth round in 1998 by the Dolphins, Bromell would spend four seasons in Miami. During that time, he would start just two games, appearing in 51 more games, while tallying 21.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 84 tackles.

David Bowens - Bowens was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 1999, and would spend his career with five different teams, the majority of which would be with the Dolphins. After spending his rookie year with the Broncos, Bowens would move to the Green Bay Packers for a season, before landing with Miami in 2001. Bowens would only start 15 games during his six years with the Dolphins (all in 2004), but would appear in 74, racking up 21.5 sacks, 20 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and 120 tackles. After leaving Miami after the 2006 season, Bowens would spend two years with the New York Jets and his final two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Matt Roth - Roth was selected in the second round of the 2005 Draft, spending his first four plus years with the Dolphins. Roth spent his first two seasons as a backup defensive end, tallying 4.5 sacks over the two years, with 2 fumbles recovered, and 57 tackles, appearing in all 32 games over those two seasons. Roth took over as the starting left defensive end in 2007, adding 3.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 44 more tackles to his career totals. In 2008, with new head coach Tony Sparano, the Dolphins shifted to a 3-4 scheme, and Roth was shifted to outside linebacker, but was still a primary pass rusher, having the best statistical year of his career, starting 14 games (appearing in the other two), getting five sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and 54 sacks. In 2009, Roth would appear in 4 games with the Dolphins before he was released, eventually being picked up by the Cleveland Browns, where he finished 2009 and spent all of 2010. Roth moved to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.

Kendall Langford - Drafted by the Dolphins in the 3rd round in 2008, Langford immediately stepped in as the left defensive end starter, and held that position through last season. Designed more as a run stopping defensive end than a pass rusher, Langford only tallied 7.5 sacks over the last four seasons, but has 10 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles, and 141 tackles. He started 54 of the 64 games in which he appeared. Langford signed with the St. Louis Rams this offseason.

Vote below for the top defensive end in Miami Dolphins history: