The Miami Dolphins have been stuck in a quagmire of mediocrity for what seems like a century. The team always seems to be on the verge of fixing itself, only to once again need a regime change. That cycle will likely either break this year or will once again repeat itself. It has not always been that way for the franchise that was, at one point, the winningest team in league history.
Despite all the struggles in recent years, the Dolphins are still a top ten all-time franchise, according to a CBS Sports power rankings released on Thursday. In the article, author Brad Gagnon explains that he took the history of all 32 teams in the Super Bowl era, and calculated a point system giving teams a numerical score based on Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl loses, Hall of Fame players, Division titles, and winning percentage. When it is all tallied together, the Dolphins find themselves in the eighth position.
The top team in the ranking should not surprise anyone as the Dallas Cowboys, with five Super Bowl titles, eight Super Bowl appearances, 22 Division titles in the Super Bowl era, 15 Hall of Fame players in the Super Bowl era, and the highest regular-season winning percentage in the league, come in with 164 points. Second place belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers, with 161 points, based on 6 Super Bowl titles, 10 appearances in the title contest, 13 Hall of Fame players, 21 Division titles, and the second-highest winning percentages.
The San Francisco 49ers (129 points), Oakland Raiders (126 points), and Green Bay Packers (124 points) round out the top five. The first of the AFC East teams come in at the sixth position, with the New England Patriots' four Super Bowl wins, four Super Bowl losses, 12 Hall of Famers, 16 Division titles, and ninth highest winning percentage earning them 112 points.
The Washington Redskins take the spot between the Patriots and the Dolphins, with 108 total points. Miami's 104 points come from their two Super Bowl titles (Super Bowls VII and VIII), three Super Bowl losses (Super Bowl VI, XVII, and XIX), 27 Hall of Famers, 13 Division titles, and the fourth-highest winning percentage. Of the Dolphins' position, Gagnon writes:
The Dolphins have been to five Super Bowls -- winning two of them -- and have the fourth-highest winning percentage of the modern era. They edge out the Colts with that fifth Super Bowl and higher winning percentage and beat out the Broncos because of their edge in the Hall of Famer category.
To round out the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills are 17th in the rankings, with 67 points (0 Super Bowl wins, 4 Super Bowl losses, 30 Hall of Famers, 8 Division titles, 24th wining percentage) and the New York Jets are 22nd with 40 points (1 Super Bowl win, 0 Super Bowl losses, 15 Hall of Famers, 4 Division titles, 22nd in winning percentage).
(And, just for the fun of it, the best line in the entire article may be: "The Jets have been close to useless since winning the Super Bowl in 1968, winning just two division championships since the 1970 merger.")