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Dolphins should be represented in several post-season awards, honors

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Miami Dolphins are 7-4 on the season, a game out of the AFC East lead and holding on to the sixth-seed position for the playoffs. A year after tearing down the roster to a point where people were calling Miami “unethical,” “morally reprehensible,” and the “worst NFL team of all time,” the Dolphins have positioned themselves to not just be a factor in future NFL seasons, but one that is competing today. There are problems with the team still, but there are definitely players, and coaches, who are making an impact and should be among the honorees at the end of the season.

Defensive Player of the Year - Miami cornerback Xavien Howard should be among the favorites for this award right now. He leads the league with seven interceptions and is a machine on the field when it comes to coverage and ball hawking.

Salute to Service Award - The Dolphins nominated rookie wide receiver Malcolm Perry for this award, and there is no reason to think he could not win it. A graduate from the Naval Academy this year, Perry’s five-year commitment to serve as a Marine Corps was deferred so you could pursue a football career. He is continuing to be active with various Dolphins initiatives working with veterans.

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can work himself into the discussion for this award, but this is probably Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert’s to lose.

Defensive Rookie of the Year - He will not actually be in consideration here, because defensive tackles do not put up sexy stats, but Raekwon Davis is a beast in the middle of Miami’s defensive line and deserved to get some love. When Davon Godchaux is able to return, Miami has the potential of a stout defensive interior with the two of them anchoring the defensive line.

Assistant Coach of the Year - Miami really should have two candidates for this award. Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman could both see consideration, especially as Miami continues to force turnovers on both defense and special teams. Plus, having a ridiculous kicker in Jason Sanders and an incredible punter in Matt Haack are helpful as well when it comes to special teams play.

Play of the Year - Do not know yet what this will be, but the Dolphins have won this award the last two seasons, first with the Miami Miracle in 2018 and then with Moutaineer Shot last season. They have a monopoly on this award right now, so at some point, Brian Flores will break out something memorable.

Deacon Jones Award (Most Sacks) - Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has fallen off his early season pace for sacks, but his eight sacks is only two behind Aaron Donald for the NFL lead. If he can find some space and rack up some more sacks over the next few weeks, Ogbah could position himself for this award.

Coach of the Year - A year after being the laughing stock of the pundits, the Dolphins are in the middle of a playoff chase and, despite still needing pieces, are looking like a team you do not want to face on any given Sunday. The team has bought into Brian Flores. If the Steelers finish the season 16-0, Mike Tomlin probably walks away with this, but if they lose, Flores should be at least a consideration, if not the winner, for the award.

Pro Bowl - Xavien Howard, cornerback; Emmanuel Ogbah, defensive end; and Jason Sanders, kicker, should be locks. DeVante Parker, wide receiver, could have an outside shot at a position based on his snub last year and if he can turn on the production down the stretch as the Dolphins need him more. Parker’s chances are hu

All-Pro - Howard and Sanders should be All-Pros. Ogbah could be if he is able to fight his way into contention for the sacks lead.

Hall of Fame - Zach Thomas is a semifinalist for the third-straight year, should be a finalist for the second-straight year, and needs to be announced as a member of the induction class.