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Miami Dolphins’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders

Updated on December 8, 2008

Larry Csonka

Ricky Williams

Mercury Morris

The Miami Dolphins have a somewhat storied history despite being an NFL franchise for less than fifty years. The Dolphins have been to a few Super Bowls and have won two of them. The Dolphins have mostly been known as a passing team, but have definitely had a few great running backs as well. Here is a list of the all-time Top 10 in rushing yards for Miami:

Larry Csonka (6737)—Larry Csonka was an old-school fullback, a type of rusher who would just bull straight up the middle and gain positive yardage. Csonka was part of those great Dolphins’ teams of the early ‘70’s, playing for Miami from 1968 to 1974 and then again in 1979. He ranks first in team history with 6737 rushing yards, and Csonka’s best season for the Dolphins was 1972, one of four Pro Bowl seasons he had. That year, Csonka rushed for a career high 1117 yards with six rushing touchdowns.

Ricky Williams (4535)—Ricky Williams has had a tumultuous career because of his affinity for smoking pot, but despite being suspended for a few full seasons at a time, Williams has had a very productive career on the field. He’s had three stints with the Dolphins, 2002-03, 2005, and 2007 to the present. And while Williams isn’t the top rusher he was a few seasons ago, he is still productive. Williams also ranks second in Dolphins’ history with 4535 rushing yards, and his best season was his first team All Pro year of 2002, when he rushed for a career best 1853 yards with 16 TDs, and added 363 yards and 1 TD as a receiver.

Mercury Morris (3877)—Mercury Morris was a nice complement to Csonka on the field, and he also racked up some nice yardage, ranking third in Dolphins’ history in rushing yards during his tenure in Miami from 1969 to 1975. Morris went to the Pro Bowl in 1972, rushing for a career high 1000 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns (also career best), and added 168 receiving yards.

Jim Kiick (3644)—Jim Kiick was also part of the Dolphins’ rushing tandem along with Csonka and Morris, but they obviously found ways to spread the ball around because Kiick ranks fourth in franchise history with 3644 rushing yards. Kiick had his best season for Miami in 1971, when he rushed for a career high 738 yards with three rushing TDs, and adding 338 yards out of the backfield. In 1969, however, Kiick had a career best 9 rushing touchdowns.

Tony Nathan (3543)—Tony Nathan played his entire career in Miami, from 1979 to 1987. He was also a kick returner. Nathan ranks fifth in Dolphins’ history with 3543 rushing yards, and his best season as a running back was 1981, when Nathan rushed for a career best 782 yards, with five rushing touchdowns. He also had 50 catches for 452 yards and 3 more TDs out of the backfield the same season.

Ronnie Brown (3277)—Ronnie Brown is a great young running back who came out of college from the same backfield as Tampa’s Cadillac Williams. Brown has played for the Dolphins since only 2005, but already ranks sixth in their history as I write this with 3277 rushing yards. Brown’s best season so far was 2006, when he rushed for a career best 1008 yards with 5 TDs on the ground; adding 33 catches for 276 yards as a receiver. Brown also has a career best 10 rushing TDs through 13 games in 2008 so far.

Karim Abdul-Jabbar (3063)—Karim Abdul-Jabbar is not to be confused with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball legend, but this one did have some success running the football for Miami between 1996 and 1999. Abdul-Jabbar ranks seventh in team history with 3063 rushing yards, and his best season was 1996, when he rushed for a career high 1116 yards with 11 TDs, and added 23 catches for 139 yards as a receiver.

Mark Higgs (2648)—Mark Higgs played for the Dolphins from 1990 to 1994 and ranks eighth in their history with 2648 rushing yards. Higgs had his best season for Miami in 1992, when he rushed for career highs in yards (915) and rushing touchdowns (7) with 142 receiving yards as well.

Delvin Williams (2632)—Delvin Williams played for Miami for just three seasons, 1978 to 1980, but ranks ninth in Dolphins’ history with 2632 rushing yards. Williams had his best season with the Dolphins as a first team All-Pro in 1978, when he rushed for career highs in yards (1258) and TDs (8), and added 192 receiving yards.

Andra Franklin (2232)—Andra Franklin played for the Dolphins his entire career, from 1981 to 1984, but still ranks tenth in team history with 2232 rushing yards. Franklin went to the Pro Bowl in 1982, his best season. That year, despite it being a strike-shortened campaign of nine games, Franklin rushed for 701 yards with 7 TDs, a pace for 1246 yards and 12 touchdowns if it was a 16-game season.


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