The 100 Greatest Plays in Dolphins History: No.  99

Combining the countdown to the start of the Dolphins regular season with the best plays in franchise history
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To help count down the days to the start of the Miami Dolphins regular season last year, we marked each day with the corresponding jersey number and came up with the three best players to wear that number.

This year, we're counting down to the start of the regular season with a countdown of the top 100 plays in Dolphins history.

Given that the Dolphins have played 849 regular season games and 41 more in the playoffs, it's an awfully difficult task to narrow things down to 100 plays and then rank them. The plays selected were ranked on the basis of difficult, immediate and long-lasting impact and historical significance.

The countdown initially appeared in Dolphin Digest in 2019 but has been updated.

We continue with No. 99.

Earl Morrall's 31-yard touchdown run vs. the New York Jets in 1972

Setting the stage: Picked up as an insurance policy before the start of the 1972 season, 38-year-old Earl Morrall would go on to earn NFL MVP honors after replacing injured starting quarterback Bob Griese in the fifth game of what would become the perfect season. Coming off a 52-0 rout of the New England Patriots in Morrall's fourth start, the Dolphins were facing the 6-3 New York Jets and Joe Namath at the Orange Bowl on Nov. 19.

The play: After defeating the Jets 27-17 at Shea Stadium in October, the Dolphins would face one of their toughest challenges of the 1972 season in the rematch. The Dolphins trailed 17-7 before a Mercury Morris touchdown right before halftime cut their deficit to three points. On their second possession of the third quarter, the Dolphins took the lead when Morrall dropped back to pass, pump-faked to avoid a Jets pass rusher, then took off running down the left sideline. To be clear, Morrall had been brought in for his experience, not for his running ability. In any case, Morrall made it to the end zone for what remains to this day the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in team history. The Jets would regain the lead after Morrall's touchdown, but the Dolphins would pull out a 28-24 victory on Morris' second touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

RELATED: The No. 100 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL. Feel free to submit questions every Friday for the All Dolphins mailbag.