Dan Marino was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 10th and final time in 1995, but that season 25 years ago will be remembered as being the one when he broke all of the NFL's major career passing records.
And one of those records fell on this day in 1995, Nov. 12, when the Dolphins faced the New England Patriots at what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium.
When Marino completed a 9-yard pass to Irving Fryar during a 34-17 against the New England Patriots, he passed Fran Tarkenton to become the all-time leader in passing yardage.
It was the second of Tarkenton's four career records Marino would break that year, along with those for touchdowns, completions and attempts.
The four records fell in the span of a little over two months.
• Oct. 8, 1995: Marino passes Tarkenton for most completions when he throws a 6-yard pass to fullback Keith Byars during a 27-24 overtime loss against the Indianapolis Colts at what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium.
• Nov. 12, 1995: Marino passes Tarkenton for the all-time yardage record.
• Nov. 26, 1995: In a 36-28 loss at Indianapolis, Marino throws a 6-yard touchdown pass to Byars late in the first half to become the all-time leader in career TD passes.
• Dec. 11, 1995: In the fourth quarter of a 13-6 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs at Joe Robbie Stadium, Marino throws an incomplete pass intended for Randal Hill on third-and-8. The play makes Marino the all-time leader in attempts.
By the time he was done, Marino had obliterated all those records, finishing his career with 4,967 completions (old record was 3,686) in 8,358 attempts (6,467) for 61,361 yards (47,003) and 420 touchdowns (342). That Marino put so much distance between himself and his predecessors and his contemporaries might be the single-most significant accomplishment of his career.
With the rule changes continuing to favor offenses through the years, passing numbers have improved across the board and it’s not surprising that Marino’s records all have been broken.
What is surprising — and very impressive — is that Marino remained in the top five for three of the major passing categories and sixth in the other through Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season. Marino was fifth in passing yards behind Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. Marino was fifth in touchdown passes behind Brees, Brady, Manning and Favre. Marino was fifth in attempts behind Brees, Brady, Favre and Manning. Marino was sixth in completions behind Brees, Brady, Favre, Manning and Philip Rivers.
Along with 2020 marking the 25-year anniversary of Marino breaking all of Tarkenton’s records, it’s also the 20-year anniversary of his retirement. That happened on March 13, a little more than a month after Marino officially had voided the final two years of his contract to become a free agent.
This year also marks the 15th anniversary of Marino’s election and induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Marino was elected in his first year of eligibility, which became just about a foregone conclusion once he broke all those career record 25 years ago.