Howard, Sanders Pick Up All-Pro First-Team Honors

The Miami Dolphins placed three players on The Associated Press All-Pro teams

Jason Sanders was snubbed when the 2020 Pro Bowl rosters were announced a couple of weeks ago, but he landed a more important honor Friday when he joined teammate Xavien Howard on The Associated Press All-Pro first team.

Jakeem Grant was a third Dolphins player recognized, as he earned second-team honors as the punt returner.

Howard and Sanders became the Dolphins' first AP All-Pro first-team selections since Cameron Wake in 2012. Howard was a second-team selection in 2018.

That Howard would be a first-team All-Pro pretty much was a foregone conclusion, not because of his Pro Bowl selection but because he's among the contenders for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after becoming the first player since 2007 to reach double digits in interceptions.

Sanders wasn't quite as big a slam dunk for All-Pro honors, even though somebody (me) wrote just this week that he absolutely should have been the pick.

Sanders set a Dolphins single-season record for field goal accuracy this season when he made 36 of 39 attempts, including the 44-yard game-winner in the improbable 26-25 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16.

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Perhaps more impressive of all in Sanders' season was his 8-for-9 success rate on field goal attempts of 50 yards or longer.

Howard tied a Dolphins single-season record (first set by Dick Westmoreland in 1967) with his 10 interceptions, the most in the NFL since 2007 when Antonio Cromartie had the same number for the San Diego Chargers.

Howard was an almost unanimous selection among the 50 media members who voted for the All-Pro team, finishing with 47 votes. He was joined on the first team by Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams.

Sanders got 23 votes to land the kicker spot on the All-Pro first team, easily beating out Justin Tucker of the Ravens (11 votes) and Younghoe Koo of the Falcons (10).

Grant received 11 votes as punt returner to earn second-team honors behind New England's Gunner Olszewski, who got 23 votes. Grant finished second in the NFL with an 11-4-yard punt return average, far behind Olszewski's league-leading 17.3 mark.

No other Dolphins player received votes at any position.

All-Time Dolphins AP First-Team All-Pros

1971 — RB Larry Csonka, QB Bob Griese, G Larry Little, WR Paul Warfield

1972 — S Dick Anderson, G Larry Little, QB Earl Morrall, DE Bill Stanfill

1973 — S Dick Anderson, RB Larry Csonka, G Larry Little, S Jake Scott, WR Paul Warfield

1974 — C Jim Langer, G Larry Little, S Jake Scott

1975 — C Jim Langer, G Larry Little

1977 — QB Bob Griese, C Jim Langer, WR Nat Moore

1978 — RB Delvin Williams

1979 — KR Tony Nathan

1983 — DT Bob Baumhower, DE Doug Betters

1984 — QB Dan Marino, G Ed Newman, P Reggie Roby, C Dwight Stephenson

1985 — QB Dan Marino, C Dwight Stephenson

1986 — QB Dan Marino, C Dwight Stephenson

1987 — C Dwight Stephenson

1990 — LB John Offerdahl

1992 — K Pete Stoyanovich, T Richmond Webb

1994 — T Richmond Webb

1998 — LB Zach Thomas

1999 — CB Sam Madison, K Olindo Mare, LB Zach Thomas

2000 — CB Sam Madison, DE Jason Taylor

2002 — CB Patrick Surtain, DE Jason Taylor, RB Ricky Williams, LB Zach Thomas

2003 — LB Zach Thomas

2006 — DE Jason Taylor, LB Zach Thomas

2010 — T Jake Long

2012 — DE Cameron Wake