Number 79 and the Three Dolphins Who Wore It Best

Super Bowl starting tackle Wayne Moore is the only Dolphins 79 selected to the Pro Bowl
Defensive end Derrick Shelby before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2014.
Defensive end Derrick Shelby before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2014. / Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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The countdown to the start of the 2024 regular season has begun now that we're under 100 days away, so we'll honor every day the best players to wear the corresponding number for the Dolphins.

Today, we're at number 79.

The top players at each number so far have been Jason Taylor at 99, Jared Odrick at 98Phillip Merling at 97Paul Soliai at 96Tim Bowens at 95Randy Starks at 94,  Trace Armstrong at 93John Denney at 92Cameron Wake at 91Marco Coleman at 90,  Nat Moore at 89, Keith Jackson at 88, Andre Tillman at 87, Oronde Gadsden at 86, Nick Buoniconti at 85, Bill Stanfill at 84, Mark Clayton at 83, Brian Hartline at 82, O.J. McDuffie at 81, and Irving Fryar at 80.

As a reminder about the ground rules, the top three will be determined only by what the players did while wearing that uniform for the Dolphins.

Players who wore 79 for at least one regular season game for the Dolphins:

DT Al Dotson (1966), T Mike Current (1967), DT Claude Brownlee (1967), DT Jim Urbanek (1968), T Wayne Moore (1970-78), T Jon Giesler (1979-88), T Ike Readon (1987), DE Donnie Gardner (1991), DT Larry Webster (1992-94), T Billy Milner (1995-96), DE Kenny Mixon (1998-2001), DE Ronald Flemons (2004), T Anthony Alabi (2006-07), T Pat McQuistan (2010), DE Derrick Shelby (2012-15), T Sam Young (2016-18), T Larnel Coleman (2022)

The debate on the best 79 on the Dolphins

As we arrive to numbers in the 70s, we're now going to be looking at linemen on both offense and defense. The Dolphins have had two first-round picks wearing 79, but only one player who made the Pro Bowl. That one player was tackle Wayne Moore, who started 72 games for the Dolphins in the 1970s, including 12 in 1973 when the Dolphins won the Super Bowl for a second consecutive season. Moore earned his one Pro Bowl selection during that season. Jon Giesler was a nine-year starter after being a first-round pick in 1979 and, while he never made the Pro Bowl, his performance consistently was impressive. Mixon started three of his four seasons with the Dolphins and he was a valuable contributor, even though his statistics weren't overwhelming. Shelby started only nine games for the Dolphins, but he was a very good backup defensive lineman for three-plus seasons. Milner became a first-round bust after he started the final nine games of the 1995 season and was traded to the Rams early in 1996 for tight end Troy Drayton. ... Webster went on to play seven more seasons in the NFL after leaving the Dolphins.

The top three Dolphins players with number 79

1. T Jon Giesler

2. T Wayne Moore

3. DE Kenny Mixon

Dolphins 79's among the NFL's all-time best

There are two players in the Hall of Fame who wore mostly 79 — Roosevelt Brown and Bob St. Clair. Other notable players to wear 79 include Ray Childress and Harvey Martin. No Dolphins player here would rank in the top 20.


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Alain Poupart

ALAIN POUPART

Alain Poupart is the publisher/editor of All Dolphins and co-host of the All Dolphins Podcast. Alain has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989 for various publications and media outlets, including Dolphin Digest, The Associated Press, the Dolphins team website, and the Fan Nation Network (part of Sports Illustrated). In addition to being a credentialed member of the Miami Dolphins press corps, Alain has covered three Super Bowls (for NFL.com, Football News and the Montreal Gazette), the annual NFL draft, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL Scouting Combine. During his almost 40 years in journalism, which began at the now-defunct Miami News, Alain has covered practically every sport at one time or another, from tennis to golf, baseball, basketball and everything in between. The career also included time as a copy editor, including work on several books such as "Still Perfect," an inside look at the Miami Dolphins' 1972 perfect season. A native of Montreal, Canada, whose first language is French, Alain grew up a huge hockey fan but soon developed a love for all sports, including NFL football. He has lived in South Florida since the 1980s.