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Miami Dolphins All-Time Top 100 Players: 75. T.J. Turner

T.J. Turner shored up the left side of Miami's defensive line for seven seasons.

TJ Turner was a 6'4" defensive end and nose tackle from Lufkin, TX. He was very highly recruited out of high school, and eventually chose the University of Houston. He compiled 30 total sacks in his four seasons with the Cougars.

Miami selected Turner in the third round of the 1986 NFL Entry Draft with the 81st overall pick, and would wear number 95 for the Dolphins. He would appear in every game in his rookie season, starting 15 from left defensive end, earning credit for two sacks, both in a week 12 victory in which the Dolphins pasted the New York Jets, 45-3. Unfortunately, the Dolphins would eventually finish with an 8-8 record and miss out on the playoffs.

In 1987, the season was marred by a players strike and the "replacement player" debaucle. Turner started all 12 games, recording four sacks for the "legitimate" Dolphins, who went 7-5, missing out on the playoffs (the team compiled an 8-7 overall record).

Turner started all 16 games at left defensive end for Miami, and was credited with five sacks as the Dolphins went on to a disappointing 6-10 record.

Turner was limited by injuries in 1989 to 11 starts in 14 total appearances as the Dolphins missed out on the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, the first such stretch for Miami since their first four seasons, in the AFL.

Miami finished 12-4 in 1990, securing the AFC Wildcard berth and defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-16 before losing the Divisional matchup to the Buffalo Bills, 44-34. Turner started 12 of his 14 games that season, receiving credit for one sack.

1991 would see the Dolphins again finish 8-8, missing the playoffs. Turner appeared in 13 games, starting 12 and receiving credit for four sacks.

Miami would return to prominence in 1992, finishing 11-5 and making the playoffs as a wildcard. They would easily dispatch the San Diego Chargers, 31-0 before losing to the Buffalo Bills, 29-10 in the Divisional Playoff. Turner appeared in every game, starting five. He retired from pro football after the season.

Turner died of a stroke at the age of 46 on August 24, 2009. In seven seasons with the Dolphins, he racked up 16 sacks and recovered eight fumbles, starting 83 of his 101 games in Miami.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.