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Miami Dolphins All-Time Top 100 Players: 23. Doug Betters

The 1983 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the 6'7" defensive lineman Doug Betters made 64.5 career sacks of opposing quarterbacks.

Doug Betters was a 6'7" defensive end for the Nevada Wolfpack. Miami chose him with their sixth round selection of the 1978 NFL Entry Draft. Betters would wear the number 75 jersey throughout his Miami career.

As a rookie, Betters appeared in every game, starting six for Miami at right defensive end, making around 47 tackles and four sacks. This includes his first two sack performance in a week nine victory over the Baltimore Colts, 26-8. Miami's defense was in transition between the No-Name's and the Killer B's. The team ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack in most defensive categories, the exception being an NFL leading 32 interceptions. Miami qualified for the wildcard slot with an 11-5 record.

In 1979, Betters started 14 games, appearing in the other two in relief. He made around 80 tackles along with seven sacks and one blocked extra point as Miami compiled a 10-6 record, winning the AFC East. The defense allowed the second fewest points in the AFC, with 257 and the fourth fewest yardage total in the NFL, with 4,439. In particular, the rushing defense ranked second in the NFL by allowing 1,702 yards on the ground, second by nine yards to the Denver Broncos.

Miami staggered to an 8-8 record in 1980, not qualifying for a trip to the postseason. Betters started every game, making approximately 60 tackles, along with five sacks and a fumble recovery. Miami's defense was in the middle of the road, with the defensive secondary again excelling, collecting an AFC second best 28 interceptions on the year.

In 1981, Betters was moved to left defensive end, starting each of the 15 games in which he appeared. He made in the neighborhood of 60 tackles and four sacks. Miami won the AFC East title with a 11-4-1 record, advancing the the Divisional playoff matchup with the San Diego Chargers, ultimately losing, 41-38 in overtime. Miami's defense was the best in the AFC, allowing 275 points and an NFL second lowest 10 rushing touchdowns.

Shortened by the players' strike, the 1982 season comprised of two games, followed by seven weeks on inaction and then seven more games. Due to the parcity of results, the playoff field was expanded to include the top eight teams in each conference. It was also the first year in which official sacks were tabulated. Betters appeared in every game, starting seven and accruing four sacks, along with 23 tackles as Miami finished the season with a 7-2 record. The Dolphins cruised through the postseason, winning against the New England Patriots, the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets by a combined score of 76-26 for a berth in Super Bowl XVII against the Washington Redskins.

In 1983, Betters had a career season, earning first team All-NFL honors from the AP and the Sporting News, among others, as well as a Pro Bowl invitation and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. He started out the season by making four sacks on Buffalo Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson, and never slowed down. He started every game for Miami, ranking third in the NFL with 16 sacks and eighth in the NFL with four fumble recoveries. He also made 76 tackles and knocked down at least four passes. Miami easily won the AFC East title with a 12-4 record, the defense leading the NFL by a wide margin with only 250 points allowed.

1984 would see Dan Marino emerge as an all-world quarterback, and the team finished the season with an AFC best 14-2 record. Betters again had a great campaign, ranking eighth in the NFL with 14 sacks on the year, with around 60 tackles and a fumble recovery. Miami would go on to blow the doors off their postseason competition, 31-10 over the Seattle Seahawks, and 45-28 over the Pittsburgh Steelers to earn a slot in Super Bowl XIX against the San Francisco 49ers.

Betters started each of the 14 games in which he appeared in 1985, making 5.5 sacks. He also compiled approximately 50 tackles as Miami posted a 12-4 record, winning the AFC East title. They dispatched the Cleveland Browns, 24-21 before suffering an upset at home to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, 31-14.

Betters played for Miami in diminishing capacities over the next two seasons, starting one of his final 28 games. In 10 total seasons for the Dolphins, he started 105 of 146 games, making 64.5 career sacks, (46.5 of them were official).

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