Howard, Sanders are first Dolphins’ first-team All Pro duo in a decade

Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read

The Miami Dolphins’ 10-6 campaign may be over, but the accolades that will follow are starting to trickle in — and for the first time in a long time, Miami has several representatives on one of the most prestigious lists in all of football. The NFL’s All-Pro rosters were released this afternoon and the Miami Dolphins had two players make the cut:

Cornerback Xavien Howard and kicker Jason Sanders.

Howard’s season has been well established as one of the best in the entire league — he’s a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate. But Sanders, who was a critical piece of Miami’s offense this season amid the team’s red zone struggles and their proficiency in the final two minutes of the half, also secured first-team All Pro honors. This, according to Brett Brecheisen of the Dolphins’ communications department, is the first Dolphins pair of Miami Dolphins to make the first-team All Pro honors since Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor back in 2006 under the direction of coach Nick Saban.

That season saw Taylor secure the AP Defensive Player of the Year award — and the Dolphins can only hope this year follows the same script. Sanders, to his credit, would certainly make a strong case to win the Special Teams Player of the Year award if it existed.

According to Pro Football Talk, Howard came within three votes of being a unanimous first-team All Pro this season — but he was comfortably the top cornerback given honors; just as Sanders was comfortably the top kicker selected. The duo mark the first first-team All Pros on the Dolphins since Cameron Wake in 2012 when he logged 15 sacks for Miami.

The only other Miami Dolphin to secure votes this season was Jakeem Grant as a punt returner — and he finished on the second-team All-Pro list for his efforts in the return game this season.