Part one of a ninety-nine part series, where I’ll dig into jersey numbers and notable players that wore each number for the Miami Dolphins, has to start with number one.
The number one jersey has only been worn by six different players in franchise history – half of which only wore this number or played for the team for one year.
Today, we’ll focus on three of them: Garo Yepremian, Cody Parkey and Tua Tagovailoa
Garo Yepremian, Kicker 1970-1978
For those that don’t know, Garo Yepremian was a Cypriot-Armenian American who players 14 seasons in the National Football League, nine of which for your Miami Dolphins.
Before his time with the Miami Dolphins, while still still getting used to life in the United States, Garo players for the Detroit Lions and learned what it was like to play professional football in the NFL. Adjusting to the NFL (and the US) wasn’t easy for Garo, with moment like him looking for the coin when his team “lost” the coin toss, being an often referenced example of his challenging adjustment to being a professional athlete.
However, Yepremian would persevere through those early challenges and make a name for himself in football history. One such moment that fans will likely never forget was when Yepremian ended the longest game in NFL history with a 37 yard field goal 7 minutes and 40 seconds into double overtime. That kick sent Miami to the AFC championship game. Let’s go!
Garo finished his career as a 2x Super Bowl Champion, 2x First Team All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowler, the NFL Scoring Leader in 1971, and part of the 1970’s all-decade team. Garo sadly passed away in 2015 but his memory absolutely lives on.
Cody Parkey, Kicker 2017-2017
After going undrafted in 2014, Cody Parkey would sign with Indianapolis before being traded that same offseason to the Philadelphia Eagles. He’d spend two years with the Eagles and one with the Browns going 55 for 65 on field goals, good for an 85% field goal percentage.
In 2017, after being waived in camp by the Browns, Parkey would be claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins. That season, Parkey would go 21 of 23 (91.3%) on field goal attempts while winning an AFC Special Teams Player of the week award in Week 2. That was a pretty great game for him – obviously – as he was responsible for 13 of the 19 points the team would score, including the game-winning field goal, over the Jets.
Editors Note: It’s also noteworthy that this week 2 victory was the first game of the season after Hurricane Irma wiped out Week 1.
After a career year in Miami, Cody Parkey would go on to sign a four year contract with the Chicago Bears worth $15 million. Parkey is currently a free agent.
Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback 2020-Present
While I recently shared how I felt the moment Tua took the field, I haven’t spoken much about the story since then. That’s largely because the book of Tua ia still far from written.
Often the subject of controversial – and sometimes entirely incorrect – discussion, Tua is a winner.
At Alabama, Tua threw for 7,442 yards (10.9 y/a and 9.9 ay/a) in his 32 games active for the Alabama Crimson Tide (24 starts). Over that time, he completed 69.3% of his passes with 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He would finish with a 22-2 record as the starter. Pretty good I’d say.
He also had that wild 2018 National Championship game that included him starting the second half and leading his team to a come-from-behind victory. As a freshman. In overtime.
Tua’s career so far has proven that he continues to be a winner with a lot of upside. Across his two seasons in the NFL, with 21 total starts, Tua has thrown for 4,467 yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions en route to a 13-8 record.
This year, with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and more, Tua is in the best situation he’s been in since his days with the Crimson Tide. I couldn’t be more excited to see what QB1 does with this opportunity.
Honorable mentions: Tony Franklin (1988), Matt Turk (2000-2004), and Rashard Causey (2019)