March 24, 2015

Highlighted Year: Trace Armstrong, 2000

Defensive End, Miami Dolphins

Age:  35 (Oct. 5)
12th season in pro football, 6th with Dolphins
College: Florida
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 270

Originally a college star at Arizona State, Armstrong was forced to transfer to Florida for his senior year due to a ruling by the NCAA regarding his academic eligibility. He received All-America recognition from the Sporting News at defensive end as well as All-SEC honors and was chosen by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft (12th overall). He moved into the starting lineup as a rookie, with unspectacular results, but possessing a good work ethic as well as speed and tenacity, Armstrong improved significantly by his second year, garnering 10 sacks. He was slowed by knee and ankle injuries in 1991 but settled into being a solid starting player over the course of six seasons in Chicago, accounting for 42 sacks with a high of 11.5 in 1993. Armstrong moved on to the Dolphins in 1995 where he continued to struggle with injuries but had a 12-sack season in ’96. He performed in more of a reserve role as a pass rushing specialist while also providing veteran leadership.

2000 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 16.5 [2, tied with Warren Sapp, 1st in AFC]
Most sacks, game – 3.5 vs. Buffalo 10/8
Multi-sack games – 4
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 7
Tackles – 24
Assists – 10

Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – 1
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 1
TD – 0

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFL: AP
1st team All-AFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Dolphins went 11-5 to finish first in the AFC East while leading the NFL in interceptions (28). Won AFC Wild Card playoff over Indianapolis Colts (23-17). Lost AFC Divisional playoff to Oakland Raiders (27-0).

Armstrong signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent for 2001. His season was cut short due to an Achilles injury and he lasted two more years as a part-time performer. Overall, he played in 211 regular season games over 15 years and finished with 106 sacks, reaching double figures five times. His Pro Bowl selection in 2000 was the only one of his career.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970