Brian Dawkins Will Always be an Eagle
He entered the NFL a Eagle, re-wrote the record book a Eagle, and in 13 of his 16 seasons, to the chants of "BDawk!, BDawk!, BDawk!," endeared himself to the Delaware Valley a Eagle.
Brian Dawkins, among the greatest football players this town has known, is recently retired as one.
On April 23rd, the franchise's most prolific safety hung up his cleats for good, signing a contract with the team. The Eagles will retire Dawkins' No. 20 at their Sept. 30 game against the New York Giants..
Dawkins, who is 38, had said several times in recent months that he's 100 percent recovered from last year's neck injury - but in the end he felt it was time.
Now it is official, and it is culminating where it commenced.
"I'm blessed to be able to come here and retire an Eagle - it's the place that I started," Dawkins said back during his April 28th press conference.
It's where he registered 37 interceptions, 26 sacks and 1,169 tackles compiled across 224 career games.
It's where he was a seven-time Pro Bowler and was named a first-team All Pro four times.
It's where in a 2002 in a game versus the Houston Texans he became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, forced fumble, and touchdown reception in a single game.
It's where he is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team, the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the 20/20 Club (20 sacks, 20 interceptions).
It's where he'll represent when he's one day inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, almost certainly the first year he’s eligible, in 2017.
The emotional Dawkins departed the Eagless somewhat acrimoniously. He had hoped to return to the Eagles after the 2008 season. However, the Eagles offer was not near the five-year, $17 million contract the Denver Broncos offer, and on February 28, 2009 he left Philadelphia.
After Dawkins left, some Eagles players and many fans expressed a feeling that the team chemistry might suffer without Dawkins presence. Since his departure, the Eagles have struggled to find a replacement that could come close to matching both his play and intensity.
Dawkins made an appearance at The Trump Taj Mahal over the weekend, taking pictures with tons of Eagles fans who came out to see No. 20 one more time.
I was glad that I got to be one of the people who got to see Dawkins. He was one of the most humble, down-to-earth athletes I have ever covered and even in retirement, he was one of the nicest athletes I have ever met.
Thank you Brian Dawkins for all you did as an Eagle and for being one of the truly good guys in the NFL.