Brian Dawkins retired today. A wonderful playing career is over, and I feel compelled to sing his praises.
First, the numbers:
16 seasons and 224 games
18 playoff games, 4 Conf Champ games, 1 SB
9 Pro Bowls
4-time 1st team All-Pro
NFL’s 2000’s All-Decade Team
36 Forced Fumbles (#10 all-time & #1 among DBs)
37 INTs and 26 sacks (only Ronde Barber has more INTs and sacks)
Those stats alone make him an all-timer, but his on-field work ethic was just as impressive – Weapon X never took a play off.
His leadership and intensity was legendary, and his pre-game speeches were inspirational. Teammates loved him and opposing players feared him.
To round out his elite-level production and effort, Dawk is by all accounts a helluva nice person. I havent heard or read one negative thing about him from players, coaches, or even fans.
That’s pretty rare in today’s NFL. Then again, he was a bit of a throwback…to an era personified by toughness, no-nonsense football, and lead-by-example leadership.
Dawkins is unquestionably one of the greatest Philadelphia Eagles ever, and certainly one of the most popular. Among his contemporaries, he deserves mention with the other two greats of his era at the Safety position: Troy Polamalu & Ed Reed.
Both are certain HOFers, and Dawk should be headed there as well–but we know the nonsense that surrounds the voting process.
His legacy is one that all fans and players can look up to: GREAT PLAYER, GREAT TEAMMATE, GREAT MAN.
This video sums up everything: NFL Films Encore: Brian Dawkins
Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com & playerfilter.com/nfl
Photo courtesy of phinallyphilly.com