The Doggone Hall of Fame Case for Brian Dawkins
4 February 2017 Eagles News
Tonight we find out the NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and Philadelphia Eagles own, Brian Dawkins is on the final ballot in his first year of eligibility. No position is more scarce than Safety (outside of Special Teams) in the Hall of Fame. There are currently seven true Safeties in the Hall with the last one coming in the form of the NFL’s all-time leading interception leader, Paul Krause, inducted in 1998.
Dawkins certainly has competition in his quest for enshrinement, as Super Bowl bearing John Lynch is on the ballot for his fourth year. Lynch had a phenomenal career between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos, posting 736 total tackles, 26 interceptions, 13 sacks, and 16 force fumbles, over a 15 year career. Lynch also obtained a Super Bowl ring playing on the 2002 Tampa Buccaneers, arguably a top-5 defense of all time. Lynch made 9 Pro Bowls and was voted First-team All-Pro twice in his career (1999 & 2000).
Dawkins, came to the Eagles by way of the second round in the 1996 NFL Draft. Dawkins played 16 seasons in the NFL between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. If what John Lynch did was considered great, what Brian Dawkins did for the game was nothing short of legendary. Dawkins posted 895 total tackles, 37 interceptions, 26 sacks, and 37 forced fumbles. In fact, Brian Dawkins is the only player in NFL HISTORY to record 25+ sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions in a career. On top of Weapon X’s numbers, he also went to 9 pro bowls, but unlike John Lynch, he was named to 4 first-team All Pro teams. Also unlike Lynch, Dawkins was voted First-team “All 2000’s team” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The numbers and the awards should make this a doggone no-brainer. The part where Dawkins may fall out of favor to Lynch is that Super Bowl trophy in which he was never able to reach (thanks, Spygate). But unlike Lynch, Dawkins never played with a Hall of Famer, Lynch played with two on the defense of the 2002 Tampa Buccaneers; Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks. This number will eventually reach three when Ronde Barber gets inducted.
Dawkins was the leader, the passion, and the heart of the 2000’s Philadelphia Eagles defense and the city of Philadelphia as a whole. He revolutionized the Safety position. As the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame has already admitted when it voted him first-team “All 2000’s team”, defense in the early 2000’s could not be discussed without mentioning Brian Dawkins. This man is the epitome of what the Hall of Fame represents and tonight, he should be voted in as the 8th Safety in NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.