20 Days Until Kickoff
19 August 2019 Eagles News
With 20 days until kickoff, we continue our countdown with arguably the greatest Eagle of all time, Brian Dawkins. The Eagles drafted Brian Dawkins with the 61st pick in 2nd round of the 1996 NFL draft.
Brian Dawkins made his Eagles debut in the season opener of the 1996 season, amassing one tackle in a 17-14 win over the Washington Redskins. The very next game Brian Dawkins made his first start as an Eagle, and he never looked back. Dawkins took the reigns as a starter after starting safety Eric Zolmat was released following week 2.
After a wild card round playoff loss to the 49ers in his rookie season, Dawkins and the Eagles went through 3 losing seasons, which ended the tenure of head coach Ray Rhodes. The hiring of head coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson paved the way for this teams magnificent run starting in 2000.
Jim Johnson’s Eagle defenses led by Brian Dawkins were ferocious, and ultimately carried this team. Jim Johnson executed the blitz better than any other coach this league has ever seen, and Dawkins thrived under this style of defense.
The Eagles pulled off a 5 year run starting in 2000, which saw them combine for a 59-21 record, going to 4 straight conference championships and 1 Super Bowl. The Eagles lost in Super Bowl 39 to the New England Patriots 24-21.This would be Brian Dawkins only trip to the big dance.
After a spectacular run to the 2008 conference finals came to an end against the Arizona Cardinals, questions started to float around Brian Dawkins future with the team.
Brian Dawkins ultimately left the Eagles for the Denver Broncos in 2009, signing a 5 year deal. Brian Dawkins retired from the NFL before the 2012 season, after spending 3 seasons with the Denver Broncos.
Brian Dawkins legacy with the Eagles his unmatched. Brian Dawkins aka “Weapon X” was the leader of this defense during arguably its best 5 year run as a franchise, and established himself as one of the best safeties to ever play the game. Brian Dawkins finished his career with the Eagles totaling 898 tackles, 34 interceptions, 32 forced fumbles and 26 sacks. He is one of the few players to play in the NFL to total over 30 interceptions and 30 forced fumbles.
Brian Dawkins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2018. It is no question that Brian Dawkins is one of the reasons that there are so many Eagles fans out there today.