Like most famous people these days with big news, Dawkins took to Twitter to announce his retirement:
The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years. I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing In me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & Coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that i have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL. #BBTB
This is a sad day for hardcore NFL fans everywhere, as they will remember Dawkins for his monster hits and his vocal leadership on defense.
Players looked up to him and he was well respected by many. There is no denying that he will be missed by all.
In his illustrious career, Dawkins finished with 1,131 tackles, 26 sacks, 37 forced fumbles and 37 interceptions. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, earned All-Pro honors six times in his career, became an NFC Champion in 2004 and is also a member of the NFL 2000's All-Decade team.
Taken in the second round of the 1996 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Dawkins didn't take very long to make his presence known.
He played with the Eagles up until 2009, when he signed a five-year deal with the Denver Broncos. Dawkins was a free agent this offseason, but now he's done with the NFL.
Perhaps he'll head to the broadcast booth to call games or to a network studio to be an analyst. Then again, he may just want to sit back, relax and enjoy life.
While you ponder that, watch this tribute video of Dawkins made by a fan who posted it on YouTube.