Brian Dawkins retired after 16 years as an NFL player.
I am not the most suitable person to talk about Brian Dawkins and what he meant for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fanbase. The safety out of Florida had signed with the Denver Broncos when I began watching NFL games, and of course, follow the Eagles.
Despite that, it’s not hard to realize what an important figure Dawkins has been for Philadelphia—a city that breathes sports. He spent 13 seasons as an Eagle, wearing their jersey in 183 games and eventually becoming the defensive leader of the team. His fighting spirit and his “don’t hold back” approach to the game made him more than a fan favorite—Dawkins was a hero.
He finished his Eagles career with 898 tackles, 34 interceptions and 21 sacks. However, the most impressive fact is that he started all but one of his 183 total games as an Eagle.
Dawkins’ nickname was “Weapon X” and it was rightfully given to him. It wasn’t just his premium quality and the awe-inspiring stats. His toughness and his spectacular hard hits made him look unbeatable and a threat to every receiver that was wandering in the Eagles’ defensive backfield.
Yesterday, Dawkins announced his retirement via Twitter. In a simple and honest statement, Dawkins thanked God for blessing him with a 16-year long NFL career. He also thanked the Eagles, the Broncos, his teammates and coaches and ultimately the fans for their help and support.
Dawkins will be surely missed, not only by the Eagles’ fans, but by the whole NFL world. There are a lot of people who believe that he must be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and there’s a strong possibility it will happen in the future.
I feel very unlucky that I never watched Dawkins live as an Eagle and can only watch old highlights and games. I hoped that the Eagles would sign him to a one-year contract, in order to finish his career with them, but that hope died yesterday.
Still, he will never be forgotten by the Eagles’ fans—even by those that were not able to watch him.