I have never seen a professional athlete who was more in touch with his team, city and community than Brian Dawkins.
And while he played the final three seasons of his 16-year career in Denver, the Wolverine will be forever remembered as a Philadelphia Eagle.
Ever since his rookie season, the City of Brotherly Love has embraced the hard-hitting safety that wore his heart of his sleeve. Fans fell in love his intensity, leadership and passion.
Dawkins was a mainstay in the Eagles secondary for 13 years and earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl while wearing green. He was voted to the franchise’s 75th Anniversary Team and is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Not only did he give the Eagles 898 tackles, 21 sacks, 33 forced fumbles and 34 interceptions, but was also a consummate professional off the field as well.
Dawkins’ philanthropy work includes but is not limited to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where he acted as a regional spokesman and the Burn Prevention Foundation. The Clemson product has also been known to host annual golf tournaments to raise awareness and money for the causes he fights.
For any fan who has ever watched Dawkins play, it should come as no surprise to hear that the man tackles every endeavor with aggression and pride.
Dawkins’ retirement means the NFL will enter the 2012 season with one less leader and one less humanitarian representing its’ brand.