Tra Thomas: Pro Bowl Offensive Tackle to Retire as a Philadelphia Eagle

Cody SwartzSenior Writer IAugust 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - 2005:  Tra Thomas of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Getty Images)
NFL Photos/Getty Images /Getty Images

Tra Thomas, one of the best offensive tackles ever to put on a Philadelphia Eagles uniform, will be retiring with the Eagles on Thursday.

Thomas was initially selected in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft by Ray Rhodes and made his mark by protecting the blind side of quarterback Donovan McNabb. Thomas went to three Pro Bowls in 11 years as an Eagle, helping the team to the playoffs seven times, including five conference championship games and a trip to the Super Bowl.

In fact, the only player on the Eagles to play in more playoff games during the Andy Reid era was Brian Dawkins, who beat out Thomas 18 to 17.

Thomas teamed with right tackle Jon Runyan to give the Eagles one of the best offensive tackle tandems in the NFL, paving the way for McNabb to go to five Pro Bowls and Brian Westbrook to two Pro Bowls.

Thomas won’t make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he wasn’t quite in a class of Jonathan Ogden or Orlando Pace but he was every bit as good as players like Jordan Gross, Bryant McKinnie or Chris Samuels.

And as good as Thomas was in his prime, Jason Peters is probably better than Thomas ever was. Thomas was more of a pass blocker given his mammoth 6'7" frame while Peters is a complete player who can pass block and run block (let’s hope he heals well this year). Thomas played one final year in the NFL after leaving the Eagles, suiting up for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009.