Philadelphia Eagles: Top 50 Players in Franchise History
The Philadelphia Eagles have had a storied but tumultuous 78 years in pro football. In that time, the Eagles have had some of the best players in league history. From Steve Van Buren to the last of the 60 minutes men, Chuck Bednarik to Reggie White to Brian Dawkins to the players of today. They have had 16 former players inducted into the Hall of Fame and have several other players waiting to be enshrined including Randall Cunningham and Brian Dawkins.
But who are they greatest Eagles of them all? The Eagles have made the playoffs in seven different decades now and comparing the greats from all these different eras is pretty difficult. You have to consider everything these players accomplished and for some one the list, are still accomplishing. You have to look at more than just stats. You also have to consider just what they did for the Eagles. Richard Dent had a great career and is not only a Superbowl MVP but also a Hall of Famer. But he only played for the Eagles one season.
I also think you have to consider some of the guys today for what they have already done. Some of our current players have already done enough to be in the top 50 already.
Alright, let's get this countdown started. Here is my attempt at taking 78 years worth of players and picking just the 50 best since 1933.
50. Fred Barnett
Fred Barnett was a wide receiver for the Eagles from 1990-1995. He finished his Eagles career with over 4,600 yards and 28 touchdowns. Barnett has one of the longest plays in Eagles history, a 95 yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham in 1990 against the Buffalo Bills. Barnett is currently 8th all time on the Eagles receiving yards list. Barnett was a part of those really good early 90's teams that was never able to win the big games when it mattered.
49. Jason Peters
Jason Peters is the left tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was traded from the Bills for the Eagles' 28th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. It has already gone down as one of the most beneficial trades in Eagles history.
Jason Peters was a tight end in college at Arkansas and was undrafted in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has quickly adjusted to the tackle spot and has become one of the best tackles in the game. He has made the last four Pro Bowls and has shown no signs of slowing down. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise poor pass blocking offensive line during the 2010 season. The longer he keeps playing at this elite level, the higher he should soar up in the Eagles rankings.
48. LeSean "Shady" McCoy
This is not going to be an easy sell to the traditionalists but here goes nothing.
LeSean McCoy has only played two seasons in the NFL, but already looks like an elite running back. He has over 2,600 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He broke the Eagles' rookie rushing record with 606 yards in 2009. He followed that up with over 1,000 rushing yards in 2010.
Shady appears to be the total package. He has already proven to be one of the most versatile backs in the game, he also is one of the best short yardage backs in the game. According to Football Outsiders, LeSean had a 58% success rate on short yardage situations which is better than a lot of bigger running backs like Michael Bush and Frank Gore.
Shady should finish his Eagles career as one of the best Eagles' running backs of all time.
47. Bobby Taylor
Bobby Taylor was a part of that great secondary the Eagles had in the early 2000's with Brian Dawkins and Troy Vincent. Bobby Taylor played for the Eagles from 1995-2003. Taylor is probably most remembered for his pick six against Michael Vick in the 2002 Divisional Round Playoff game against the Falcons.
Bobby Taylor is an incredibly underrated Eagles' player in my opinion. His 19 career interceptions and two career touchdowns don't tell the whole story. He was a part of a great secondary and seemed to do everything very well. He only made one Pro Bowl in his career but deserved a couple more invites.
46. Duce Staley
Duce Staley was the Eagles running back from 1997-2003. He was the running back that took over after Ricky Watters left for Seattle in 1998. Duce finished his career with the Eagles with over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns despite playing for some less than stellar teams early in his career.
He left for greener pastures in 2004, taking more money to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished his Steelers career with 978 yards and two touchdowns in his final three seasons. Duce is currently back with the Eagles as the Special Teams Quality Control coach.
45. Sheldon Brown
Sheldon Brown was a cornerback for the Eagles from 2002-2009. He, with Lito Sheppard, replaced legendary Eagles' cornerbacks Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent in the 2004 season. Sheldon has five career defensive touchdowns but is primarily know for his physical and hard hitting play.
Sheldon Brown was traded after the 2009 season to the Cleveland Browns and was replaced by Ellis Hobbs and Dimitri Patterson. Never has a player clearly past his prime been missed, except for Brian Dawkins of course. The Eagles will look to adequately replace Sheldon Brown in 2011 with a more proven player in free agency.
44. Keith Byars
Keith Byars will go down as one of the most versatile fullbacks in NFL history. He was the Eagles' fullback from 1986-1992. He finished his career with 30 touchdowns and 6,204 total yards with the Eagles.
Keith Byars was the perfect fullback. He ran like a running back but blocked like a fullback. In 1990, he finished third in the entire league with 81 receptions. He was dynamic in his time and no one really comes to close to duplicating what he was able to do as a fullback.
Byars is currently a radio analyst for the Ohio State Buckeyes football games and also works as a football analyst for YES Network.
43. William "Tra" Thomas
William Thomas was the starting left tackle for the Eagles from 1998-2008. He started 165 of 166 games as an Eagle. Thomas was a part of some great offensive lines in the early 2000's that helped turn the Eagles franchise around and instill some stability in an offense that badly needed it.
Having a left tackle that is not only a great player but made over 99% of his starts is something that should not be over looked. Thomas received three Pro Bowl bids and was a part of the 75th Anniversary Philadelphia Eagles team.
42. DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson has only played three seasons in the NFL, but has already had a pretty storied career. He already has over 3,000 career receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns. But the stats don't really tell the whole story. DeSean changed the way defenses play the Eagles. He is one of the best deep threats in the game and is capable of scoring any time he touches the ball thanks to his electrifying speed. Coaches have to change their game plan because of his speed.
DeSean Jackson is now most famous for his "Miracle at the New Meadownlands" play last December, where DeSean returned a punt against the New York Giants for a touchdown to break a 31-31 tie. The play is the first and only walk off punt return touchdown in NFL history.
41. David Akers
David Akers is a kicker. The fact that a kicker cracks the top 50 for a franchise that has been around 78 years says something. David Akers has been Mr. Reliable for the Eagles since 2000.
Akers has set several records in his Eagles career including most points in a single decade(1,114), most points in Pro Bowl history(48), most consecutive field goals made in the postseason(19) and most points in Eagles history(1,325). His career field goal percentage is just under 82% and his extra point percentage is an impressive just under 99%.
David Akers was easily the best kicker of the 2000's and should eventually be a in the Hall of Fame.
40. Trent Cole
Whether it be quarterbacks on Sundays or Whitetails on Mondays, Trent Cole is a hunter. In his six years with the Eagles so far, defensive end Trent Cole has already racked up 57 sacks, two Pro Bowl bids and was named to NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2010, voted by the players.
Cole is probably one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He has 44 sacks the past four seasons combined but yet needs injuries from other defensive ends in the NFL to get a invite to the Pro Bowl. Cole has achieved all this without much help from the rest of his line mates. It would be really interesting to see what he would do with a stud defensive tackle next to him.
39. Keith Jackson
Keith Jackson was a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1988-1991. In the short time he accomplished a lot. He had 869 receiving yards in his rookie season with the Eagles in 1988, only to be later broken by DeSean Jackson in 2008. Keith was a three time All Pro with the Eagles in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
Keith Jackson finished his Eagles career with 2,756 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns before taking his talents to South Beach in 1992.
38. Andre Waters
Andre Waters was a safety for the Eagles from 1984-1993. Waters was one of the most fiercest players in the NFL during his prime. His hard hitting and aggressive play fit right in with newly hired coach Buddy Ryan in 1986. He would become a starter for the next eight seasons.
Waters would earn notoriety for his hit on Jim Everrett in 1988. The hit lead to a rule banning defensive players from hitting a quarterback below the waist while they are still in the pocket. The rule became unofficially know as "The Andre Waters Rule" and earned him the nickname "Dirty Waters".
On November 20, 2006, Andre Waters took his own life. His brain tissue was sent to the University of Pittsburgh. It was found out that Waters brain tissue had degenerated similar to an 85 year old man with characteristics of Alzheimer's disease. The damage to his brain tissue was thought to be caused by numerous concussions during his playing career. He was 44 years old at his time of death.
37. Jeremiah Trotter
The axe chop. Jeremiah Trotter became one of the most beloved Eagles in Jim Johnson's defenses in the 2000's. He was most famous for his celebratory "Axe Chop" after he made a big play.
Between 1999-2001, Trotter was the starting middle linebacker for the Eagles and the anchor in their run defense. After the 2001 season Trotter decided to test the free agent market where he signed Washington Redskins in 2002. He was never able to duplicate the magic he had with the Eagles and was released from his contract after two seasons in D.C.
He would return to the Eagles in 2004 and immediately improved what was a struggling run defense.
Trotter finished his career with 636 tackles, 12.5 sacks and nine interceptions.
36. Mike Quick
Mike Quick was a wide receiver for the Eagles his entire career (1982-1990). He finished his career with 6,464 receiving yards, 61 touchdowns and five Pro Bowl bids. In 1985, Mike Quick had one of the longest plays in NFL history. He caught and ran for a 99 yard reception from Ron Jaworski in overtime to beat the Falcons.
Mike Quick is currently the color commentator for the Philadelphia Eagles with Merrill Reese.
35. Herman Edwards
Herman Edwards was the Eagles cornerback from 1977-1985. He was eventually cut in 1986 when Buddy Ryan took over. Edwards finished his career with the Eagles with 33 total interceptions which is one shy of the Eagles record set by Bill Bradley, Eric Allen and Brian Dawkins.
Herm is of course most famous for his fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Giants in 1978. The play is more commonly known as "The Miracle at the Meadowlands". Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik tried to hand off to Larry Csonka but the hand off was botched and Herman Edwards picked up the ball for the go ahead come from behind touchdown in the closing moments. The play later results in the victory formation which was referred to at the time as "The Herman Edwards Play".
34. Maxie Baughan
Maxie Baughan was a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles his first six years in the league including the 1960 championship season.
Maxie was the 20th player chosen in the 1960 NFL Draft and despite being a rookie, became an immediate starter on an already stout defense. Maxie would go on to make the Pro Bowl all six years with the Eagles along with three All Pro teams.
After the 1965 season, where the Eagles had failed to make the playoffs for the fifth straight season, Baughan requested a trade and was sent to the Los Angeles Rams. Despite being a 9 time Pro Bowler and one of the top linebackers of the 60's, he has yet to make the Eagles Honor Roll or the Hall of Fame.
33. Asante Samuel
Asante Samuel was a free agent pickup for the Eagles formerly of the Patriots in 2008. He was signed for six years, 56 million dollars. He has yet to not be worth every penny. In the last two seasons, Asante has 16 interceptions.
Asante is most famous for his clutch pick sixes in the playoffs. On January 4th, 2009 Samuel picked off a pass from Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in the Wildcard Playoff game at the Metrodome. He took the pass back 44 yards for a touchdown. The interception return for a touchdown was the fourth of his career, which is still an NFL record.
Asante has received a lot of flak the past couple seasons for his lack of tackling ability, but is still one of the best cornerbacks in the game right now. With 20 interceptions in his first three seasons with the Eagles and no signs of slowing down at age 30, he should pass Eric Allen with the most interceptions in Eagles history. He needs 14 more to break the record.
32. Timmy Brown
Timmy Brown was the Eagles running back and kick returner from 1960-1967. He has the longest kickoff return in Eagles history at 105 yards in 1961 against the Browns, and also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single game. He was the first player to return to kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game.
He finished his career as an Eagle with 61 career touchdowns including five on kickoff returns. He also had over 3,700 yards rushing and 3,300 yards receiving and overcame a serious problem with fumbles the cost him his job with the Packers during his rookie season in 1959.
He is still regarded as one of the best return man in NFL history and one of the most explosive running backs during his era.
31. Hugh Douglas
Hugh Douglas was the Eagles defensive end from 1998-2002 and again in 2004 after a unsuccessful stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003. He was third all time on the Eagles in sacks with 54.5 until Trent Cole passed him with 57 during the 2010 season.
Douglas was a three time Pro Bowl selection during his career, all with the Eagles. Douglas is currently working with the Eagles as an on air sports personality for the local sports radio station.
30. Harold Carmichael
Harold Carmichael was an absolute sky scrapper. At 6'8, he is still the tallest wide receiver in NFL history.
Carmichael finished his Eagles career (1971-1983) with 8,978 receiving yards, 589 receptions and 79 touchdowns. All are all time Eagles records. Carmichael was a member of the NFL's 1970's All Decade Team and the Eagles' 75th Anniversary Team.
Basically think Vincent Jackson or Plaxico Burress but 100 times better.
29. Stan Walters
Stan Walters was a starting offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1975-1983 where he started 122 consecutive games. Walters was a key member on one of the greatest offensive lines in Eagles history and one of the most underrated lines in NFL history. Walters was a two time Pro Bowl selection and a one time All Pro selection.
After his playing career, Walters spent time as the Eagles color commentator from 1984-1998 and was inducted to the Eagles Honor Roll.
28. Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley was the Eagles' free safety during 1969-1976. Bradley was a great player during a horrible era for the Eagles in the early 1970's. Bradley is currently tied for first in Eagles history in interceptions with 34. He was also the Eagles punter and punt returner during his career as well.
He was inducted into the Eagles Honor Roll in 1993.
27. Jerry Sisemore
Jerry Sisemore was an offensive lineman for the Eagles his entire career (1973-1984). Sisemore was a key cog in the Eagles turnaround after coach Dick Vermeil took over in the late 70's. Sisemore made 155 starts in 156 career games.
Sisemore was an Eagles Honor Roll inductee in 1991.
26. William Thomas
William Harrison Thomas was the Eagles linebacker from 1991-1999. He was a two time Pro Bowler in 1995 and 1996. Thomas was one of the greatest pass coverage linebackers in NFL history. He finished his career with 37 sacks and 27 interceptions which put him in a very exclusive 20/20 club.
25. Troy Vincent
Troy Vincent was the Eagles' cornerback for eight seasons (1996-2003). He made five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1999 to 2003, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2002 and a member of the Eagles' 75th Anniversary Team in 2007. He finished his Eagles career with 28 interceptions.
Troy Vincent is currently the Vice President of the NFL Player Engagement Organization and is one of the greatest ambassadors the NFL has ever had.
24. Seth Joyner
Seth Joyner was the Eagles' linebacker during the Buddy Ryan era (1986-1993). He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1986 NFL Draft but was cut in training camp. Lucky for the Eagles he was resigned later in the year.
He finished his career with the Eagles with 37 sacks and 17 interceptions and eventually, like William Thomas, became a member of the 20/20 club with 52 career sacks and 24 interceptions.
23. Wilbert Montgomery
Wilbert Montgomery was the Eagles running back in 1977-1984. He was a key part of the offensive turnaround under coach Dick Vermeil.
Montgomery finished his Eagles career with over 9,000 total yards and 103 total touchdowns. Montgomery is still the Eagles all time leading rusher with over 6,500 rushing yards.
22. Clyde Simmons
Clyde Simmons was the Eagles defensive end in 1986-1993. Simmons was another great player from the Buddy Ryan era in Philadelphia. Simmons is currently second all time in sacks for the Eagles 76 sacks and finished with 121.5 career sacks.
His best season came in 1992 where he amassed 19 sacks during that season.
21. Bill Bergey
Bill Bergey played his final seven seasons in the NFL with the Eagles from 1974 to 1980. Bergey made the Pro Bowl four out of his seven seasons with the Eagles.
Bill Bergey was the foundation of the "Gang Green" defense that lead the Eagles to a NFC Championship in the 1980 season. Bergey was inducted to the Honor Roll in 1988.
20. Wade Key
Wade Key was the Eagles offensive guard and tackle during the 1970's. Despite being a 13th round draft pick by the Eagles in the 1969 NFL Draft, he was another key member of those great lines of the 1970's teams.
Wade Key was selected as a member of the Eagles 75th anniversary team in 2007.
19. Bobby Walston
If Chuck Bednarik was the last of the two way players, Bobby Walston was the last of the three way players. Bobby Walston was the Eagles' place kicker, halfback and left end from 1951-1962. Bobby Walston was the Eagles former scoring leader at 881 points but was later broke and is currently held by David Akers.
Walston had over 5,300 career receiving yards, 80 made field goals and 365 extra points, all with the Eagles. Bobby Walston was one of the most valuable players during the Eagles 1960 Championship season.
18. Eric Allen
Yet another member of Buddy Ryans ferocious defense of the late 80's and early 90's. Eric Allen was one of the cornerbacks of that team and shut down some of the best receivers of that era. He finished his Eagles' career with 34 interceptions (first all time), five Pro Bowl bids and three All Pro selections. He was also a member of the Eagles 75th Anniversary Team in 2007.
17. Jon Runyan
The Cal Ripken Jr of offensive tackles, Jon Runyan started 190 consecutive games with the Eagles in the 90's and 2000's. Runyan was a one time Pro Bowler but is still regarded as one of the greatest Eagles lineman of all time, making the 75th Anniversary Team. A Sports Illustrated article ranked him as the second dirtiest player in the game at the time and an ESPN poll stated that getting blocked by Runyan was one of the scariest things to face in the NFL.
Jon Runyan is currently a US Congressman, representing New Jersey's third district.
16. Norm Van Brocklin
Norm Van Brocklin probably didn't play long enough in some people's minds to earn himself a spot in the Eagles top 50, but his three years were pretty special.
Norm Van Brocklin lead the Eagles to a NFL Championship as the starting quarterback in the 1960 season. He lead the Eagles' fourth quarter comeback to lead Eagles to a 17-13 victory of the Packers. Norm finished his Eagles' career 7,497 passing yards and 58 total touchdowns.
Norm was a thee time Pro Bowler as an Eagle and the AP Co-MVP in 1960.
15. Bob Brown
Bob Brown was the Eagles offensive tackle in his first five years in the NFL from 1964 to 1968. He was the NFL rookie of the year in 1964 and would get three Pro Bowl bids during his time in Philly. He was later selected to the NFL All Decade Team for the 1960's.
He is still regarded as one of the best offensive tackles in league history. Bob Brown was later selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
14. Tom Brookshier
Tom Brookshier was a defensive back for the Eagles from 1953 until his career ended due to a compound leg fracture in 1961. He finished his career with 20 career interceptions and was a leader on that great 1960 defense. He was later inducted in the Eagles Honor Roll, The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and his #40 jersey was retired.
He is probably most remember for his broadcasting career more than anything today. In 1983 on a NFL telecast for CBS, Brookshier said that the Louisville college basketball team had a collective IQ of 40. The starting five of that Louisville team was all African American. CBS later suspended him for the final telecast of the NFL season. Brookshier later apologized to Louisville and actually was the schools featured speaker at their kickoff luncheon in 1984.
13. Al Wistert
Al "Ox" Wistert was the Eagles offensive tackle during the 40's, including two championship seasons in 1948 and 1949. Ox was the Eagles captain for five seasons from 1946 to 1950. Wistert was a key reasons that Steven Van Buren was able to rush 5,860 yards and 69 touchdowns.
Al Wistert finished his career with several honors including being named to the 1940's All Decade Team, the Eagles' Honor Roll, eight All Pro selections and his #70 jersey retired.
Currently there is a petition going around campaigning to get Al Wistert into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hopefully the writers will come to there senses and induct a much deserving Ox in the the Hall before his team on Earth is up.
12. Pete Retzlaff
The Baron played for the Eagles for 11 seasons despite not making the Lions team three years before making the Eagles team. Retzlaff was one of the most versatile offensive weapons during the 50's and 60's. Pistol Pete played halfback, tight end and wide receiver. In 1958 he led the NFL with 58 receptions despite never catching a pass in college.
Retzlaff was a five time Pro Bowler and player of the year (Bert Bell award) in 1965.
He was selected to the Eagles Honor Roll in 1989 and his #44 jersey was retired.
Pete Retzlaff would later serve as the NFLPA President from 1962 until 1964.
11. Brian Westbrook
Brian Westbrook will go down as one of the most versatile if not the most versatile running back of all time. 5,995 rushing yards as an Eagle and 3,790 receiving yards in 8 seasons with the Eagles and never being able to play a full season.
Westbrook was a two time All Pro with the Eagles and a member of the 75th Anniversary team. It was pretty evident that knee injuries held Westbrook back. Had he been able to stay healthy, he could of easily amassed a couple thousand more yards to his numbers.
10. Ron Jaworski
Jaws was the Eagles starting quarterback from 1977 until 1986 when he was replaced by Buddy Ryan with Randall Cunningham. Nobody was/is better at breaking down a defense whether it was as a quarterback or now the NFL analyst for ESPN.
Jaworksi played 10 seasons for the Eagles where he threw for over 26,000 yards and 151 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to Superbowl XV against the Raiders but unfortunately Jaws completed almost as many passes to Raiders linebacker Rod David as he did to the Eagles.
Jaworski was never able to put the Eagles over the top and his contract was not renewed following the 1986 season. He never became a full time start again.
9. Jerome Brown
Jerome Brown was the Eagles defensive tackle from 1987-1991. Brown finished his career with 29.5 sacks and three interceptions, astounding numbers for a defensive tackle. Jerome Brown received many honors during his five year career. He received two Pro Bowl and All Pro bids.
On June 25th, 1992 tragedy struck the Eagles organization. Jerome Brown had lost control of his Corvette and crashed into a power pole. He was just 27 years old. The 1992 season was dedicated to Brown and the motto for the season was "Bring it Home for Jerome". His #99 jersey was retired during the 1992 season.
Had Jerome Brown's life not been cut short, he would of been one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time.
8. Randall Cunningham
Randall Cunningham was the "Ultimate Weapon" at quarterback. Scrambles like a running back but passed liked an All Pro quarterback. Randall finished his Eagles career with over 22,000 passing yards and over 4,400 rushing yards.
The continued development of Cunningham as a complete quarterback and the intense ability of the defense going into the 1991 season had the Eagles poised to finally bring home the Lombardi Trophy by tragedy struck. Early on in the first game of the 1991 season, Packers linebacker Bryce Paup hit Cunningham low, tearing his ACL and ending his season. Cunningham would regain his starting job the following year but never fully got his speed back and was never the same.
7. Pete Pihos
Pete Pihos was an end for the Eagles from 1947 to 1955 and a key member of two championship teams. The Eagles won three divisional titles in Pete's first three years. He caught a touchdown in the 1949 NFL Championship game in a 14-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Pete lead the league in receptions three straight years in 1953, 1954 and 1955.
Pihos would finish his career with six All Pro selections. He was later named to the 1940's All Decade Team, The Eagles Honor Roll, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
6. Tommy McDonald
Tommy McDonald was the Eagles' wide receiver during 1957 until 1963. He is most famous for two things. First off, he scored the first touchdown of the 1960 Championship game to put the Eagles up 7-6. Also, he was the last non kicker to play without a facemask.
Tommy finished his career with the Eagles with just under 5,500 receiving yards and 66 touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving in 1961. McDonald was a six time Pro Bowler and 30 years after he retired he was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
5. Donovan McNabb
The greatest quarterback in Eagles history without question. Norm Van Brocklin won a title, Jaws took his team to a title and Randall Cunningham was the most impressive offensive weapon in his prime but Donovan was better and for longer.
Everyone knows the beginning of this story. Andy Reid drafts Donovan, not Ricky Williams in the 1999 NFL Draft and the fans at the draft boo like the Dallas Cowboys of the 90's just walked in the building. Donovan McNabb would win over his doubters, leading the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and Superbowl XXXIX. The only thing McNabb didn't accomplish in his time with the Eagles was winning the Superbowl but so has every other quarterback that has started during the Superbowl era. So we can't really hold that against him can we?
McNabb had his bad stretch in 2008 and didn't realize that games could end in ties but other than that handled everything with class and dignity. He was a model of consistency and brought some stability to a franchise that had lost it once again.
In his time in Philly he has set records and brought the Eagles on the brink of greatness time and time again. Until an Eagles quarterback can put up number as good as Donnie's and finally lead the Eagles to the promise land, there will never be a better Eagles' quarterback.
4. Steve Van Buren
One of the all time greats. Two time NFL Champion with 5,860 career rushing yards and 69 rushing touchdowns. Van Buren was an All Pro his first seven seasons in the NFL and was a part of the 1940's All Decade team and the 75th Anniversary Eagles' team.
Steve Van Buren is probably remembered most for the 1948 Championship Game. On the day of the game on December 26th, a blizzard was ravishing the northeast. Thinking the game was going to be canceled, Van Buren stayed home. Head coach Earle Neale called Van Buren at home and told him the game was still on. Steve Van Buren had to catch three trolleys and walk 12 blocks in order to make the game on time. This best sums up what pro football was like in the 1940's. Van Buren would score the only touchdown of the game in a 7-0 triumph over the Chicago Cardinals.
Van Buren finished his career as the NFL's all time leading rusher but was later passed by Joe Perry in 1958. Steve Van Buren's #15 jersey was retired and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.
3. Reggie White
The "Minister of Defense" is the Eagles all time leader in sacks with 124. Reggie White was not only the greatest defensive ends in Eagles history but also NFL history. During the strike shortened season, where Reggie White only was able to play 12 games, he still managed to pick up 21 sacks. White was the only played to ever rack up 20 plus sacks while playing 12 or fewer games.
White finished his career with the Eagles with seven selections to the Pro Bowl and All Pro teams. He was also the defensive player of the year once as an Eagle in 1987 and his #92 jersey was retired.
Reggie White passed away due to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. He was 43 years old. Reggie was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
2. Brian Dawkins
Brian Dawkins, possibly the most beloved Philadelphia athlete since...well maybe ever. Dawkins took over as starting free safety for the Eagles in the 1996 season and remained there for 13 seasons. He was the backbone for that defense. He was a complete safety in his prime. He was part hard hitter, part leader, part coverage ace. He did everything well on and off the field.
Dawk is an eight time Pro Bowler, a seven time All Pro member, a member of the 2000's All Decade team, and a member of the Eagles' 75th Anniversary team. In 2008 he became a member of the 20/20 club for players with 20 sacks and 20 interceptions.
Brian Dawkins has been a class act his entire career. In 2009, following his departure with the Eagles, an Eagles team employee voiced his frustration over the team's inability to keep him in Philly through Facebook and was fired. Dawkins decided to use his two allotted tickets for the former employee.
Despite leaving Philly in 2009, Dawkins still has love for the fans he left behind. He answers several questions daily via twitter from Eagles fans and will never speak ill of the team or city that made him a superstar in the 90's and 2000's.
1. Chuck Bednarik
Concrete Charlie was and still is the greatest Philadelphia Eagle of all time. Unlike most of the players on this list, he isn't most famous for one thing or play. He has a lot of those accumulated throughout his career.
After the final play of the 1960 NFL Championship game, Bednarik remained on top of Packers back Jim Taylor until the final seconds ticked off. After the clock had run out he stood over him and yelled " You can get up now Taylor, this game is over".
Bednarik is also famous for knocking Frank Gifford out of football for 18 months. Bednarik had an ongoing feud with then player Chuck Noll. In a game against Noll's Browns, Bednarik nailed Noll in the face on a fourth down punt.
Concrete Charlie was one of the toughest players in the history of football. He played both center and linebacker. He was the last of the 60 minutes men.
Chuck resents the players of today because the game has become a lot softer than it was during his time. He even was quoted once on on Deion Sanders " Deion couldn't tackle my wife" after Sanders was ranked one spot higher than Bednarik on NFL Network's "top 100 players of All Time.
Concrete Charlie may still be bitter about the players of today, but you can't really blame him. He played a much tougher game and made about 1% of what a player of his abilities what make today. He turns on Sportscenter to hear about some receiver who runs away from contract and only touches the ball about four or five times a game but is demanding a record breaking contract or he won't report to camp.