Philadelphia Eagles: TO and Dawkins are heading to Canton

(Photo by Brian Killian/NFLPhotoLibrary)
(Photo by Brian Killian/NFLPhotoLibrary) /

After missing the cut last season, former Philadelphia Eagles’ greats Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

As we sit mere hours away from Super Bowl LII, two former Philadelphia Eagles received a welcomed surprise.

Terrell Owens and Brian Dawkins, two of the most exciting players to ever don the midnight green, have officially been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their second year of eligibility, alongside the likes of Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, and Brian Urlacher, and honestly, the honor is well deserved.

Though Owens only appeared in 21 games for the Eagles in his two-year career in Philly after eight highly productive seasons in San Francisco, he was the missing piece needed to finally get Andy Reid‘s squad over the hump and into their first Super Bowl since the 1980s.

And Owens did so on one leg.

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After suffering a severe ankle injury and broken fibula in the Eagles’ December bout against the Dallas Cowboys, Owens shocked the football world by announcing that he would go against his doctor’s orders, and play in the Super Bowl after all. Though the team did end up losing the game to the New England Patriots, Donovan McNabb‘s top target finished the game with nine catches for 122 yards and looked like a player who Philly fans could trust for years to come.

But unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Disputes over a new contract, resulting in a now infamous driveway press conference, ultimately alienated TO from his teammates and essentially punched his ticket out of town. Though it wasn’t the end of Owen’s NFL career, as he would go on to play five more seasons in the league, three in Dallas, one in Buffalo and one incredibly strange season in Cincinnati, he never quite regained his Philly former and retired without an ever-elusive Super Bowl ring.

Though Owens will probably be remembered as a 49er, to many, his short time in South Philly will go down as one of the most exciting, and frustrating ‘what ifs’ in franchise history.

Unlike Owens’ flash in the pan career in Philly, Dawkins made a name for himself as one of the league’s most reliable playmakers in his 13 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love and is now an unquestioned legend in the 215.

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After being selected with the 61st pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, the former Clemson Tiger quickly became the Eagles’ starting free safety, a position he held for the next decade plus, and revolutionized the position at the NFL level. Making his first of nine Pro Bowls appearances in 1999 under first-year head coach Andy Reid, Weapon X became the quarterback of Jim Johnson‘s defense and became a nightmare for offensive coordinators and quarterbacks alike.

Equally comfortable playing against the run as he was against the pass, Dawkins finished his career in Philly having recorded an incredible 34 interceptions, 32 fumbles, 21 sacks and 707 tackles in 183 in an Eagles uniform, and always played the game the right way.

Which made his eventual exit in 2009 so hard for many Philly fans to comprehend.

Sure, he was getting up there in age, but for many fans, myself included, it was incredibly hard to watch Dawk return to the Linc in a Bronco‘s uniform.

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Though he did play his last three seasons in Denver, Dawkins will go down as one of the best Eagles players of all time. Already a member of the Eagles Hall of Fame, and having his number 20 forever immortalized in the rafter of Lincoln Financial Field, Dawkins’ induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the final step in an unforgettable career for Weapon X, and if the sheer volume of Dawkins jerseys present at any Eagles game is of any indication, it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to forget about him anytime soon.