In sports as in life, all good things must come to an end. Today, the playing career of pro-bowl safety Brian Dawkins has officially ended, as he posted an announcement on his twitter account this morning thanking the lord, the fans, his coaches and teammates and stating quite clearly at the end of the post, “In other words I am announcing my retirement for the NFL.”
Rumors had been circulating throughout the offseason that Dawkins was ready to call it a career, it’s just hard to believe a player like him, who played with a warrior’s mentality, would ever be able to walk away, while he had an ounce of physical ability left in him. However, Dawkins is 38 years old and classy athletes know when the time has come to exit the stage.
Dawkins will best be remembered as a Philadelphia Eagle, where he began his career as a 2nd-round pick out of Clemson all the way back in 1996 and became one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
Over the course of his career, Dawkins played 16 seasons, 13 in Philadelphia, three in Denver. He started a total of 221 games, which ranks him 26th all-time, was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and made first-team All-Pro four times.
During his 16 NFL seasons, Dawkins was one of the most intimidating safeties in pro football and was routinely one of the most productive players in the league at his position. His career numbers are extremely impressive, as he posted a career total of 911 tackles, 37 interceptions, 36 forced fumbles, 19 fumble recoveries, 26 sacks and 35 tackles for loss.
The only thing Dawkins did not accomplish during his distinguished playing career was winning a Super Bowl championship. However, he came close following the 2004 season, when he made his only appearance in the Super Bowl as a member of the Eagles. Unfortunately, the Eagles lot a hard fought game to the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick led New England Patriots 24-21.
The only question that remains to be answered is whether or not Dawkins deserves induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He certainly deserves consideration as one of the best players at his position for well over a decade. He was a transcendent player, who won numerous accolades and played on seven playoff teams. From our perspective here at FantasyPPR.com, Dawkins is not a first-ballot member of the Hall of Fame but he is worthy of induction and someday he should be enshrined in Canton.
Regardless of whether or not he gets into the Hall of Fame, Dawkins will be remembered not only for her ferocious hits and tremendous leadership skills. He was the heart and soul of the Eagles franchise for 13 years and even though he ended his career in Denver, the city of Brotherly love will always hold him is high esteem as one the greatest Eagles to ever play.