The Philadelphia Eagles selected Brian Dawkins in the second round of the 1996 NFL draft. Many thought at his size he wouldn’t be a successful player in the league. The Eagles took a chance on the small safety. It ended up paying more dividends than they could have imagined. Known for his extreme ball-hawking skills, Weapon X is one of the most highly regarded athletes in Philadelphia sports history.
He’s a nine-time Pro Bowler, a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection, and the first player in NFL history to record a sack, forced fumble, interception, and a touchdown reception in the same game. He also holds the NFL record for the number of forced fumbles by a safety.
What this man means to the city of Philadelphia
No Eagle matched Dawkins’s caliber of play. His personality and passion for the game and city mirrored the passion of Eagles fans. No feeling compared to watching Dawkins crawl out of the tunnel. His most memorable and bone-crunching hits are forever burned in my memory. I was nine years old when the Eagles went to the Super Bowl in 2004 and I still get chills when I think about Dawkins hoisting that NFC Championship trophy over his head.
Weapon X was a guy who seemed immortal on the field, and we all wished he actually was so he could play forever. His latest accomplishments came within the same year. He finally got his Super Bowl ring with the Eagles, and now he will have his name etched in history with some of the best in history. Dawkins was selected to the 2018 Hall of Fame class. Today, he held a conference call to discuss his career, his accomplishments, and his latest achievement.
A glimpse into the thoughts of Weapon X
Dawkins shared some of his thoughts about several different topics including the change in the NFL’s targeting rule, how he translates this individual honor into a team win, his most memorable games, and Eagles fans.
A guy like Dawkins has always been team-first. He doesn’t care about individual accolades. But there is no changing the fact that a Hall of Fame induction is as individual an honor as any. However, Dawkins does not see it that way. He said it took him some time to come to terms with the individuality of it. However, he described sharing the honor with kids who grew up like he did in a small town and not in the best area. But he stayed out of trouble and channeled his anger into sports. This is just the kind of guy Dawkins is.
Dawkins’s love for the Eagles fans
He talked about his two most memorable games as an Eagle. One was NFC championship game, and his last game in Philly in 2008 when they beat the Cowboys 44-6. He recalled the infamous hit on Alge Crumpler. Although he did point out it was definitely not the hardest hit he ever delivered in his career.
I think he perfectly described Eagles fans. When asked about his thoughts toward Eagles fans he said that he truly believes that if an Eagles fan had the opportunity to suit up and put the helmet on, they would go out and play the exact way he played. Which is absolutely true. Dawkins is a guy who is the perfect embodiment of a Philadelphia athlete. He loved to celebrate and dance, but he also went out there and hit harder than anyone else on that field. He described himself as “twisted” and said Eagles fans are too. Dawkins described the fit “like a hand in a glove.”
Congratulations to Dawkins on his induction into the Hall of Fame. There is no Philadelphia Eagle more deserving of this honor. And in the same year as the first Super Bowl win makes it even more special.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 4, 2018
Featured Image: Jared Monaco via Flickr