Nearly 1,500 men have worn Eagles green (of some shade and hue) over the last 80-plus years. When we began this tournament, we narrowed that list to 32, broken into offense and defense of the current era, and those of generations past.
That was all a waste of time, because it was clear from the start who would be in the finals. The Championship. The Ultimate Philadelphia Eagles player. It was never not going to be one of these two men, and for the first head-to-head vote in this entire bracket, we have no idea who will win it.
Brian Dawkins. Reggie White.
Dawkins earned his spot in the finals by winning the Midnight Green Era side of the bracket — from the time Jeffrey Lurie bought the team roughly 20 years ago until the present day — while White made the finals by winning the Kelly Green Era — everything and everyone that came before Lurie bought the team. Here is a look at how you voted to this point:
Who do you think is the Ultimate Eagles player of all time? Vote in our Ultimate Eagles Championship, presented by Xfinity. It’s the most important decision any of us will make this year.
- Position: Safety
- Height: 6-0
- Weight: 210
- College: Clemson
- High School: William M. Raines (FL)
- Drafted: 2nd round (61st overall) in the 1996 NFL Draft
- Seasons in NFL: 13
- Seasons with Eagles: 10
Brian Dawkins faced Brian Westbrook for the Midnight Green Era Championship and the right to get to the title contest. Dawkins won with a resounding 73.5 percent of the votes.
Dawkins previously defeated Jeremiah Trotter by earning 77.1 percent of the vote, Fletcher Cox with 91.3 percent of the vote and Hollis Thomas in the first round with the highest percentage of votes at 91.6 percent.
Weapon X played for the Eagles from 1996 to 2008 and is sixth all-time in tackles (and first in assisted tackles), while ranking third in franchise history in Approximate Value, a metric created by Pro Football Reference to compare players of different eras. In addition to his 707 stops and 191 assists, Dawkins had 21 sacks with the Eagles, 34 interceptions — including two for scores — forced 32 fumbles and recovered 16, including one for a score. He is tied for the franchise record in interceptions, and holds the record for forced fumbles by more than 10.
As great as Dawkins was on the field, his impact within the franchise continues to this day. The Eagles brought Dawkins in an official capacity this season, hiring him as a Football Operations Executive.
Dawkins was the leader of the Eagles defense in the Andy Reid era, and is in an elite category of most beloved Philly athletes in any sport. There really may only be one man in team history that is more beloved, and I guess we’re going to find out if that’s even true anymore.
- Position: Defensive End
- Height: 6-5
- Weight: 291
- College: Tennessee
- High School: Howard (TN)
- Drafted: 1st round (4 overall) in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft
- Seasons in NFL: 15
- Seasons with Eagles: 8
Reggie White beat Randall Cunningham in the Kelly Green Era Championship, earning an identical 73.5 percent of the vote that Dawkins won. To get to the Final Four, The Minister of Defense took down Concrete Charlie, defeating Chuck Bednarik with a whopping 75 percent of the vote. In the previous round, White defeated Eric Allen with 97.7 percent of the vote; a near unanimous selection and won the first round over Herm Edwards with 91 percent of the vote. It hasn’t been close.
White was recently ranked the seventh best player in NFL history, and NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt wrote this summer that he considers White the greatest defensive player in NFL history.
He played eight of his 15 years in Philadelphia and while White left in 1993 to help the Packers win a Super Bowl, fans in Philly never turned on him for leaving.
He had 198 sacks in his career, including 124 with the Eagles in 121 games. He forced 18 fumbles and recovered 11 and had 794 of his 1,048 career tackles as a member of the Eagles.
White might be the best player to ever wear Eagles green, and he’s in the conversation for the best athlete to ever play in the city. The question here is if he’s the guy we think of first when we talk about the Eagles.
“Who is the best player in Eagles history?” Reggie White. That’s easy.
“Who is the Ultimate player in Eagles history…the guy whose jersey you pull out of your closet first? The guy who comes to mind when you remember all your favorite players? Who represents Philly more?”
Getting this down to two players was pretty easy. Deciding a winner is much harder. Vote now, vote often, tell your friends and Eagles enthusiasts. Come back next week to see who you deemed the Ultimate.