My top 5 greatest players of each franchise lists have landed in Philadelphia where the Eagles fly. Growing up in a house of die-hard Dallas Cowboy fans I was raised to hate the Eagles and to this day it’s frowned upon I wear the color green unless its St Patrick’s Day. The Eagles current day are an absolute train wreck. They just traded a quarterback they gave a huge contract to before the contract even started and took the highest cap hit in NFL history. The roster is aging and the way general manager Howie Roseman runs this team who knows what’s next for this team. But lets be positive for the Eagles faithful and get to my top 5 greatest Philadelphia Eagles of all time. Here we go…
Donovan McNabb, Quarterback (1999-2009)
The career of Donovan McNabb was an interesting one. McNabb was the definition of consistent as he had the Eagles in position to win every year going to five straight NFL Championship games but he only won one of them. That’s why McNabb is in the honorable mentions and not on the top 5 list. He made 6 Pro Bowls and NFC Offensive Player of the Year during his career and goes down as one of the best quarterbacks in Philadelphia Eagles history.
Steve Van Buren, Running Back (1944-1951)
Steve Van Buren was a four-time NFL rushing champion and the heart and soul of an Eagles offense that won back to back NFL Championships in the 1948 and 1949 seasons. Buren rushed for 1,000 yard twice in 12 seasons and was also a very good defensive player in the secondary. He was rewarded for his excellent play with an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
Tommy McDonald, Wide Receiver (1957-1963)
Tommy McDonald was a very underrated receiver during his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was crucial during the Eagles 1960 season where he helped get the team to the NFL Championship game. McDonald was a 6-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro twice. McDonald was well loved by his teammates and the fans who were happy to see him get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
5.) Brian Westbrook, Running Back (2002-2009)
Brian Westbrook was the definition of a do it all back. His receiving, rushing, blitz pick up and blocking abilities made him one, if not the best running back in the league during his career. In 2006 and 2007, Westbrook was nothing short of amazing. In those two years, he was the centerpiece of an offense lacking big-play receivers. In 2006, he had a breakout season. He rushed for 1,217 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 77 passes for 699 yards. In his career he never played all 16 games in one season and as crazy as it sounds he never truly reached his full potential. He is in my opinion, the best running back in Philadelphia Eagles history.
4.) Chuck Bednarik, Linebacker/Center (1949-1962)
Otherwise known as “Concrete Charlie,” Bednarik was what we called a 60-minute man as he played both center and linebacker. He was also All-Pro at both positions as well. Known as one of the toughest players in NFL history, Bednarik was a huge help in bringing a world championship to Philadelphia. He was a huge part of an offensive line that featured not just Bednarik but one more amazing legendary lineman. Who you ask? Well let’s get to the next player on the list…
3.) Al Wistert, Offensive Tackle (1943-1951)
Al Wistert is considered the greatest offensive lineman of his generation. He was an All-Pro every year of his NFL career. That’s one hell of an accomplishment and unprecedented now days for sure. Wistert also was a captain on the Philadelphia Eagles 1948 and 1949 championship teams. He played a major role in leading the teams dominant rushing attack and opened tons of holes for the above mentioned Steve Van Buren.
2.) Reggie White, Defensive End (1985-1992)
Reggie White was amazing from the start of his career as he was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1985 and he didn’t stop there. White had 124 of his 198 career sacks with the Eagles including an 18 sack effort in both 1986 and 1988. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention his 21 sacks in the 12 game season in 1987? White was an absolute beast and there is a legit argument he should be number one on this list and I can’t really argue it, but here we are. As an Eagle, White was named to 7 straight Pro Bowls from 1986-1992, was a First Team All-Pro from 1986-1991 and was the 1987 NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
1.) Brian Dawkins, Safety (1996-2008)
Maybe it’s just because I seen this guy play or maybe it’s just because when I see Brian Dawkins I instantly think of the Philadelphia Eagles but he was an easy choice for number one on my list. This guy is literally Mr. Eagle. Dawkins led an Eagles secondary for over a decade, was the heart and soul of the team and one of the hardest hitters in the history of the NFL. Recording 32 forced fumbles, 37 interceptions, 26 sacks and making 7 Pro Bowls over his 13 year career its not wonder why he’s so beloved by the Eagles faithful. Dawkins was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018 putting the exclamation mark on a great career and helping validate why he’s at the top of this list.
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