I'm see alot of the comments from Eagles fans on the topic of Brian Dawkins to Denver, and most are from the heart. Yesterday, when I saw the premature leak of Dawkins to Denver from the San Francisco Chronicle, I felt the same. I have had 2 Eagles jerseys my whole life, 31 Wilbert Montgomery and #20. That will be the last Eagles jersey I will ever buy. Maybe the Eagles front office, a business savvy group, should have thought of how this would affect their bottom line. They have clearly underestimated the affect of this non-move.
Most of my web forums and fantasy name included Dawkins in some form. Now, I feel like I've lost my identity. There have been plenty of great players who have been sent packing later in their careers, Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, Brett Farve, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen to name a few. But this one is personal. Brian was a diminutive force (5'10" 210 lbs). Someone with whom any fan could identify. He plays with great skill but also uses his emotions to help lead the defense. As an example, look to the Eagles defeat of the Cowboys. Sick with the flu, he caused 2 fumbles that directly lead to TD's.
How about the tactical loss to the Eagles? I read a great piece from Ray Didinger on what Brian Dawkins has meant from as a linebacker/safety. He singlehandedly has allowed for the "Jimmy Johnson" pressure defense. My memories of this year's NFC championship game are Demps stumbling around in the 2ndary trying to cover Fitzgerald. The other starting safety Mikell is good in run defense, but he can't cover. Dawkins was the most versatile member of the 2ndary. There are maybe 2 safeties in the league who are better than Dawk, Polamalu and Ed Reed. I know that Dawkins is at the downside of his career, but he is still productive. As one of 2 pro bowlers from the Eagles, he has the respect of players and fans alike.
Many Eagles safeties have come and gone, but BDawk has been the one constant.
There must be something more to this story. I'm wondering if Dawk wanted out. If he did, that is a strong statement against someone. With a man of Dawkins character, he won't talk. We will be left to guess about the reason(s) for his departure.
My best wishes go out to Brian Dawkins and his family. He made( past tense) me proud to be an Eagles fan.