January 03, 2017
Brian Dawkins, who spent 13 of his 16 NFL seasons with the Eagles, was one of three first-year eligibles of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Dawkins was joined by LaDainian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor as first-time eligible finalists. Former Eagle Terrell Owens, Morten Andersen, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Alan Faneca, Joe Jacoby, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae and Kurt Warner are return finalists.
Previously selected as a finalist by the veterans committee is former Seattle safety Kenny Easley.
In the contributors' category, the nominees are former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The class of 2017 will be elected on Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl in Houston. Inductions will be Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.
Drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 1996 draft out of Clemson, Dawkins was selected to nine Pro Bowls, and was named first team All-Pro four times and second team All-Pro twice. He was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 2000s and his No. 20 was retired by the Eagles in 2012.
The prototype for the modern NFL safety, he was the first player with a sack, interception, fumble recovery and touchdown catch in the same game (vs. Houston in 2002).
Dawkins was selected the Greatest Living Eagle in a PhillyVoice fan poll in 2015.
Other than Dawkins, Tomlinson and Taylor, first-time finalists are Boselli, Bruce, Law, Mawae, Easley and Jones.
Most-frequent finalists are Lynch, Tagliabue and Coryell, four apiece. Davis and Warner are three-time finalists.
Coryell, an offensive mastermind with the Cardinals and Chargers, is in his 30th year of eligibility. Easley is in his 25th, while Jacoby, the left tackle on the Redskins' offensive line known as the "Hogs", is in his 19th.
Tomlinson played 11 NFL seasons, nine with San Diego, winning league MVP honors in 2006 when he set a record with 28 rushing touchdowns. He won two rushing titles.
Taylor was one of the NFL's top pass rushers for 15 seasons, mostly with Miami. The 2006 Defensive Player of the Year with 13½ sacks, he had 139½ sacks for his career.
Among the other modern-era finalists, Andersen is the NFL's career scoring leader with 2,544 points, has the most field goals and games (382) playing for five franchises. He made two all-decade teams (1980s and '90s).
Bruce, Davis, Faneca, Jacoby, Law, Lynch and Warner all won Super Bowls.