Philadelphia Eagles News

Dawkins, Clemons Earn NFC Defensive Honors

The accolades just keep coming for free safety Brian Dawkins.

Earlier this month, Dawkins was named to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time in his career. On Tuesday, Dawkins was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month. In fact, it's the second time in three years that Dawkins earned the award in the month of December.

In Sunday's demolition of the Dallas Cowboys to earn a spot in the playoffs, Dawkins forced a fumble on consecutive drives in the third quarter. Both of the fumbles were returned for touchdowns - a 73-yard score by defensive end Chris Clemons and a 96-yard scamper by cornerback Joselio Hanson. It marked the first time in Eagles history that two fumbles were returned 70 yards-or-more for a touchdown in the same quarter.

Both fumbles were forced inside the Eagles' red zone. Dawkins came on a blitz and sacked Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to force the first fumble. Clemons picked it up and raced down the sideline for the touchdown, but not before he laid a nice stiff-arm on Cowboys running back Tashard Choice. Clemons, who recorded two sacks of his own to go with the touchdown, was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. Clemons finished the season with four sacks in the Eagles' final nine games.

Dawkins' second forced fumble wasn't as easy. Marion Barber caught a pass from Romo and was at the Eagles' 4-yard line when Dawkins wrapped him up and stripped the ball.

In December, Dawkins had 36 tackles, one sack, four QB hurries, three pass knockdowns and the two forced fumbles. He led the team this season in forced fumbles (6), was tied for the team lead in tackles-for-loss (9) and was third in tackles (142) and pass knockdowns (14).

Dawkins was also honored as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the win over the Steelers in Week 3. Dawkins has been named the Defensive Player of the Week two other times, once in 2002 and again in 2006.

Dawkins and Clemons are not the only Eagles to be honored this season with NFC awards. Punter Sav Rocca was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September and running back Brian Westbrook won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his four-touchdown performance against Arizona.

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