When Brian Dawkins stepped on the field for the Eagles' first defensive play against the Cleveland Browns at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday, he stepped somewhere that no Eagle has ever gone before.
That moment marked Dawkins' 181st game as an Eagle, which surpassed former receiver Harold Carmichael as the Eagles' leader in games played in a career.
The crowd acknowledged his feat with a rousing ovation.
"It was hard not to hear it," Dawkins said. "I was trying to focus in at the time on things that (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson) was trying to tell me was coming up, but you couldn't help but hear it."
Since being selected in the second round of the 1996 draft, Dawkins has notched 34 interceptions, which ties him with Eric Allen and Bill Bradley for the most ever by an Eagles' player. Photo Gallery : CLE VS. PHI 12-15-08
"That's quite a record when you think about it," head coach Andy Reid said. "A lot of football games, especially at the intensity level that he plays at."
Perhaps most importantly, he's seen the Eagles through 105 wins (combining regular season and postseason) which is also the most in team history.
It's something Eagles fans more than appreciate.
"I just thank them," Dawkins said. "I just thank them so much. I've obviously been blessed to play this game for a long period of time. Like I've always said, I feel like I've connected with the fans pretty well. We come out to party together. I've enjoyed every game and partied with them."
Dawkins never envisioned accomplishing the feat when he first joined the organization.
"You know, it just continued to mount," Dawkins said. "I just wanted to get vested (five years). First, let me make the team, I want to get vested. Then once I got vested, if I can make it to eight years then that would be good. Then eight years came and went and (I was) still playing at a high level, if I could get to double digits, that would be awesome. Double digits came and left and here I am at 13 and still feeling good and still playing at a high level. So (I) can't put a number on it anymore. I just, as long as the Good Lord blesses me to play at that high level then I'm going to do it."