It is going to happen for Brian Dawkins, and the day that he is named as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be one to celebrate, but Saturday was not the time for Dawkins in his first year of eligibility.
Dawkins did not advance from the finalist group when the Class of 2017 was announced on Saturday night in Houston. The Eagles have not had a player who played the majority of his career in Philadelphia named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame since the late Reggie White was inducted in 2006.
"This is not about me," Dawkins said when he was named to the group of 18 total finalists in January. "It is about all of my coaches and my teammates who gave me the chance to play to my ability and who put me in that position. Without them, and without the support of my family, I wouldn't be in this position."
Dawkins played for 13 seasons as an Eagle and then three more with the Denver Broncos after leaving Philadelphia in free agency following the 2008 season. He made seven Pro Bowls with the Eagles and was named to the franchise's Hall of Fame and had his jersey No. 20 retired during the 2012 season. Weapon X, as he was known, helped redefine the safety position in the NFL. Dawkins was a second-round draft pick by then-head coach Ray Rhodes in 1996 and thrived under defensive coordinators Emmitt Thomas (1996-98) and then the late Jim Johnson (1999-2008). Dawkins was also a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s.