Philadelphia, PA - There are many choices if you're looking for a list of the best players in Philadelphia Eagles history. Some of the greats in this list include Brian Dawkins, Steve Van Buren, Reggie White, and Chuck Bednarik. Which player made the biggest impact on the Eagles? Read on to find out.
Top 10 Philadelphia Eagles Players of All-Time
Who would it be if we had to name our all-time top players in the Philadelphia Eagles? Harold Carmichael, Donovan McNabb, Eric Allen, Tommy McDonald, and Michael Vick top our list. But which player was the most important to the franchise? Let's take a look at a few of these players' careers. Then, vote for your favorite among these players!
1. Chuck Bednarik
The Philadelphia Eagles named Bednarik one of their top 10 players, and he deserves the honor. He played 139 of 142 plays during his career with the team. Bednarik was so good that he earned the nickname Concrete Charlie. Despite the nickname, Bednarik was able to make an impact on the Eagles as a two-way player. During the off-season, he worked in the concrete business and intercepted 20 passes in 169 games.
The first player drafted in the NFL draft, Bednarik played both offensive and defensive linebacker for the Eagles. He played every snap for the Eagles during their run to the 1960 NFL Championship. He was named a Pro Bowl All-Pro eight times and won eight Super Bowl MVP awards. In addition, he helped the team win two NFL Championships.
2. Brian Dawkins
Dawkins would probably say yes when asked if he can go down as one of the best players in franchise history. The second-round pick from Clemson was a key part of many great defenses. He made nine Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro selections. Dawkins' 16-year Hall of Fame career culminated with 37 interceptions, 36 forced fumbles, 19 sacks, and four postseason interceptions.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Dawkins was drawn to football during his adolescence. It kept him out of trouble and gave him energy. Although he loved basketball, he quickly realized that football was his ticket to college. In fact, he had an older brother who was a star running back for Louisville. Dawkins grew up dreaming of his own Super Bowl win.
3. Steve Van Buren
Van Buren, who retired in 1995, played for the Eagles for thirteen seasons. He was among the most decorated players in NFL history, earning numerous honors for his achievements. Among these honors are the Triple Crown, considered the hardest award to win. In 1945, Van Buren topped the league's rushing and scoring records and the kickoff return record. In addition, he was named to three first-team All-NFL teams, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Additionally, he is a member of the NFL's 75th anniversary All-Time Team, and his number is retired by the team. Listed in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame, Van Buren is among the best-known players in the team's history.
In the sack category, White is an Eagles great. The Eagles considered him one of the best pass rushers in NFL history, and he has a lot to do with that. He had a tremendous amount of sacks during his career, including 124 during his time with Philadelphia. However, White also made his way to Green Bay, where he won the Super Bowl in 1993.
4. Reggie White
White made 124 tackles and a sack during his time in Philadelphia, which was good enough for a first-round NFL draft pick. He was a valuable member of a defense that improved from 14th to fifth in one year. In addition, White also made a fumble recovery for a touchdown. White finished the 1988 season with ten sacks and 123 total tackles, which helped him earn NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. However, he couldn't help the Eagles advance from their first-round matchup against the LA Rams. That year, he made his first Pro Bowl appearance and sacked the quarterback four times.
White played for the Eagles for eight seasons and earned seven Pro Bowl selections. In fact, he won three Defensive Player of the Year awards during his time with the team. His 127 sacks are tops in NFL history. Moreover, his 21 sacks in 1987 were the most by an Eagle in one season. Furthermore, the crowd at Vet began chanting White's name.
5. Pete Pihos
While there are several talented and legendary players in Philadelphia Eagles history, Pete Pihos is one of the best. The rugged receiver played at the University of Indiana but was considered a lesser-known prospect than Trippi. Pihos signed with the Eagles two years after his draft and played well, catching five passes for 864 yards and a touchdown in a game against Washington. He also played defense.
In Philadelphia Eagles history, there have been several great wide receivers. The 1991 team finished No. 1 in the league in rushing yardage and total offense. That defensive unit dominated cornerbacks and was one of the most dynamic in the league. However, the legendary football player died too early, in 1992. The death of Brown led to the departure of several great players, including many defensive linemen.
6. Harold Carmichael
When considering the top 10 Philadelphia Eagles players of all time, you should consider Harold Carmichael. Not only was he the tallest wide receiver in NFL history, but he also had a unique skill set. Carmichael lacked the speed and agility to dribble, but he used his size to outjump defenders and catch more passes than anyone on the Eagles in history.
Although offensive tackles rarely make a top ten list, Carmichael has earned his spot. In 1953, he scored more than 200 points in a season. He was the first Philadelphia player to reach 200 PPR points that season. It's hard to argue with the impact of the "Holy Grail of the Eagles" offense.
7. Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 14-3 NFC title game loss to the Carolina Panthers in 2003. He is one of three quarterbacks in NFL history to make the conference championship game at home. Along with Danny White of the Dallas Cowboys and Ken Stabler of the Oakland Raiders, McNabb has been criticized for "choking" in the big game. His cumulative passer rating in three conference championship games was just 50.5, below the league's average quarterback.
Before becoming a great quarterback, McNabb was a star athlete in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. He played high school basketball and track for the Mount Carmel Eagles. During high school, he also excelled in track and played basketball with Antoine Walker. He was a teammate of future NFL players Simeon Rice and Matt Cushing. The two were teammates in the 1991 State Championship, and the pair went on to win the Chicago Prep Bowl.
8. Eric Allen
Eric Allen has been called one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. The second-round pick from Alabama was one of the most valuable players on the field, and his ability to disrupt passes is hard to match. During his seven-year career with the Eagles, Allen had five interceptions and a touchdown, which ranks him second all-time. Allen finished his career with the Eagles in 2001, and his 54 interceptions rank him 21st all-time in the NFL. While playing for the Eagles, Allen also spent time with the Saints and Raiders.
Another player who should be in the Hall of Fame is Josh Allen. Allen has a great deal of history with the Eagles. The defensive end made two Pro Bowls and played more than 200 games. He has a lot of accolades - six Pro Bowls and two Hall of Fame nominations. A 75th-anniversary Pro Bowl capped off his career.
9. Tommy McDonald
If you are looking for an Eagles legend, look no further than the legendary Tommy McDonald. A seven-year veteran, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1959 to 1963 before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys for Sam Baker, John Meyers, and Lynn Hoyem. If the Eagles had kept him, they would have had an America's Team. Nonetheless, the Eagles' omission from the Hall of Fame didn't go unnoticed, and fans were happy to honor the legendary defensive lineman.
A true team leader, McDonald is the only defensive player to win four Pro Bowls and a seventh All-Decade Team. His four Pro Bowl appearances and first-team All-Pro selections mark his legacy as one of the greatest Eagles players. In eight seasons, he broke the Eagles' rushing record. He was their leading rusher until LeSacoy broke it, and he was a reliable return man.
10. Jason Peters
There is no doubt that Jason Peters is one of the best offensive linemen in Eagles history. Since joining the team in 2009, he has been a dominant left tackle, making the Pro Bowl seven times and earning six All-Pro selections. His versatility allows him to protect certified statues like Michael Vick while providing a reliable pass block. As an elite run and pass blocker, Peters was a stalwart in both categories, moving bodies around at will.
During his seven decades with the Eagles, Jason Peters won one Super Bowl and appeared in seven Pro Bowls. He was named to the All-Pro first team and was a four-time second-team All-Pro. He signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears after the 2020 season but is still a top-notch player.