Ranking the top 5 defensive Philadelphia Eagles players of all time

May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles graphics and logos on the interview background at OTS
May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles graphics and logos on the interview background at OTS /

Ranking the top 5 defensive players in Philadelphia Eagles history.

Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Dawkins will be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Dawkins is regarded by some as the greatest Eagles player of all time. His leadership on and off the field was unrivaled and his never-say-die attitude was highly supported by the City of Brotherly Love.

But where does Dawkins rank on the Eagles’ all-time list of defensive players? The Eagles have a lengthy history of great players on defense and he may not be as high on the list as you’d expect. Here’s where they rank.

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5. Troy Vincent

People sometimes forget just how good Troy Vincent was. Vincent spent eight years with the Eagles and recorded 28 interceptions during that span (he recorded 47 total in his 15-year career). Vincent was a ballhawk and one of the best cover corners in the NFL. He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2012 and now serves as the vice president of the NFL Player Engagement Organization.

4. Jerome Brown

Brown’s career may have been short, but it was impactful. Brown was one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the NFL during his five-year career. He and Reggie White helped make the Eagles defense one of the most fearsome groups in NFL history. Brown tragically died in 1992 in an automobile accident, leaving the football world stunned. The Eagles eventually retired Brown’s number 99 and was enshrined into the Eagles Hall of Fame.

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3. Brian Dawkins

Dawkins was a one-of-a-kind player. From his pregame speeches to his odd entrances onto the field, Dawkins provided the NFL with something it’s never seen before. Dawkins played for the Eagles for 13 years and has become one of the heroes of Philadelphia sports. He is the first player in NFL history to record 30 interceptions and 30 forced fumbles. When Dawkins wasn’t picking off quarterbacks, he was sacking them. Dawkins recorded 26 sacks in his NFL career and was a threat against the run, the pass and even on special teams.

2. Chuck Bednarik

Before the Super Bowl era, Chuck Bednarik was the baddest man in football. He was a hard-hitting linebacker who also played center for the Eagles all throughout the 50s after spending four years in the Air Force. He was an invaluable member of both Eagles championship teams in 1949 and 1960 and now has an award named after him, annually awarded to college football’s best defensive player. Bednarik was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967, his first year of eligibility. To this day, Bednarik remains one of the hardest tacklers in NFL history.

1. Reggie White

Not only is Reggie White (also known as The Minister of Defense) the greatest defensive Eagle of all time, but he just may be the greatest defensive player in NFL history. In 2010, the NFL released the Top 100 list of the greatest players of all time. The only defensive player ranked higher than White was Lawrence Taylor. In eight years with the Eagles, White recorded 124 sacks. White’s nine straight seasons with at least 10 sacks remains an NFL record. White’s number has been retired by the Eagles, the Green Bay Packers and the Tennessee Volunteers.