The lifeblood of any NFL team is its roster. Obviously having a great group of core guys leads to a successful season. The 2004 Philadelphia Eagles went 13-3 in the regular season and were runner-ups to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. It would take them 13 years to get back, but they did.
Only the Good Lord in Heaven knows when they’ll be back again. It’s easy to have doubts, especially when you watch them play now, but here’s a statement that we all can agree on. If they had eleven guys like Jason Kelce playing on offense and defense, this team would be a dynasty.
Here’s a walk down memory lane in every city where Philadelphia Eagles football is adored.
Kelce wasn’t thought of by Eagles fans during Super Bowl XXXIX, but he was a key component of the 2017 Birds squad that hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Again, it was the Patriots who were waiting on them. This time, Philadelphia triumphed.
That team fielded six Pro Bowlers: Carson Wentz, Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Ertz, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, and Fletcher Cox. They also had a great center in Jason Kelce. He anchored an offensive line that won the Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year Award.
2004’s Birds had ten Pro Bowlers: quarterback Donovan McNabb, running back Brian Westbrook, wide receiver Terrell Owens, offensive tackle Tra Thomas, special teams stars Ike Reese and David Akers, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, cornerback Lito Sheppard, strong safety Michael Lewis, and the legend Brian Dawkins.
Some of those guys were also named as All-Pros by the associated press: (Owens, Sheppard, and Dawkins (1st team) and David Akers (2nd team).
Recently, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pieced together and introduced his 2021 NFL All-Pro Team. A First-Team and Second-Team was introduced. One Eagle made the list. You know who that is, don’t you? Seriously, is there any doubt?
This one requires an ESPN-Plus account to read, so we won’t share any quotes below, but we can share this. Barnwell offers Kelce being a “stalwart who continues to play spectacular football” and his ability to “remain spectacularly gifted for a center in his mid-30s” as reasons for the nod. Give this one a look when you have a moment. It’s definitely worth the price of the ESPN-Plus subscription.
Since being drafted 191st-overall in Round 6 of the 2011 NFL Draft, Kelce, if he starts in Week 18 of the current season will have appeared in 166 games. That includes seven playoff games. He will have started every single one of those contests. He and Darius Slay were the only two Birds that were voted to the Pro Bowl.
The point of all of that is this. As mentioned earlier, every NFL team’s lifeblood is its roster. It’s a long time since the Philadelphia Eagles have seen someone on their team that’s under 30 years of age in football’s All-Star Game. That will need to be rectified, especially if this team wants but in the meantime, they can hang their hats on this future Hall of Fame inductee.
He has five Pro Bowl nods (2014, 2016, 2019–2021). He’s earned three First-team All-Pro nods (2017–2019). Something tells us that he’ll earn a fourth in 2021. Gosh, we hope this guy comes back next season.