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Brian Dawkins says Eagles made a mistake by not keeping him

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Who is the greatest living Philadelphia Eagles player? That's the question Matt Mullin of PhillyVoice sought to answer this offseason. It wasn't hard for him to find a consensus. Future Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins turned out to be the easy choice as over 68% of voters chose him. Second closest was Donovan McNabb, who finished with a mere 8% of the vote.

Mullin recently interviewed Dawkins regarding this honor. Read the entire piece here. Some of the highlights include Dawkins talking about how the Eagles letting him go was a mistake.

"It was definitely a mistake," he said of the team's decision to part ways after 13 seasons. "You can say business is business, and sometimes things in business happen. But that, what happened, that wasn’t business. That wasn’t business. That team, my teammates, the city meant too much to me to do something crazy, to ask for crazy money."

"But, ugh, the way it went down, it should not have gone down that way," he continued. "And, you know, because of it, I had to leave a place that I called home. I had to leave a place that I loved being. It took me a bit, man, to get over it. And not completely over it, but over it enough to keep my emotions in check so that I could be everything that I could be for my teammates — my new teammates.

Even former general manager Howie Roseman once admitted the Eagles got it wrong when it came to not re-signing Dawkins.

Another great Dawkins quote came from when he talked about how he played the game. In essence, the Eagles legend explains how his playing style was a tribute to Philadelphia fans.

"I played the game the way [the fans] would play it if they had a chance to strap on a uniform for one game," Dawkins told PhillyVoice.com. "If for whatever reason, the Lord blessed them with the ability to go out and run, hit, jump, play fast, know the game plan, and they get to go out, one shot. You would not go out and be calm. You would not go out and hand the ball back to the ref."

Dawkins was and will always be a fan-favorite for many. The Eagles have struggled to replace him since his departure and the likely truth is that they never will. He was such a special player, and that's why he rightfully deserves to be called the greatest living Eagle.