The list of Modern Era nominees for the 2017 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday, and they included two former Eagles, Brian Dawkins and Donovan McNabb, who shaped a decade of the Eagles' franchise.
Dawkins is widely regarded as one of the best defenders the Eagles have ever had. The team drafted him out of Clemson in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and the safety spent the next 13 years making plays and winning fans in Philadelphia.
Dawkins racked up three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack in his first season with the team, and never looked back. He was elected to seven Pro Bowls and received four first-team All-Pro selections in his 13 years with the Birds, and racked up 37 interceptions, 36 forced fumbles, 19 fumble recoveries, 26 sacks, and three defensive touchdowns.
He spent the last three years of his career in Denver, where he made two more Pro Bowls, nabbed two more interceptions, forced four more fumbles, recovered three more fumbles, and picked up three more sacks.
McNabb, while often maligned while he actually played for the team, was one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history. The Eagles drafted him second overall (sounds familiar!) out of Syracuse in the 1999 NFL Draft, and he spent the next 11 years leading the Eagles to new heights.
During the McNabb era, the Eagles were annually one of the best teams in the league. In those 11 years with the Eagles, he was elected to six Pro Bowls, including five in a row from 2000 to 2004. He completed 59 percent of his passes for 32,873 yards, 234 touchdowns, 117 interceptions, and 6.9 (nice) yards per attempt in those 11 years. He also ran the ball 573 times for 3,249 yards and 28 touchdowns with the Birds.
McNabb finished his career with two less-than-productive seasons in Minnesota and Washington.
The list of Modern Era nominees will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.