Legendary Eagles safety Brian Dawkins was not named a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.
The class will be officially announced at 8:00, but reports from insiders, and his subsequent tweet, seem to indicate he won’t be making it in his first year of eligibility.
Brian Dawkins and John Lynch were voted down by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Still a logjam at the safety position.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) February 5, 2017
Does not change the facts... I'm Blessed By The Best!! Thanks for all the love!!! #BBTB— Brian Dawkins (@BrianDawkins) February 5, 2017
Dawkins spent 13 years with the Eagles, from 1996 to 2008. He was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the organization and spent the next decade-plus cementing himself as one of the best players in franchise history.
He played 183 games with the Eagles, racking up 34 interceptions, 36 forced fumbles, 19 fumble recoveries, and 26 sacks. He made six Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro four times.
Dawkins also spent three years with the Broncos, from 2009 to 2011, where he picked up three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and five sacks while being named to another pair of Pro Bowls.
In mid-November, Dawkins was named a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame, along with Terrell Owens.
Owens didn’t make it this year, either.
Unfortunately I DID NOT MAKE IT again this year. Thanks to ALL my fans & supporters. #FlawedProcess— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) February 4, 2017
Then, on the third day of this still-very-young year, Dawkins was named one of the 15 finalists for this year’s class.
Today, a bunch of men piled into a large conference room to vote on which players belonged in the Hall of Fame, to don the golden jackets and give teary speeches at Canton in August.
The Class of #PFHOF17 debate is underway! pic.twitter.com/NPPNnEczpO— Pro Football HOF (@ProFootballHOF) February 4, 2017
The meeting took... let’s double check here...
HOF voting complete. Took nearly nine hours. Long day. Announcements later. @ProFootballHOF— Clark Judge (@clarkjudgeTOF) February 4, 2017
And they still decided to not put Dawkins in the Hall of Fame? After nine hours? Yeesh. What were they talking about for so long?
Unfortunately, we kind of saw this coming. Way back in November, our man Dave took a look at why Dawkins was probably going to have a hard time ending up in the HOF:
The Hall of Fame hasn’t inducted a true safety since Paul Krause in 1998. The only other safeties inducted since then were Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson, who started their careers as excellent cornerbacks. And there’s a worthy crop of safeties on the horizon beyond Dawkins as Ed Reed and Troy Polumalo will be eligible in two and three years, respectively. If Dawkins is not inducted this year or next, the line he is in will only grow, and grow with key players on Super Bowl winners at his position.
On the other hand, this year’s field could be favorable to Dawkins. Of other first ballot players, LaDainian Tomlinson is a shoo-in, Hines Ward and Jason Taylor are not. Everyone else has been waiting in part due to the selection committee’s backlog. However there’s not an absolute stand out candidate among them. Last year’s finalists who did not get in are Morten Anderson (3 time finalist), Steve Atwater, Don Coryell (3), Terrell Davis (2), Alan Faneca, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, John Lynch (3), Terrell Owens and Kurt Warner (2). None of those players seem locks to make it either.
Dawkins is a deserved Hall of Famer, the best player on the Andy Reid Eagles teams, the cornerstone of Jim Johnson’s outstanding defenses that saw players come and go all around him. A playmaker, a fierce and hard hitting tackler, and a leader, he was the total package. The only argument against him is if he is a “first ballot” level of player, and unfortunately for him because of the HOF’s senseless induction policies and tendencies, if he’s not a first ballot HOFer he and fans are probably going to have to unfairly wait many years.
Update: Dawkins officially did not make the Hall of Fame this year. LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Jason Taylor and Morten Andersen were voted in.
He’s still got time to make it. All hope is not lost. But man, if Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens aren’t in the Hall of Fame, who the hell is?