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Eagles top 10 acquisitions of 2017: #5 — Chris Long

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Top dog

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Virtually everything the Eagles touched in 2017 turned to gold silver. With free agency around the corner and the draft to follow, we look back at the top 10 moves the Eagles made on their path to the Super Bowl.

There’s a saying, and it’s mostly true, that you should never meet your heroes. All they’ll do is let you down.

It’s mostly true, but not entirely so. Because every once in a while a guy like Chris Long comes along. Long thought about retiring after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots last year. Going out on top is as good as it gets, but for Long, playing was about more than just football. He decided to keep playing to aid his philanthropic activities of increasing clean water in Africa and helping the homeless in St. Louis. In 2017 he took that a step further by donating his entire salary to educational programs. The NFLPA awarded him the Byron “Whizzer” White Award, it’s highest honor, for his contributions.

Oh, and he was a pretty damn good player too.

Long led the team with 4 forced fumbles, was third with 5 sacks, led the team with 35 pass pressures (per Football Outsiders) and had a knack for timing. He strip sacked Philip Rivers and set up a touchdown and strip sacked Jared Goff to set up a field goal in what wound up being one score games, stripped sacked Derek Carr in the fourth quarter of a tied game (and celebrated while the ball was still live, but hey nobody’s perfect), and then in the playoffs forced a wounded duck throw by Case Keenum that resulted in a pick six by Patrick Robinson that turned the game around and sent the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

And along the way he fell in love with Philadelphia.

As if that wasn’t enough, he, along with Lane Johnson, unleashed the dog masks and underdog rallying cry.

Just like last year, Long has a chance to walk away on top of the game. He won’t be, and it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens with the Eagles in 2018, Chris Long will always be on top.