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Eagles Question of the Day: How do you feel about the team’s unofficial retired jersey numbers?

When’s the right time to bring them back in circulation?

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

The Philadelphia Eagles have officially retired the following jersey numbers since their inception in 1933:

  • No. 5 — Donovan McNabb
  • No. 15 — Steve Van Buren
  • No. 20 — Brian Dawkins
  • No. 40 — Tom Brookshier
  • No. 44 — Pete Retzlaff
  • No. 60 — Chuck Bednarik
  • No. 70 — Al Wistert
  • No. 92 — Reggie White
  • No. 99 — Jerome Brown

The count of nine gives the Eagles the fifth most discontinued jersey numbers in the NFL. Only the New York Giants (14), the Chicago Bears (14), the San Francisco 49ers (12), and the Kansas City Chiefs (10) have retired more.

But if one accounts for the five jersey numbers unofficially retired by the Eagles, their total technically ties for the lead league. The following numbers have not been issued since last being worn:

  • No. 9 — Nick Foles (last used in 2018)
  • No. 12 — Randall Cunningham (last used in 1995)
  • No. 25 — LeSean McCoy (last used in 2014)
  • No. 46 — Jon Dorenbos (last used in 2017)
  • No. 87 — Brent Celek (last used in 2017)

Today’s Eagles Question of the Day asks: How do you feel about these unofficially retired numbers? Should any/all of them be put back into circulation? Should the team officially retire any or just keep them out of use for a long time?

Some thoughts on each of them:

  • On one hand, Foles is the only Eagles Super Bowl MVP in franchise history. There’s literally a statue of him right outside Lincoln Finacial Field! On the other hand, he just doesn’t have the longevity (BDN jokes aside) that other players boast. Every Eagles retired number holder save for Jerome Brown — who tragically died before his sixth season in Philly — has played at least seven seasons and an average of just over 10 with the Birds. Foles has only logged five. If you go by games played, Foles’ 40 in Philly fall way short of the next closest mark of 76 and the average of 119. Methinks the Eagles should keep No. 9 on ice for some time, like they have with No. 12, but not officially retire it.

Poll

Should the Eagles officially retire No. 9?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes
    (1022 votes)
  • 64%
    No
    (1838 votes)
2860 votes total Vote Now
  • I was only four years old when Cunningham played his last season in Philly so I don’t have the proper perspective to appreciate him like others do. Apparently Jeffrey Lurie won’t give away No. 12 unless Cunningham approves and it doesn’t sound like he wants to do that. Maybe we’ll eventually see No. 12 in use again but not when Lurie is still the owner.

Poll

Should the Eagles officially retire No. 12?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes
    (1432 votes)
  • 47%
    No
    (1273 votes)
2705 votes total Vote Now
  • There’s buzz that the Eagles could re-sign McCoy ahead of the 2020 season so we might see No. 25 back in action this year. The Eagles’ reluctance to give out Shady’s number could be connected with their previous multiple attempts to reacquire him. But it’s also obviously connected to him being the team’s all-time leading rusher. I don’t think the Eagles should officially retire McCoy’s number unless he comes back this year and has a big season en route to a Super Bowl win, which isn’t the most likely outcome.

Poll

Should the Eagles officially retire No. 25 one day?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yes
    (506 votes)
  • 81%
    No
    (2178 votes)
2684 votes total Vote Now
  • Dorenbos is tied with Harold Carmichael for the most consecutive games played in Eagles history but I don’t think the team will be officially retiring their former long snapper’s number. They likely didn’t want to be in a rush to give it away considering he almost died after they traded him in 2017. The fact that it’s not a highly coveted number also contributes to it not being issued.

Poll

Should the Eagles officially retire No. 46?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yes
    (475 votes)
  • 81%
    No
    (2148 votes)
2623 votes total Vote Now
  • Who doesn’t love Celek? With that said, officially retiring his number would be overboard. His 4998 career receiving yards rank ninth most in franchise history behind seven other players who don’t have their numbers retired. The Eagles should give out No. 87 again within the next few seasons.

Poll

Should the Eagles officially retire No. 87?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Yes
    (442 votes)
  • 83%
    No
    (2190 votes)
2632 votes total Vote Now

Other jersey numbers to watch moving forward include Jason Peters’ No. 71, Malcolm Jenkins’ No. 27, and Darren Sproles’ No. 43. Peters is a lock for the Hall of Fame and wields a ton of clout so I think it’s safe to say his number will never be worn again. I don’t know if the Eagles will retire Jenkins’ number but I don’t think they’ll be rushing to give it away. We could see the Eagles also be reluctant to give out No. 43 for several years as a sign of respect to Sproles, who is also greatly respected internally.

How do you feel about the Eagles’ unofficial retired jersey numbers?