I don’t want to say that I forgot Brian Dawkins was coming back to Philadelphia. I know he plays for the Broncos, and I know the Eagles are playing the Broncos this Sunday. I guess, it’s just the anticipation for the game has died down a bit since the schedule came out. At least in my mind. I think the Eagles success in recent weeks has a lot to do with it. The Eagles may have been better with Dawkins, but sitting at 10-4 it’s hard to be too disappointed with how things are going. The defense is far from a juggernaut, but we’re not talking apocalypse either.
Regardless of how the Eagles are faring, or how Dawkins is playing in Denver, this moment probably shouldn’t have happened. The Eagles stuck to the letter of the law a little too closely when they let Dawkins walk away, and with only the likes of Sean Jones to replace him…well, Dawkins certainly would still be starting had he remained an Eagle. Some guys are just associated with one team, have a special connection with the fan base, and Dawkins’ return this week reminds us of that. He was quite possibly the most loved Philadelphia athlete of the last decade, and the constant face to a usually stout Eagles defense.
I can’t think of a player who did more during the decade for the fans of Philadelphia. Every defense should have a Dawkins, a guy that looks as if he’s about to snap at any moment. The picture above captures the rabid intensity that Dawkins would achieve before kickoff. I don’t see that on the Eagles sideline this season. You need a guy to lead you on the field, but you also need a guy who sets the tone with his intensity. Dawkins was that man. Perhaps one of the problems with the Eagles defense this year is that they have lost their identity. Well, it will be at the Linc on Sunday, wearing the opposing colors.
I’ve heard many fans intend to go to the game decked out in Dawkins Bronco orange. More of an acknowledgement to him, than a slight to the Eagles. And, certainly a shot at management. It takes it a bit far in my mind, but Dawkins certainly deserves the standing ovation he will undoubtedly receive. We know for sure, that at least one Bronco will be up for this one. Whether Dawkins’ emotion can lead to a victory like it did so many times in Philly, we’ll have to wait and find out.
So, welcome back B-Dawk, you never should have left….but you’ll always be welcome.