Dawkins in 2014
|Position:||Executive of football operations for player development|
October 13, 1973 |
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Jacksonville (FL) Raines|
|NFL Draft:||1996 / Round: 2 / Pick: 61|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Brian Patrick Dawkins (born October 13, 1973) is a former American football safety. He played college football for Clemson University and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He played 16 seasons in the National Football League (NFL): thirteen seasons for Philadelphia and his final three for the Denver Broncos.
In 2016, Dawkins was hired by the Eagles as an executive of football operations for player development. On February 3, 2018, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the following day the Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Dawkins was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and first saw his future wife in junior high school. He dated Connie Kerrin while attending William M. Raines High School; she was a majorette while he played football and basketball. They graduated in 1992.
Dawkins attended Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. A three-year starter at free safety for the Clemson Tigers football team, he finished his career with 247 tackles and 11 interceptions. He received first-team All-ACC Honors in 1995 and was selected by the Associated Press and Sporting News as a second-team All-American as a senior when his team-high six interceptions tied him for the conference lead. He was named the first-team strong safety on Clemson's all-centennial team in 1996 and was selected to their Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. On January 11, 2013, Clemson University established the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award to annually honor a former Clemson player for their performance on the field, contributions in leadership and community service.
Dawkins was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. As a rookie in 1996, he replaced Eric Zomalt as the starting free safety, remaining in that position throughout his 13-year career in Philadelphia. In 1996, he started 13 of the 14 games he played in, recording 75 tackles, a sack, and three interceptions. Dawkins' rookie season would also see the squad of him, Bobby Taylor, and Troy Vincent form in the Eagles secondary that formed the core of the Eagles defense through 2003, and was instrumental in placing the Eagles among the best defenses in the league.
Dawkins made his first of nine Pro Bowls in 1999, earning a reputation as a hard-hitting ball hawk with the nickname "Weapon X," a codename of Marvel character Wolverine, the comic book superhero known for relentless aggression. His emergence as one of the premier safeties in the NFL earned him the role of Eagles' defensive captain, and a mainstay on the Eagles.
In 2002 in a game versus the Houston Texans he became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, forced fumble, and touchdown reception in a single game. This performance, as well as his consistent Pro Bowl-caliber play, earned him a seven-year contract extension at the conclusion of the 2002 season.
In 2004, after three consecutive NFC Championship defeats, the Eagles finally advanced to the Super Bowl with a win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. Dawkins played a huge role in the Eagles winning that game, as he intercepted a Michael Vick pass and laid a bone-jarring hit on Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler. The Eagles ultimately would lose to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 24-21. It was Dawkins' first, and only Super Bowl appearance, a Super Bowl that was hosted by his hometown of Jacksonville.
During the 2008 season, he became the tenth member of the 20/20 Club and broke the Eagles record for games played surpassing fellow Jacksonville native Harold Carmichael who had 180. The 2008 season was a memorable one for Dawkins and the Eagles, as the 5-5-1 team went on a 4-1 surge to make an improbable run to the NFC Championship game where they lost to the Arizona Cardinals, in what turned out to be Dawkins' final game as an Eagle. He is also a member of the 30/30 club of players who have at least 30 interceptions and 30 forced fumbles. He and Charles Tillman are the only players to record at least 35 of each. (Forced Fumbles have only been a recorded stat since 1991)
He finished his career with the Eagles starting 182 of 183 games, recording 898 tackles, 34 interceptions, 32 forced fumbles, and 26 sacks.
On February 28, 2009, Dawkins signed a five-year, $17 million contract with the Denver Broncos. He joined another teammate, Correll Buckhalter, who also signed with the Broncos. The contract included $7.2 million guaranteed and a termination clause that permitted Dawkins to opt out of the contract after two years and receive an extra $1.8 million, virtually making the contract for two years and $9 million. Dawkins could have also earned an additional $10 million in performance incentives.
On December 29, 2009, the NFL announced that Dawkins was the starter of the AFC Pro Bowl team as a strong safety. Dawkins played in 16 of 16 games for the 2009 Broncos. He totaled 116 tackles and 2 interceptions.
In the following two seasons, injuries hampered Dawkins. In 2010, he compiled 66 tackles and 2 interceptions while only playing in 11 games. Dawkins played in 14 games the following 2011 season, compiling just 38 tackles in limited snaps. He was voted into the 2012 AFC Pro Bowl team as the team's starting strong safety, after an injury to Troy Polamalu prevented him from attending.
After calling Coach John Fox on April 23, 2012, Dawkins announced via Twitter that he was retiring from the NFL. His reasoning was he wanted to retire while he was still healthy. He planned to stay in Colorado, and wanted to begin coaching high school football that fall.
On April 28, 2012, Dawkins alongside Jeffrey Lurie announced that he would sign a one-day contract, and retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. The Eagles retired Dawkins' number 20 in a ceremony at halftime of their September 30 game against the New York Giants. The Eagles have retired only 9 players' jerseys in franchise history, which goes back more than 80 years.
On July 30, 2016, Dawkins returned to the Eagles to take a role on the team's scouting staff. On August 17, 2016, Dawkins was given the new role of Football Operations Executive to assist with player development.
In an interview, Dawkins talked about getting married: "I went to college at Clemson, and she (Connie) transferred there my second year, after one year at Jacksonville University. The night before going back to school our junior year, I asked her to marry me. Her grandfather gave us $100. $59 for my ring and $41 for hers–and we eloped. We went to the Justice of the Peace."
In early 2007, Dawkins and his wife had twin daughters, Chonni and Cionni. Both daughters were born two months premature, but are currently healthy. Dawkins, with his wife, Connie, also have two other children, Brian Jr. and Brionni. Brian Jr. is currently playing for the Clemson Tigers as a cornerback.
After Dawkins signed with the Broncos in 2009, Dan Leone, an Eagles employee who was a gate chief at Lincoln Financial Field was fired by the Eagles after Leone posted messages on his Facebook page expressing his disappointment in the team. Dawkins announced that he would give his two allotted game tickets for the 2009 Eagles-Broncos game to Leone, saying, "I felt it would be a good thing, to reach out to that individual and just let him know how much I appreciate it."
In 2014, Dawkins joined ESPN as an NFL analyst.
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