Eagles

Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins acknowledges the crowd after being introduced before the start of the Eagles and New York Giants game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Eagles have been around for a long time. They were founded in 1933, making then the 8th oldest team in the NFL. And some of those teams older than them have either moved or changed their name in that time, while the Eagles  have always been the Eagles, except for one year in the 40s where they merged with the Steelers to become the Steagles.

Throughout those 80+ years of existence, things have not always been great. In the 40s they were a near dynasty, winning two National Championships at the end of the decade. Then in 1960, they took down the juggernaut that was Vince Lombardi’s Packers. But once the Super Bowl era started, the Eagles winning ways ended. It took until 1980 for them to make a Super Bowl, and until 2017 to win one. The Andy Reid era featured a ton of wins, just not in the most important game of the year.

But despite the lack of Super Bowl Rings until recently, thee have still been a lot of great players to come through Philly. Some All-Time great players. The likes of Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Brian Dawkins, and more. In fact the Eagles have sent 25 players to the Hall of Fame.

But there is an honor even more rare, saved for only the greatest Eagles of All Time. Having your Jersey retired. So far only 9 players have been given that honor. But are there more on the way? Lets first look at the 9 guys whose Jersey numbers have already been retired. And then lets look at the cases of 8 more guys who may have a shot at one day seeing their numbers up there among the other greats in Eagles history.

Here are the Eagles who have already had their numbers retired:

  • #5- Donovan McNabb

    McNabb’s legacy in Philly is complicated. It is a shame he never quite gelled with the fans. He is the greatest QB in Eagles history. So he deserved having his number retired. But he is barely part of the team anymore. You don’t see him still doing things in the city like Brian Dawkins and other Eagles legends do. He just never got over getting booed, and fans never got over him not getting over it. It sucks that is the case. But despite all of that, retiring his number 5 was still the right choice.

    NFL on ESPN on Twitter: "On This Date: 15 years ago today, Donovan McNabb's fourth-and-26 conversion helped lead the Eagles to the NFC Championship game. (via @nflthrowback) pic.twitter.com/lB9ArH4EYV / Twitter"

    On This Date: 15 years ago today, Donovan McNabb's fourth-and-26 conversion helped lead the Eagles to the NFC Championship game. (via @nflthrowback) pic.twitter.com/lB9ArH4EYV

  • #15- Steve Van Buren

    Van Buren was a massive part of the Eagles two NFL Championships in the 40s. He was a 5 time All Pro, a Hall of Famer, and for a long time the Eagles All-Time leading rusher. He still holds the record for rushing touchdowns. Until Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy came around, he was pretty much the consensus greatest Eagles RB ever. Its hard to compare guys from different eras, but based purely on accomplishments, Van Buren still has a very strong case.

    NFL on Twitter: "Steve Van Buren is one of the 12 RBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!🦅 5x All-Pro🦅 2x NFL Champion🦅 4x Rushing Title Winner pic.twitter.com/FvojbTNMJ3 / Twitter"

    Steve Van Buren is one of the 12 RBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!🦅 5x All-Pro🦅 2x NFL Champion🦅 4x Rushing Title Winner pic.twitter.com/FvojbTNMJ3

  • #20- Brian Dawkins

    The favorite Eagle of most people my age. Brian Dawkins was the Eagles for over a decade. He is one of the greatest Safeties of all time, and has a case to be the greatest Eagle of all time. Once he went into the Hall of Fame it was an obvious move to take 20 out of circulation. Outside of Reggie White, no one on this list is more deserving of the honor than Weapon X.

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins acknowledges the crowd after being introduced before the start of the Eagles and New York Giants game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • #40- Tom Brookshier

    Brookshier’s career was shorter than it should have been. Injuries ended it early, and he also missed two seasons to serve in the Military. But he was a two-time Pro Bowler, part of the Championship team that beat the Packers in 1960. What really sealed his place is what he did post-career. He was part of the Eagles’ local broadcast team until the NFL did away with local teams, and then moved into being one of the premier broadcasters forming a legendary broadcast duo with Pat Summerall.

     

  • #44 - Pete Retzlaff

    When Pistol Pete retired, he led the Eagles in receptions and receiving yards. He is still 2nd in yards and 3rd in receptions. What’s weird is the guy who passed him in both stats, Harold Carmichael, has not only not has his number 17 retired, but its been worn by multiple people since, including Nakobe Dean right now. But even if Carmichael got snubbed, its hard to argue against Retzlaff.

    Philadelphia Eagles on Twitter: "Pete Retzlaff was named to five Pro Bowls and still ranks 10th on our all-time touchdowns list. pic.twitter.com/0h2wMWSo5j / Twitter"

    Pete Retzlaff was named to five Pro Bowls and still ranks 10th on our all-time touchdowns list. pic.twitter.com/0h2wMWSo5j

  • #60 — Chuck Bednarik

    For a long time, Bednarik was the greatest Eagles of All-Time. People who watched him play may still argue his case. 10 All-Pros, 2 National Championships, and an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Concrete Charlie was a legend. And his crushing hit on Frank Gifford is still among the greatest moments in NFL History.

    NFL on Twitter: "No. 44: @Eagles LB Chuck Bednarik's hit on Giants halfback Frank Gifford (Nov. 20, 1960) #NFL100📺: NFL 100 Greatest Plays on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/lZmKciy2ej / Twitter"

    No. 44: @Eagles LB Chuck Bednarik's hit on Giants halfback Frank Gifford (Nov. 20, 1960) #NFL100📺: NFL 100 Greatest Plays on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/lZmKciy2ej

  • #70 - Al Wistert

    Weistert is 4 time All Pro, and is an Eagles Hall of Famer. But not an NFL Hall of Famer. He was another part of the Eagles team in the 40s that won multiple NFL Championships. He spent all 9 years of his career with the Eagles, including one year where they merged with the Steelers to become the Steagles.

    Philadelphia Eagles on Twitter: "One of the #Eagles' all-time greats, tackle Al Wistert, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday.#ForeverAnEagle pic.twitter.com/gDs24mNLxn / Twitter"

    One of the #Eagles' all-time greats, tackle Al Wistert, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday.#ForeverAnEagle pic.twitter.com/gDs24mNLxn

  • #92 -Reggie White

    Reggie White is not just the greatest Eagle ever, he is one of the best players in NFL history period. White is two sacks short of Bruce Smith for the most in NFL History. And recently there was a graphic showing that TJ Watt passed his brother JJ on the list of most sacks in a players first 100 games. What stood out to me though was that White was number one with 105, 17 more than TJ at 2. White is a legend.

    NFL on ESPN on Twitter: ""Reggie, for me, is the true GOAT." 🐐J.J. Watt on his brother closing in on Reggie White's sack record 💪(via @PatMcAfeeShow) pic.twitter.com/ZmXvhOJsaP / Twitter"

    "Reggie, for me, is the true GOAT." 🐐J.J. Watt on his brother closing in on Reggie White's sack record 💪(via @PatMcAfeeShow) pic.twitter.com/ZmXvhOJsaP

  • #99 - Jerome Brown

    Jerome Brown’s jersey retirement was not the glorious celebration it should have been. Instead it was a ceremony mixed with grief after he passed away way too young, still in the prime of his career. In an ideal world Jerome Brown would have been coming here as a 50-year-old man and Philly would be celebrating his long and successful career. Regardless, Brown is worthy of the honor.

    6 SEP 1992:  PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FANS HANG A BANNER IN MEMORY OF EAGLES DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JEROME BROWN #99 DURING THE EAGLES 15-13 WIN OVER THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT VETERANS STADIUM IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

    6 SEP 1992: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FANS HANG A BANNER IN MEMORY OF EAGLES DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JEROME BROWN #99 DURING THE EAGLES 15-13 WIN OVER THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT VETERANS STADIUM IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

  • People Whose Numbers Could Be Retired

    Now lets look at 8 guys who have a case for it. These are either guys still on the team, or guys whose number has not been worn since they left the Eagles. Meaning there could be a chance the Eagles are planning on retiring their number. Harold Carmichael would be on here, but enough people have worn #17 that it seems they have no plans of retiring the number.

  • #9- Nick Foles

    He won the Eagles their first Super Bowl. Was he a great QB? No. Was his career mostly just two great runs, surrounded by mediocre play? Sure. Would he be the worst player to ever have his number retired? Maybe. But he was Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles first Super Bowl. That alone is enough to retire his number 9.

    Philadelphia Eagles on Twitter: "Listen in on Nick Foles as he was mic'd up for his #SuperBowl MVP performance.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/titDGjXgGg / Twitter"

    Listen in on Nick Foles as he was mic'd up for his #SuperBowl MVP performance.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/titDGjXgGg

  • #12- Randall Cunningham

    It feels like if they were going to retire his number, they would have by now. With that said, his number 12 has been untouched since he left Philly. So clearly there is some consideration, and deservedly so. Cunningham’s time here will forever be a m missed opportunity. So much talent, but a Head Coach completely incapable of utilizing it. At the very least they should keep his number 12 untouched for as long as possible.

    22 DEC 1990: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES QUARTERBACK RANDALL CUNNINGHAM LOOKS TO PASS DOWNFIELD DURING THE EAGLES 23-21 VICTORY OVER THE PHOENIX CARDINALS AT SUN DEVIL STADIUM IN TEMPE, ARIZONA.

    Photo By Stephen Dunn /Getty Images

  • #25- LeSean McCoy

    Like Randall, no one has worn McCoy’s 25 since he left Philly. So that is a significantly shorter period of time. McCoy is the Eagles greatest RB ever. Even passing Brian Westbrook and Steve Van Buren in production. Being the best to ever do it at a position is worthy of consideration for a Jersey retirement. 25 was also the number of another Eagles legend, Tommy McDonald. Like with Randall, Shady may not get his number officially retired. But they should keep it out of circulation as long as they can.

    Eagles Nation on Twitter: "LESEAN MCCOY APPRECIATION TWEET ❕❕The SNOW BOWL. One of the most exciting games of the last decade, after a slow start the #Eagles road McCoy to the tune of 217 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, for the 34-20 victory over the Lions in 2013. #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/oL0TMSste9 / Twitter"

    LESEAN MCCOY APPRECIATION TWEET ❕❕The SNOW BOWL. One of the most exciting games of the last decade, after a slow start the #Eagles road McCoy to the tune of 217 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, for the 34-20 victory over the Lions in 2013. #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/oL0TMSste9

  • #55- Brandon Graham

    Some of the guys from that 2017 Super Bowl team are locks, like Kelce and Peters who we will get to. Graham is harder, because he is probably not a Hall of Famer. But still, Graham has been an integral part of the Eagles for a long time. Oh, and he forced the fumble that helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl. You cant retire everyone’s number. But he is at the very least deserving of a mention. And his number 55 should be protected as long as possible if it is not retired.

  • #62- Jason Kelce

    This one is a no brainer. He is the greatest Center in Eagles history, a lock for the Hall Of Fame, and one of the most popular players in the city. Not to mention he is one of the main faces form the Eagles first ever Super Bowl. It is just a matter of when and not if. Like with most guys, they will probably wait until he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 15: Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks on the field prior to the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 15, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

    (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

  • #65- Lane Johnson

    Lane is going to be a Hall of Famer, has won won Super Bowl here, and has a chance at a second. Like Kelce he should be a no-brainer. Being on the Super Bowl Winning team is worthy of there being multiple numbers retired from that one team. And Lane is a big reason why they won it.

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 05: Lane Johnson #65 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field after a win over the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on November 05, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

  • #71- Jason Peters

    Like Kelce, Peters is a lock for the Hall of Fame. That is a good start. He was on the Super Bowl winning team, though he was injured and did not play. He protected the Eagles blind side for 11 years, though most Eagles fans wish that reign ended two years earlier. He is not as sure of a yes as Kelce is. Him holding on a bit too long hurt his reputation with Eagles fans a bit. But even considering that, Peters is probably the best player the Eagles had that whole era. No one should wear 71 again.

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 26: Jason Peters #71 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during the closing moments of a game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Redskins defeated the Eagles 38-24.

    (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

  • #91- Fletcher Cox

    Cox maybe gets a bit disrespected. The guy is a Hall of Famer, and has become one of the Eagles most important leaders later in his career. He may not be the player he used to be, but that is because in his prime, he was one of the best in the whole league. Even now he is still a solid player. If he gets into the Hall, and he should, he should also see his number 91 taken out of circulation for good.

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after recovering a fumble during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on September 14, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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