Top 10 Philadelphia Eagles of All Time


February 3

As the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles prepare for the Super Bowl, we dig deep into the history and success of both proud franchises. Both have long, proud winning traditions and have no shortage of top-level players. 

The Eagles have been an NFL fixture since joining the league in 1933. A rich history developed over nine decades has produced too many elite players to mention, although we will try. We go back as far as the 40s to curate our list of the top ten Eagles.

10. Jason Peters, OT – Philadelphia Eagles (2009-20)

The big guys up front don’t get the love they deserve. Offensive linemen are often the unsung heroes of quality teams, keeping the most important player on the field safe from harm.

Jason Peters exemplified those traits to a tee and did so for a long time in Philly. The 325+ pounder pass protected everyone from Donovan McNabb to Michael Vick to Jalen Hurts. The nine-time Pro Bowler kept Carson Wentz and Nick Foles safe all the way up to a Philadelphia Super Bowl win in 2018.

While an addition to his six All-Pro selections is probably not going to happen now, the big man is still going strong, coming off of his 18th season with fierce Philly rival, the Dallas Cowboys, in 2022.

9. Randall Cunningham, QB – Philadelphia Eagles (1985-95)

Number nine on our list was before his time, paving the way for NFL quarterbacks today.

Randall Cunningham was really the first in class as a true rushing quarterback. In a pocket pass-heavy, pass-early, and often league, the Eagles pivot put up a ridiculous 942 yards on the ground in 1990. At the time, it was the second-best quarterback rushing season in league history. He averaged 8.0 yards per carry, the most ever by an Eagle of any position, with 100 attempts on the season, and third most in NFL history.

Cunningham still sits sixth among quarterbacks for rush yards in a single season. His near-5,000 career yards on the ground are the fourth most by a quarterback all time.

The second-round pick also threw for nearly 30,000 yards over 15 NFL seasons, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and a two-time All-Pro. Cunningham also won NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1992 after returning from a torn ACL suffered in the previous season.

He will go down as one of the best Philadelphia quarterbacks of all time.

8. Eric Allen, CB, – Philadelphia Eagles (1988-94)

Cunningham’s teammate did equally impressive things on the defensive end while Randall put up points. Eric Allen was one of the leaders of Gang Green, which was a nickname strictly for the defense (sorry, Randall).

Allen was continuously mentioned as one of the best secondary dwellers in the game in his heyday. Undersized but fiercely competitive and athletic. EA tied an NFL record with four pick-sixes in 1993. The six-time Pro Bowler (five with Philly) is tied for the franchise mark with 34 interceptions, and his five pick-sixes are a team record.

Allen was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2011 and probably should also be in Canton as the three-time All-Pro was one of the best at his position throughout most of his career.

7. Harold Carmichael – WR, – Philadelphia Eagles (1971–83)

Going back a generation before Cunningham and Allen, Harold Carmichael may not be a well-known name, but his play on the field can not be questioned. Carmichael’s anonymity is probably due to how bad the Eagles were through most of the 70s. Regardless of Philly’s win-loss record, the talented wideout continued to display eye-catching numbers year after year.

Despite a 5-8-1 team record, Carmichael could not be stopped in 1973. The seventh-round pick (yup, seventh) tore up secondaries to the tune of a league-best 1,116 yards while topping the NFL with 67 catches. While those numbers might not seem as gaudy as today’s, don’t forget they played only 14 games back then. 

The 6’8″ wideout was a four-time Pro Bowl pick, three-time All-Pro, and played 13 productive seasons for the Eagles. Showing his longevity, Carmichael again led the team in receptions and yards nearly ten years after his breakout 1973 campaign.

Carmichael is the Eagles’ all-time leader in catches (589), receiving yards (8,978), and touchdown grabs (79) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

6. Brian Westbrook, RB – Philadelphia Eagles (2002-09)

The precursor to the next player on our list and our first running back was your classic swiss army knife out of the backfield. Brian Westbrook could do it all as a true total threat from the line of scrimmage.

Drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Westbrook would fully break out two years later. The Villanova alum came up with over 1,500 total yards in 2004, much coming from his 73 receptions, just four short of Terrell Owens’s team-leading 77. It was the first of his two Pro Bowl selections before he outdid himself in 2007.

In one of the best offensive seasons in Eagles history Westbrook led the team in rushing with 1,333 yards, receptions with 90, and total touchdowns with 12. The unstoppable weapon also put up nearly 800 receiving yards. With his video-game-like numbers in tow, the DC native received the only All-Pro nod of his career.

When it was all said and done, Westbrook became and remained the team leader in all-time scrimmage yards (9,785). He was also one of only six players in NFL history with 30+ rushing touchdowns and 30+ receiving touchdowns upon his retirement.

5. LeSean McCoy, RB – Philadelphia Eagles (2009-14)

Westbrook’s successor, LeSean McCoy, not only took up the mantle from his former teammate but raised it higher than One Liberty Place.

In his rookie season, the former Pitt Panther paid homage to his dual-threat backfield partner by going for nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage while lining up next to Westbrook in the only season the pair would suit up together. It was just a taste of what Philly fans would see from Shady in the future.

McCoy exceeded the 1,000-yard mark in four of his next five seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, including a league-best 1,607 in 2013. His big yardage campaign came just two years after leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 17 in 2011.

While McCoy would only play six seasons in Philadelphia, he became the franchise’s leading rusher with 6,792 yards while setting the team’s single-season marks in rush yards and touchdowns. No. 25 saw three Pro Bowls and was twice named a First Team All-Pro before continuing his remarkable career in Buffalo.

4. Chuck Bednarik – LB/C – Philadelphia Eagles (1949-62)

There may be no other player that exemplifies that workhorse, strong, blue-collar Philadelphia persona than Chuck Bednarik. Born in Bethlehem, PA, Bednarik was one of the last 60-minute men and a true ironman that never missed a snap by playing both sides of the ball.

Concrete Charlie was a beast protecting the quarterback as a center but became even beastly on the defensive side of the ball. Bednarik played the linebacker position with a ruggedness and ferociousness rarely seen. The hard-hitting Penn State alum will forever be remembered for laying out Frank Gifford with one of the most violent and infamous hits in NFL history.

The eight-time Pro Bowler is the only man on our list to play his entire career in Philadelphia, where he won a pair of championships and was named an All-Pro ten times.

The NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team member was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will go down as one of the men that exuded what it is to be a Philadelphian. 

3. Donovan McNabb, QB  – Philadelphia Eagles (1999-09)

When it comes to quarterbacks, there is no Eagle that can hold a candle to Philadelphia’s second overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft. Donovan McNabb effectively shaped the outcome of two franchises, as the Cleveland Browns passed on the future Eagles Hall of Famer to select quarterback Tim Couch. Ouch.

Cleveland’s trash was Philly’s treasure as McNabb became synonymous with pass-throwing in PA. The Syracuse alum took over signal-calling duties in the second half of his rookie campaign as Philadelphia was on their way to a 5-11 finish.

McNabb turned things around quickly, putting Philly football back on the map in his second season. The Chicago native led the Eagles to an 11-5 record, along with his first of five straight Pro Bowl nods. His 3,365 passing and 629 rushing yards, to go along with 27 total touchdowns, not only got him a ticket to Hawaii but a second-place finish in the Associated Press MVP voting.

McNabb owns every Eagles all-time quarterback record imaginable, and even though he didn’t bring Philly a championship, he did all he could in 11 seasons as the starter. Despite no world title, McNabb did bring the team to the big game in 2004 to go along with an NFC Championship. 

No. 5 deservedly has his number in the Lincoln Financial Field rafters, is a member of the Eagles Hall of Fame, and with nearly 40,000 career passing yards, should probably get the call to Canton someday.

2. Brian Dawkins, S – Philadelphia Eagles (1996-08)

Brian Dawkins exemplified greatness for 13 years in Philadelphia and is regarded as one of the best safeties of all time.

Dawkins took the torch from number eight on our list as the next great Philly player to patrol the secondary. He did Eric Allen proud straight outs of the gates as B-Dawk started 13 of 14 games in his freshman campaign, coming up with three interceptions to go along with 74 tackles.

Three years later, Dawkins would get his first of nine Pro Bowl nods after starting all 16 games and coming away with a career-best four picks. Two years after that, Weapon X, as he was known, was named a First Team All-Pro for the first of two straight seasons. Not only did he get the All-Pro nod, but he also finished third in AP Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2002.

Dawkins would add three more Pro Bowls and another pair of All-Pro honors in Philadelphia before leaving for Denver in 2009, where he was named to another two Pro Bowl teams.

After the lights dimmed on his NFL career, Dawkins had the Hall of Fame to look forward to and was named to the 2018 class in Canton.

1. Reggie White, DE – Philadelphia Eagles (1985-92)

When you think about absolutely dominant players, it’s hard not to put the Minister of Defense at the top of that list. Reggie White exploded onto the scene and was an immediate high-impact player. After a solid rookie campaign where he logged 13 sacks in 12 starts, White was an annual talking point in the Defensive Player of the Year race.

White won the award in 1987 after starting a run of six straight First-Team All-Pro, and Pro Bowl selections in his sophomore NFL season a year earlier. From ’87-’91, the 300-pounder finished fourth or better for Defensive Player of the Year in four of those five years.

The Minister led the league with 21 sacks in 1987 and 18 in ’88. His ’87 total is even more extraordinary, as he accomplished it in just 12 games due to the shortened season. White set the NFL regular-season record averaging 1.75 sacks per game that year.

Reggie White’s 198.0 career sacks (124 with Eagles) is the second-most all-time, and the 13-time All-Pro and two-time Defensive Player of the Year is one of the best defensive players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

White was gone well before his time, passing away at just 43 years old in 2004. His impact on the position, sport, and the Philadelphia Eagles organization can not be understated.

Honourable Mentions: Al Wistert, OT (1943-52), Tommy McDonald, WR (1957-63), Troy Vincent, CB (1996-03), Wilbert Montgomery, RB (1977-84), Pete Retzlaff, RB/WR/TE (1956-66), Pete Pihos, TE (1947-55)

Thumbnail photo via William Bretzger, Copyright 2004, The News Journal Co.;Yes

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