The NFL has been doing a few special lists to honor the league's 100th year in business. First they released what they thought were the 100 best plays in NFL history, which the Eagles had seven of. Next their throwback YouTube account posted videos of the top 100 throws in NFL history, which the Eagles had eleven of. Then they counted down the 100 Greatest Games in NFL History, which the Eagles had seven of. After that one, they listed the 100 Greatest Game Changers, four of which were former Eagles. Then they ranked the top 100 teams in the league's history, with the Eagles franchise ending up with four teams ranked.
The final grouping to commemorate the league's centennial season is the NFL's 100th anniversary team, which has been slowly unveiled over the past few weeks. The full roster has finally been announced, and there are four players who have put on an Eagles uniform that made the list:
RB Steve Van Buren
Those accolades speak for themself, but those weren't the only impressive numbers he put up. He was the first NFL player to rush for over ten touchdowns in a season (he accomplished it three times) and the first to have multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons (this was back when teams played 12 games a year). When he retired, he held the NFL career records for rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.
He wasn't just a regular-season stat stuffer either -- he was a well-known clutch playoff performer. He scored the only touchdown of the 1948 NFL Championship Game against the Chicago Cardinals. In the 1949 NFL Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams, he set postseason records with 31 carries and 196 rushing yards.
Arguably the greatest defensive player in NFL history, it was a no brainer to see White appear on this team. He played 121 games in an Eagles uniform, and recorded 124 sacks with the team (which is still a franchise record). If it wasn't for Eagles owner Norman Braman being greedy and stubborn with his money, there's a fair chance that White would have been an Eagle for life. Who knows how much would have changed for the Eagles if White continued to dominate for them in the late 1990s. White finished career with 13 Pro Bowl selections, eight All-Pro selections, and two Defensive Player of the Year selections. He also helped lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory.
Hewitt only played four seasons with the Eagles, but he an impact for the team on both sides of the ball. He went to one of his four Pro Bowls while with the Birds. He is most known for his time on the Chicago Bears, where he won two championships and was selected to three Pro Bowls.
"Concrete Charlie" honestly could have made this team as both a linebacker and a center. The last of the 60-minute men is a legend in every sense of the word, and was a Pennsylvania boy at heart -- he was born in Bethlehem, attended University of Pennsylvania, was drafted and only played for the Eagles, and died in Richland, PA. He played in 169 games in his career, winning two championships while being selected to eight Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams. He is considered by some to be the greatest Philadelphia Eagle ever.
All four of these men were deserving of this honor. There was one obvious snub though, and that was Brian Dawkins not being considered one of the top safeties in NFL history. I don't think I need to go into detail and explain why he deserved to be recognized, because his career speaks for itself.
The next anniversary team will likely be picked for the 125th NFL season, so maybe by then there will be a few other Eagles who get recognized as among the best at their position in NFL history.