Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Forty Greatest Philadelphia Eagles of All Time: Part 2 (##31-40)

The 1960 NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles at Franklin Field

[For my previous post in this series, see here]

Here are numbers 31-40 in my list of the greatest players who ever played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

40. STAN WALTERS (T, 1975-83)

1982 Topps Card

The towering Walters (6'6"", 275 lbs.), a 2-time Pro Bowler (1978-79) at left tackle, had the rather important job of protecting Ron Jaworski's blind side and opening running lanes for Wilbert Montgomery during the Birds' four-year playoff run in '78-'81. Of note is the fact that he played in 122 consecutive games before his retirement in 1983. Amazingly, he allowed zero sacks in the Eagles' 1980 NFC Championship season. From 1984-97, Walters served as color commentator with Merrill Reese for the Eagles' radio broadcasts.

39. TOMMY THOMPSON (QB, 1941-42, 45-50)


"Tossin'" Tommy Thompson is one of the inexplicably unheralded quarterbacks in NFL history. In fact, the signal caller for Greasy Neale's 1948 and 1949 NFL champ Eagles is one of only three quarterbacks in NFL history with multiple championships who are not enshrined at Canton (for a nice post advocating his enshrinement, see here). Thompson led the league in TD passes with 25 in 1948, in yards per attempt (8.4) in 1947, and in yards per completion (14.8) in his Pro Bowl season of 1942. And he did it all while legally blind in one eye.

38. WILLIAM THOMAS (OLB, 1991-1999)


Thomas, a fourth round pick out of Texas A&M in 1991, was a late arrival to the Eagles' famous "Gang Green" defense of the late '80s-early '90s, and quickly established a reputation of being an exceptional defender against the pass. The two-time Pro Bowler ('95-'96) amassed 595 tackles, 33 sacks, and 18 interceptions (7 in '95) while wearing the green.

37. IRVING FRYAR (WR, 1996-98)

This hometown hero (from Mt. Holly, NJ) was a late bloomer and a late arrival to the Eagles' fold, coming from Miami at age 34 in 1996. His first two seasons in Philly, both of which he was selected to the Pro Bowl, were spectacular: 174 receptions (a team-record 88 in '96), 2511 yards (1316 in '97), and 17 TDs. For his career, the 5-time Pro Bowler had 851 receptions for 12,715 yards and 84 TDs (plus one rushing).

36. HUGH DOUGLAS (DE, 1998-2002, 2004)


The always effervescent, 281-pound Douglas was a 3-time Pro Bowler for the Birds after being acquired from the New York Jets. He was selected first team All-Pro in 2000 on the strength of his 15 sacks. Douglas ranks fourth on the team's all-time sacks list with 54.5.

35. BUCKO KILROY (T/G, 1943-55)


One of the great two-way players, Philadelphia (Port Richmond) native Francis Joseph "Bucko" Kilroy (and graduate of North Catholic High and Temple University) was a three-time Pro Bowler (1952-54) and was named on various All-Pro teams each year from 1948-54. Kilroy's reputation as a vicious hitter was such that he was named in a 1955 Life article decrying dirty, unsportsmanlike play. Kilroy got his revenge when, in 1955, he sued Time, Inc. ... and won, despite testimony from Otto Graham (for this story, see here).

34. JEREMIAH TROTTER (MLB, 1998-2001, 2004-06)

At his best, the 262-pound Texarkana native was a one-man wrecking crew and one of the NFL's greatest run stoppers. In his first stint with the Birds, Trotter was selected to two Pro Bowls (2000-01) and was a consensus 1st Team All-Pro in 2000. When he returned in 2004 after being inexplicably let go by Andy Reid in 2002, he solidified the middle of the Eagles defense and earned two more Pro Bowl appearances.

33. KEITH JACKSON (TE, 1988-91)


A 250-pounder out of Oklahoma, Jackson made an immediate impact on the NFL, quickly establishing himself as Randall Cunningham's favorite target. Jackson made the Pro Bowl and was a consensus All-Pro in each of his first three seasons with the Birds, but also is remembered for a key dropped pass in the end zone during the first half of the infamous Fog Bowl at Soldier Field on 31 December 1988.

32. HAROLD JACKSON (WR, 1969-72)

1972 Topps Card

At 175 pounds, the "Roadrunner" was one of the smallest players in the league, but also one of the most lethal. In his four seasons with the Eagles, Jackson was a two-time Pro Bowler, leading the league with 62 receptions in 1972 and with 1116 yards in 1969 and 1048 in 1972. After being traded to the Los Angeles Rams for Roman Gabriel, Jackson was selected to three additional Pro Bowls, though he never again had seasons of the caliber of those he had wearing Eagles green.

31. JERRY SISEMORE (OT, 1973-84)

1975 Topps Card

A two-time All-American at Texas, Sisemore was Stan Walters's counterpart at right tackle, protecting Ron Jaworski and opening holes for Wilbert Montgomery. He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1979 and 1981 seasons.

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