LOS ANGELES -- Brian Dawkins will forever be known as an Eagle. However, he left an imprint during his three-year stay in Denver that makes it impossible to tell the Broncos history without mentioning his name.
When referring to Dawkins, it now comes with a new title: Hall of Famer. Dawkins walked through the doors of Canton and into the arms of history on Saturday when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his second attempt.
John Lynch, a Broncos Ring of Famer, failed to receive the call from the Hall for the fifth consecutive year.
The election featured a Philly flavor with former Eagles receiver Terrell Owens joining Dawkins. The class included linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and wide receiver Randy Moss. Also voted in were senior finalists Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and former Chargers and Redksins executive Bobby Beathard, who made it as a contributor, much to the dismany of Broncos' fans who felt owner Pat Bowlen was more deserving.
“We’re very happy for Brian Dawkins on his well-deserved election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Broncos CEO Joe Ellis said. “Brian established himself as one of the NFL’s most respected and beloved players over many years in Philadelphia before joining the Broncos for the final three seasons of his incredible career."
Dawkins made a brief stay with the Broncos, but he created good memories and helped change the culture for young players. He reached the Pro Bowl twice in three seasons, earning All-Pro honors in his first season in 2009. He served as a captain every year.
"A career unlike any other. A man who brought as much to his teammates off the field as he did on the field," told former Broncos teammate Ryan Harris, a tackle who played two seasons with Dawkins, to Denver7. "He taught guys how to take care of their bodies, how to be a father, how to be a husband. And he was a great football player. His emotion, talent, and dedication went beyond all others in his era."
Dawkins was known for his passion and fire for game. He brought an authentic edge that inspired those around him. Cornerback Chris Harris remembers Dawkins fondly.
"Just his intensity. And he was great to learn from on how to prepare for games," Harris told Denver7 on Saturday.
The class of eight will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton next summer. Lynch remains hopeful his turn will arrive next year.
"Congrats to a great and deserving Class," Lynch tweeted. "Disappointed but humbled to be a finalist. Thanks to everyone for the support."