Two former Philadelphia Eagles greats are one step closer to immortality. Eric Allen and Ricky Watters were named semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. The debate-worthy list of 28 players will be whittled down to 15 guys in early January.
This marks the third straight year for Allen as a semifinalist. The All-Pro cornerback has a very vocal cheering section who lobby for his inclusion year after year. Allen collected 54 interceptions — tied for 21st-best with Hall of Famers Willie Brown and Darrell Green — along with eight touchdowns and 40 pass breakups.
The Arizona State product was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro during a 14-year NFL career that included stints with the Eagles, Saints, and Raiders. He never won a world championship, although he was considered one of the first true shutdown cornerbacks. He’s long overdue for enshrinement in Canton.
Watters only spent three seasons in midnight green, perhaps best remembered for a play he refused to make. The five-time Pro Bowler was one of the most productive running backs of his era — arguably a bit underappreciated — as evidenced by his 91 total touchdowns. He ranks No. 24 on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, 459 yards behind LeSean McCoy. The Notre Dame product racked up 10,643 rushing yards and 4,284 receiving yards in 10 seasons during stints with the Eagles, 49ers, and Seahawks. He earned a Super Bowl ring with San Francisco in 1995.
Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb Omitted
Former Eagles quarterbacks Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb failed to make it to the semifinalist round. They had been on the initial 129-player list for the Modern Era when it was announced back in September. Those two guys are universally regarded as the two greatest signal-callers in Eagles franchise history, with McNabb holding nearly every statistical passing record.
Other former Eagles not making it to the semifinals included: QB Jeff Garcia, RB Brian Mitchell, RB Brian Westbrook, WR Irving Fryar, DE Clyde Simmons, LB Seth Joyner, LB Takeo Spikes, CB Allen Rossum, CB Troy Vincent, CB Asante Samuel, K Gary Anderson, P Jeff Feagles, P Sean Landeta. The Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Canton this August following another round of cuts.
Eagles Announce ‘Dark Mode’ vs. Green Bay
The Eagles will debut their new black helmets on Sunday Night Football this week against the Green Bay Packers. The long-awaited alternate design was announced back in July to mixed reviews. Some people were upset that the all-black uniforms were completely devoid of any midnight green. For example, a little splash of green on the facemask. No one can please everybody all the time, not even the surging 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles.
Fast forward to 2023. That’s when the team will be ready to unveil their Kelly green alternate uniforms, according to Jeffrey Lurie.
“I’m here to announce that beginning in the 2023 season, we’re going to have the Kelly green, classic Eagles jersey and matching helmet and do it the right way,” Lurie told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “It’s what our fans have wanted, it’s what we’ve wanted and we’re going to be able to introduce that for that season.”