Retiring Dawkins Leaves Mark of Leadership

Retiring Dawkins Leaves Mark of Leadership

s John Lynch can attest, it's not true that Brian Dawkins was an NFL safety and nothing but.

It was the Pro Bowl after the 1999 season, well before Lynch and Dawkins would call on the Broncos for part II of their distinguished careers. Lynch's Tampa Bay Buccaneers had lost their NFC championship game, which meant his coaching staff would get the consolation prize of leading the NFC team in the Pro Bowl. Herm Edwards was the Bucs' defensive backs coach who quickly had an all-star secondary with no cornerbacks.

"As often happens, everybody wanted to go to the Pro Bowl, but there were a couple cornerbacks who didn't feel like playing," Lynch said. "So Herm is in a tough spot, and Dawk went out and played the entire Pro Bowl as a cornerback. Things like that stick out."

Dawkins not only played cornerback in his first Pro Bowl appearance, he had two interceptions. The Pro Bowls kept coming for Dawkins, right up until the end. His last of nine Pro Bowls came after the 2011 season, which also would be Dawkins' final season, period. Dawkins formally announced his retirement Monday, ending his 16-year NFL career.

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