Dickerson a surprise pick as Eagles' offense lands record six Pro Bowlers

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You figured Jason Kelce was in. You knew Jalen Hurts was a lock. There wasn’t much doubt about A.J. Brown, Miles Sanders or Haason Reddick.

But Landon Dickerson?

Dickerson, the Eagles’ promising but largely unheralded 24-year-old left guard, became a surprise first-time Pro Bowler Wednesday, and he’s one of eight Eagles to receive the annual honor.

Dickerson is the Eagles’ first offensive lineman named to a Pro Bowl team within his first two seasons since Hall of Famer Bob Brown made it in his rookie year in 1965. He’s the Eagles’ youngest offensive lineman honored as a Pro Bowler since 24-year-old Shawn Andrews in 2006.

Although he’s notoriously hard on himself, Dickerson has blossomed into one of the NFL’s top young interior linemen.

With Dickerson, Kelce and Lane Johnson, the Eagles have three Pro Bowl offensive linemen in the same year for the fourth time: Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan and Jermane Mayberry in 2002, Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Kelce in 2014 and Kelce, Johnson and Brooks in 2019.

Dickerson is one of a record six members of the Eagles’ high-flying offense named to the NFC Pro Bowl team Wednesday.

Hurts, Kelce, Johnson, Brown and Miles Sanders also made the team from the Eagles’ No. 2-ranked offense, as well as Haason Reddick and Darius Slay from the NFL’s No. 2 defense. Hurts, Sanders, Reddick and Dickerson are all 1st-time Pro Bowlers.

This is the first time the Eagles have had six offensive players make a Pro Bowl team. They had five offensive three times, most recently Peters, LeSean McCoy, Mathis, DeSean Jackson and Nick Foles in 2013.

Incredibly, Dickerson is the sixth different offensive lineman to make a Pro Bowl team under current offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who joined the team under Chip Kelly in 2013. Those six – Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks and Dickerson – have now made a total of 19 Pro Bowls.

From 1960 through 2012 – the 53-year period before Stoutland joined the coaching staff - the Eagles had 10 offensive linemen make 21 total Pro Bowls.

During Stoutland’s 10 seasons, the only other team with as many Pro Bowl offensive linemen is the Saints, who’ve also had six – including Philly’s Jahri Evans.

Read about Hurts here. Here’s a look at the Eagles’ other offensive Pro Bowlers:

Jason Kelce

Kelce is only the fifth player in NFL history drafted in the sixth round to make six Pro Bowl teams. The others are Cards guard Ken Gray from the 1960s, Vikings center Matt Birk, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown and Patriots and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

The remarkable Kelce continues to pad his Hall of Fame resume, which now includes six Pro Bowls as well as four 1st-team all-pro honors (this year’s all-pro team will be announced in January).

In his 12th season, Kelce had one of his best seasons ever. He’s Pro Football Focus’s top-ranked center with a 89.4 grade – the 2nd-highest of his career – and he’s extended his streak of consecutive starts to 136, only eight shy of Jon Runyan’s franchise record and longest currently among NFL interior linemen.

Kelce’s six Pro Bowl honors are tied for 5th-most in Eagles history, behind only Chuck Bednarik (8), Brian Dawkins (7), Jason Peters (7) and Reggie White (7). Fletcher Cox, Donovan McNabb and Pete Pihos also made six Pro Bowls.

He’s the first NFC center named to six Pro Bowl teams since Birk – like Kelce a 6th-round pick – made six from 2000 through 2007. The last NFC center to make more Pro Bowls than Kelce was Jay Hilgenberg of the Bears, who made seven in a row from 1985 through 1991. Only 10 centers have made more Pro Bowls than Kelce.

A.J. Brown

In his first season with the Eagles, Brown made his second Pro Bowl team in three years. He was an AFC Pro Bowler in 2020 with the Titans, but he’s having a career year this season with career highs of 74 catches and 1,201 yards along with 10 touchdowns.

The 25-year-old Brown is the Eagles’ first wide receiver to earn Pro Bowl honors since DeSean Jackson made his third Pro Bowl in 2013. In the last 40 years, the Eagles have had only four other Pro Bowl wide receivers: Mike Quick five times from 1983 through 1987, Fred Barnett in 1992, Irving Fryar in 1996 and 1997 and Terrell Owens in 2004.

Brown ranks 5th among all NFL receivers and second to Justin Jefferson in the NFC with 1,201 receiving yards through 14 games, and his 10 TDs are 3rd-most in the NFL and lead the NFC and 3rd-most in Eagles history. Brown is 4th overall with 16.2 yards per catch, which is highest in the NFC.

Brown is only the third Eagle with 1,200 yards, 16 yards per catch and 10 touchdowns in a season, joining Ben Hawkins in 1967 and Mike Quick in 1983 and 1985.

This past Sunday, Brown caught nine passes for a career-high 181 yards in the Eagles’ win over the Bears. That’s the most yards by an Eagle since Jeremy Maclin had 187 in a loss in Arizona in 2014.

Brown had three 150-yard games this year. In the previous six years, all the Eagles wide receivers combined only had three 150-yard games (Alshon Jeffery vs. the Rams in 2018, DeSean Jackson vs. Washington in 2019, Travis Fulgham vs. the Steelers in 2020).

Lane Johnson

This is Johnson’s fourth Pro Bowl selection after making the team in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and getting snubbed after a fantastic 2021 season.

Johnson, the best right tackle in the NFL, hasn’t allowed a sack or a quarterback hit all year, according to Pro Football Focus. He last allowed a sack in a game against the Browns in 2020 and shut his season down a few days later to undergo ankle surgery. He last allowed a QB hit in Week 7 against the Raiders last year.

After dealing with the ankle in 2020 and sitting out three games last year to focus on his mental health, Johnson has played all 14 games this year. Last time he played every game in a season was 2015.

Johnson is only the third Eagles offensive linemen ever to earn four Pro Bowl honors. Jason Peters made seven Pro Bowls between 2009 and 2016 (and two others with the Bills), and Jason Kelce has now made six.

Miles Sanders

Sanders was rewarded with his first Pro Bowl honor for one of the best seasons ever by an Eagles running back.

Sanders ranks fifth in the NFL with 1,110 rushing yards, 60 behind Saquon Barkley for the NFC lead. His 11 TDs are 5th-most in the league (and 4th-most among running backs), and his 5.2 average is 3rd-highest (and 2nd-highest among running backs).

In each of his first three seasons, Sanders showed tremendous promise, but each year was derailed by inconsistency, a lack of usage or injuries.

This year, he put it all together and is on the brink of becoming the first Eagle ever (and the 22nd player in NFL history) with 1,110 rushing yards, 11 or more touchdowns and a 5.2 average.

He’s also a lock to secure a fourth straight season with 750 rushing yards and at least a 4.6 rushing average. Only Gale Sayers, Jim Brown and Nick Chubb have also had 750 yards and a 4.6 average in each of their first four seasons.

Sanders is the first player in NFL history with 100 carries in one season and no touchdowns and then 11 or more touchdowns the next year.

With three games left, Sanders already ranks 13th in franchise history with his 1,100 rushing yards and tied for sixth with 11 touchdowns.

His 3,549 rushing yards are 3rd-most in Eagles history by a player in his first four seasons, behind only LeSean McCoy (3,866) and Wilbert Montgomery (3,693).

His 5.1 rushing average is 4th-highest in team history among players with at least 500 carries, behind two quarterbacks – Randall Cunningham (6.6) and Donovan McNabb (5.7). Michael Vick (6.7) and Jalen Hurts (5.3) are also up there but don’t have enough carries to qualify.

Among running backs, his 5.1 average is tied for 9th-highest in history and 2nd-highest among active backs, behind only Chubb’s 5.2.

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