About Brian Dawkins

A confession here: I’ve never been the biggest Brian Dawkins fan.

I think he’s been a very good safety. But I’ve never quite gotten to the point of adulation some seem intent on showering on him. Instead it has always been my belief that his play has not always been at the level of his talk.

Maybe what really bothers me is all the antics we get from him, the whole production number in the pre-game introductions, and every time he makes a play. It’s the exaggerated gyrations and flexing of his muscles that wears on me. Maybe I’m just a tad bit more conservative, but I notice none of these guys ever take up such antics after they get burned.

And there’s something else. It’s this whole idea of celebrations – which I believe can be directly tied to players’ knowing it’s a sure way to show up on Sports Center each night – that leads to situations like what happened to DeSean Jackson Sunday. The outstanding Eagles rookie hauled in a bomb from Donovan McNabb and appeared headed for a highlight reel touchdown. That wasn’t enough. Jackson clearly had his post-touchdown celebration on his mind.

Unfortunately, he started it on the one-yard line. Luckily, the Eagles retained possession and quickly bailed him out by punching it in. If they don’t get the ball back, Jackson is being fitted for one of the all-time pair of goat horns.

Now Dawkins finds himself in the crosshairs after a particularly tough day on Sunday. I don’t know what the coverages were, and what Dawkins’ role in them was. What I know is that every time I saw a big play by the Cowboys, I usually saw Dawkins trailing behind.

I think his best days are behind him, and it now presents a tough decision for the team.

But yesterday, Dawkins did something that I actually admire more than his play, and much more than his antics.

He sat and went under the microscope, talking about his game Sunday, his career and where he goes from here.

He never lost his cool. He didn’t chide the media. He didn’t rip the fans. He simply said this is Philly, that when you lose and don’t play well, you’re going to hear it. There is no such thing as “getting a pass” for a long, solid career and being a good guy both on and off the field.

That may be, but Dawkins’ actions Monday scored more points with me than what he sometimes does on the field.