Pick for No. 1 came down to two

Posted: August 12, 2007

Who was the greatest Eagle of all time? We asked a panel of former players across several eras to vote, and it was an incredibly tight race. Chuck Bednarik, all agreed, was a solid No. 3.

But No. 1? Steve Van Buren or Reggie White? It was close.

The deciding factor in selecting Van Buren over White was their postseason records. Van Buren won two championships, while White won only one playoff game as an Eagle. Everyone agreed White revolutionized the way the defensive end position was played. But for this franchise, Van Buren did more by winning back-to-back titles in 1948 and '49.

The question could be argued for years.

"It was a very difficult pick," Eagles great Ron Jaworski said.

"The impact [White] had on the game was clearly evident when you look at coaching tape and pass protection schemes, what teams did to oppose him, what he did to opposing offenses. Clearly he had a huge, huge impact. Maybe if he had played his whole career in Philadelphia I may have had him at No. 1, but I think the fact that he did have some great years in Green Bay pushes me toward Steve Van Buren."

Former cornerback Troy Vincent disagreed.

"If you talk to some of the greats who were there, like Keith Jackson, Cris Carter, Keith Byars, Randall Cunningham, Eric Allen, they always would refer back to Reggie as being one of the most influential people in their lives," Vincent said. "We're talking about the all-time greats, during their era. They were the most dominant defense outside of the Chicago Bears in the history of our sport. Somebody had to be the catalyst, somebody was the heart. That was Reggie."

- Ashley Fox

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