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Dawkins, Samuel make Pro Bowl

Two members of the Eagles secondary are heading to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

Brian Dawkins and Asante Samuel were both selected to the NFC team.

In his 13th season with the Eagles, Dawkins joins Hall of Famers Chuck Bednarik and Reggie White as the only three players in team history to earn seven Pro Bowl selections. Bednarik was selected eight times, while White made seven Pro Bowl appearances.

In 2008, Dawkins has recorded 123 tackles, including nine for a loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery and 11 passes defensed.

Last night, Dawkins played in his 181st career regular season game, passing Harold Carmichael for the franchise record, and is currently tied with Eric Allen and Bill Bradley for the franchise lead with 34 interceptions.

Newcomer Samuel earned his second career Pro Bowl appearance. He earned a spot on the AFC squad a year ago as a member of the New England Patriots.

Samuel leads the Eagles this season with four interceptions, including a 50-yard return for a touchdown in last night's victory over Cleveland. He is tied for the NFL lead with 21 passes defensed, while adding 35 tackles. Since 2006, Samuel leads the NFL with 20 interceptions.

 Dawkins called the honor "a great, great blessing," particularly the association with White, his late friend."He has meant a lot to me," as a player and as a religious mentor, Dawkins said.

'I feel I've played a pretty good stint, these last eight games or so," said Dawkins, 35, who does not have a contract beyond this season. "To be able to put a certain brand of ball on the field and be an impact player for this defense, whether it be taking on pulling guards sometimes, stuffing the run, or being in the back, delivering big hits, sending messages, or lining up and blitzing off corners, it's a place I feel comfortable being in, healthy."

Samuel said it felt good to validate the organization's investment in him, a $57 million free agent contract, with a Pro Bowl berth.

"It definitely shows that I finally got the respect I deserve in the NFL," he said. "That's what they pay me to do, come in and make plays."

Samuel noted that he had only three picks when the selection process took place, indicating that the voters looked beyond stats to assess his impact. He said he feels he is playing "as good as any of the corners in the NFL."