Add another line to the extensive resume for Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, who was named to his first Pro Bowl on Monday evening at the age of 32.
Graham is already an Eagles legend after the strip-sack fumble he forced from Tom Brady in late the Eagles’ 41-33 victory in Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots three years ago. Now, this.
Joining Graham in earning a Pro Bowl nod were center Jason Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
This is Kelce’s fifth Pro Bowl berth, ad his second straight, while Cox ran his team-record for interior linemen selections to six. Cox has made it six straight years, which is tied for the second-longest Pro Bowl streak in team history, one behind Reggie White.
Even though there won't be a game this year due to COVID-19, it is still an honor to the players selected.
"This is that much more special to me because I know how much work was put in years before and even this year, knowing that my time is almost running out,” Graham said on the Eagles’ website. “It's on me to go out and do it. We went out there and did it.”
Graham was the first alternate to the game in 2016. He leads the Eagles with seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
"I got a real level of appreciation for making it because I know it's not easy,” he said. “You know, being an alternate is cool, but you have to hope that people back out. For this one to be outright, in a year where there are no alternates because there's no game because of COVID, to get that call, I really appreciate this.
“We worked our butts off this whole offseason and during the season. To get that call is going to boost me even more for the next two games to try to go make it happen and get into these playoffs."
Graham was named a starter at DE along with the Saints’ Cameron Jordan. Washington Football Team rookie Chase Young was named as a reserve.
Kelce was also picked to start, with Frank Ragnow of the Detroit Lions as a reserve.
Cox was named a starter along with the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald. Grady Jarrett of the Atlanta Falcons is a reserve.
Each Eagle who makes the Pro Bowl gets his picture hung in a hallway inside the team’s training facility at NovaCare Complex. Now, Graham will join the others on that wall.
"That's the last wall I needed to get on," said Graham. "I'm just happy that I kept going because it wasn't easy man. It was tough, hearing the bust label to a new coach with Chip Kelly coming in, new scheme, having to adjust to the 3-4 scheme, kind of out of position a little bit, but I made it happen. Doug came at a crucial point in my career and got me back to my roots in the 4-3.
"For my first one (Pro Bowl selection), I'm happy it happened the way it did. I just wanted to take full advantage of it while I still feel like I'm in my prime. My best got me in and I'm thankful for that."
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