And now we have arrived at one of the more difficult decisions in our SI.com EagleMaven jersey number countdown to kickoff – uniform number 92.
Smiley Creswell or Reggie White?
Reggie White or Smiley Creswell?
OK, you get the idea.
With 92 days until the Eagles open their season on Sept. 13, Reggie White stands alone.
He is on the Mount Rushmore of all-time Eagles great so of course he is at the top of our rankings. His number is one of nine retired by the Eagles.
There is no second or third place, because White and Creswell were the only two players in franchise history to wear No. 92, and no one will ever wear it again for the Eagles.
Creswell doesn’t even make the list as a runner-up. He played just three games as a defensive end for the Eagles in 1995, joining them after the New England Patriots had drafted him in the fifth round that year out of Michigan State.
Interestingly, Creswell wore the number right before it was issued to White, who came in 1985 but not until missing the first few games of that season.
White breathed life into it.
After the USFL folded in 1985, and with it the team fof whom White played, the Memphis Showboats, the Eagles signed him to a four-year, $1.85 million contract. White was still an unknown entity, but that didn’t last long.
In his first game, he made 10 tackles with 2.5 sacks and by the end of the season he had 13 sacks, which was the same number of games he played in and was named NFC defensive rookie of the year.
The rest is history.
In eight years with Philly, White piled up 124 sacks, a franchise record that will stand for a very long time before anybody breaks it. Another record that figures to be out of reach for a while is his streak of nine years with at least 10 sacks.
His 198 career sacks were the best in the league when he retired after the 2000 season. Bruce Smith eventually broke it with 200.
If you add in White’s sacks he had while in the USFL, he collected 221.5, which is more than any professional football player.