darren sproles

4 Eagles named to NFL’s all-decade team for 2010s

4 Eagles named to NFL’s all-decade team for 2010s

Four Eagles have been named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2010s. 

Jason Peters, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Fletcher Cox all made the cut based on voting from the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Amazingly, the Eagles finally won the Super Bowl in the last decade and just one of their four all-decade players was on the field. 

Making the all-decade team is a pretty big honor and it can add fuel to a Hall of Fame candidacy down the road. 

Here’s a closer look at the four Eagles to make it: 

Jason Peters

The Eagles acquired Peters in a trade with the Bills in 2009, so almost his entire career in Philadelphia came in the 2010s. During the decade, he played and started in 125 games for the Eagles. The Bodyguard made six Pro Bowls and his only All-Pro selection in 2013. After an Achilles injury forced Peters to miss the 2012 season, he came back with four consecutive Pro Bowl years. 

Peters joined Tyron Smith, Joe Staley and unanimous selection Joe Thomas on the list of offensive tackles. 

LeSean McCoy 

The Eagles drafted Shady in the second round in 2009, so he had five of his six Eagles seasons in the decade. McCoy led the entire NFL in rushing yards in the decade with 10,434 — he was the only guy to top 10,000. And he also added 3,489 receiving yards and 85 total touchdowns. 

McCoy led the NFL with a franchise-record 1,607 rushing yards in 2013. Overall, Shady made six Pro Bowls in the decade and three of them came with the Eagles, as did his only All-Pro seasons in 2011 and 2013. 

He joined Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch and unanimous selection Adrian Peterson as the running backs. 

Darren Sproles 

The 5-foot-6 do-it-all running back is the only player who made the all-decade team twice. He’s the flex player on offense as well as a punt returner. The Eagles traded for Sproles in 2014 and he spent the last six seasons with them. In his first three years with the Eagles, he made his only three Pro Bowl teams. 

Sproles, who is fifth in NFL history in all-purpose yards, piled up 11,950 during the decade. During the 2010s, Sproles had 2,665 rushing yards, 3,960 receiving yards and 5,332 return yards. He also accounted for 45 total touchdowns. 

As just a punt returner, Sproles averaged 9.9 yards per return in the decade and returned five punts for touchdowns. Sproles and Tyreek Hill were named as the punt returners. 

Fletcher Cox

Sometimes he gets overlooked nationally, but Cox has been a monster since the Eagles drafted him in the first round back in 2012. In his eight NFL seasons, he has 48 sacks, 62 tackles for loss and 121 quarterback hits. He has made the last five Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2018. 

Cox joins Geno Atkins, Ndamukong Suh and unanimous selection Aaron Donald on the list of DTs. 

If there is any Eagles who you could consider a snub, it’s probably center Jason Kelce, who has a case as the best center of his generation. Kelce was drafted in 2011 and has been a three-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson have also made strong cases. 

Here’s the complete all-decade team: 

Offense

WR: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce
T: Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Joe Saley, *Joe Thomas
G: Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Zack Martin, *Marshal Yanda
C: Alex Mack, Maurkice Pouncey
QB: *Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers
RB: Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, *Adrian Peterson
Flex: Darren Sproles

Defense

DE: Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Julius Peppers, *J.J. Watt
DT: Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox, *Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh
LB: Chandler Jones, Luke Kuechly, Khalil Mack, *Von Miller, Bobby Wagner, Patrick Willis
CB: Patrick Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman
S: Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle
DB: Chris Harris, Tyrann Mathieu

Special teams

P: Johnny Hekker, Shane Lechler
K: Stephen Gostkowski, *Justin Tucker
PR: Tyreek Hill, Darren Sproles
KR: Devin Hester, Cordarrelle Patterson

Coaches

Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll 

* - denotes unanimous selection

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Darren Sproles says goodbye to football: 'My body is telling me it's time'

Darren Sproles says goodbye to football: 'My body is telling me it's time'

After more than 8,000 scrimmage yards, 64 touchdowns and the 5th-most all-purpose yards in NFL history, Darren Sproles will retire after this season.

The 36-year-old Sproles officially announced the decision that's been expected on Saturday afternoon.

“My body is telling me it’s time to step away from the game,” Sproles said in a first-person farewell to the NFL on the team’s web site.

Sproles spent six years with the Eagles and made the Pro Bowl in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but injuries have limited him to just 15 games over the last three years.

Sproles, on Injured Reserve for the third straight year, has just 66 rushing yards and six catches this year, but he finishes his career with 3,552 rushing yards and a 4.9 average, 553 receptions for 4,840 more yards, a 9.5 career punt return average and nine return touchdowns, including nine on punts.

“I owe so much to the game of football and I gave it all I had in return,” Sproles wrote. “I gave it everything I had on every play. I rode it until the wheels fell off. That's the way I played and that's the way I practiced.”

At just 5-foot-6, Sproles became by far the most productive player of his stature in NFL history.

He was only a 4th-round draft pick of the Chargers back in 2005 but finishes his career with more total yards than everybody in NFL history other than Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

I’m proud that I was able to prove my doubters wrong,” Sproles said. “They told me that I wouldn't make it past a year in the NFL. Fifteen years later, I'm fifth all time in NFL history in career all-purpose yards. Look at the names who are above me on that list: Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith. To be part of such an outstanding group is an incredible honor. But it also goes to show that no matter what people say about you, you can still achieve great things if you believe in yourself and put in the work.

Sproles spent six years with the Chargers and three with the Saints.

The only players in NFL history with 3,000 rushing yards, a 4.5 rushing average and 500 receptions are Sproles, LeSean McCoy and Tiki Barber.

His 4.9 rushing average is No. 8 in NFL history. His seven punt return TDs are 7th-most in NFL history, and his nine total punt/kick returns are 6th-most ever, behind Devin Hester (19), Mitchell (13), Eric Metcalf (12), Dante Hall (12) and Josh Cribbs (11).

Sproles thanked Jeff Lurie, Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson and had particularly fond words for Duce Staley, his position coach.

He didn’t mention Chip Kelly, who he played two seasons for.

Sproles played his first NFL game on Sept. 11, 2005, for the Chargers against the Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

He played what appears to be his final game on Nov. 3 for the Eagles against the Bears at the Linc.

He went on Injured Reserve on Nov. 15 with a torn right hip flexor.

Spending the past month on Injured Reserve has been hard,” he wrote. “I want to be out there with my guys. But I've had the chance to spend a lot of time with my family and I'm at peace with this decision. My kids are kind of sad that my career is coming to an end because they told me that they love to see me play. They inspired me. They kept me going. I'm proud that they were able to see me play at a high level because I wanted to show my kids that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to, as long as you are willing to work hard for it. There's no quit, especially when times get tough and rocky.

At some point in the next couple years Sproles will be added to the Eagles Hall of Fame.

This might be the end of Sproles’ career, but he’ll be an Eagle forever.

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10 incredible stats to appreciate the greatness of Darren Sproles

10 incredible stats to appreciate the greatness of Darren Sproles

Darren Sproles is 36 years old, has played only 17 of a possible 53 games over the last three seasons, and now his 15th NFL season is over, thanks to yet another injury.

Sproles probably won't play football again, which means his career will most likely end with 183 games, 3,552 rushing yards, 553 catches, 8,392 yards from scrimmage and a staggering 19,696 all-purpose yards.

There's never been anybody like him.

Sproles stands 5-foot-6, and nobody 5-6 or shorter is within 10,000 career yards of Sproles in NFL history.

Nobody his size has half as many yards.

Right now, it's easy to think of Sproles as another broken-down veteran who probably stuck around too long.

But pretty soon we'll all look back at his remarkable career and marvel at what he was able to accomplish, especially in those electrifying first three seasons with the Eagles.

Let's start with 10 amazing Darren Sproles stats! 

• Sproles is one of only 31 players in NFL history with 3,500 career yards both rushing and receiving. Of those 31, his 4.9 career rushing average is highest. Hall of Famer Lenny Moore is second at 4.8.

• Despite starting just 31 games in his career, Sproles’ 553 receptions are 12th most in NFL history by a running back.

• Sproles’ nine consecutive seasons with at least 200 yards both rushing and receiving is the sixth-longest streak in NFL history, behind Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Thurman Thomas, Matt Forte and Curtis Martin.  

• Sproles’ nine combined punt and kick returns are sixth most in NFL history, behind Devin Hester (19), Brian Mitchell (13), Dante Hall (12), Eric Metcalf (12) and Josh Cribbs (11). 

• Of the 31 players in NFL history with at least two TD returns on both kick and punt returns, Sproles has the fourth-most yards of offense, behind only Hall of Famers Steve Van Buren, Ollie Maison and Gale Sayers.

• Sproles has the seventh-most combined kick and punt return yards in history with 11,313. Four of the top seven on that list played for the Eagles (Mitchell, Allen Rossum, Mel Gray and Sproles).

• In what very well was his second-to-last career game, Sproles passed Hall of Famer Tim Brown and moved into fifth place in NFL history with 19,696 career all-purpose yards. He trails only Jerry Rice, Mitchell, Payton and Emmitt Smith.

• Sproles’ streak of 11 consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 all-purpose yards from 2005 through 2016 is third longest in history behind only 12-year streaks by Frank Gore and Smith. Mitchell and Rice also had streaks of 11 straight years with 1,000 yards. Sproles is the only player in NFL history with four straight seasons with at least 2,200 total yards (2008-11).

• Sproles is the only player in NFL history with 2,500 yards rushing, receiving, returning kicks and returning punts. 

• Sproles and Deion Sanders are the only players in NFL history with four punt return touchdowns after their 30th birthday.

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