Ironman Runyan to serve as alumni captain

Ironman Runyan to serve as alumni captain

Eagle Eye: Eagles-Cowboys predictions

October 18, 2013, 11:15 am
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Now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jon Runyan played 161 straight games for the Eagles from 1999-2008. (AP)

Jon Runyan, the New Jersey congressman who once manned the Eagles’ right tackle position for nine seasons and never missed a game, will serve as honorary alumni captain Sunday against the Cowboys at the Linc.

Runyan, who started 161 straight regular-season and playoff games for the Eagles from 1999-2008 and made one Pro Bowl, earned a reputation for being an ironman who played through several major injuries. He will be honored in a halftime tribute. Runyan retired in 2009, after appearing in five games with San Diego, to pursue a career in politics.

Runyan, a former Michigan standout who was drafted in the fourth round by the Houston Oilers in 1996, spent four seasons with the Oilers, who moved to Nashville in 1996 and changed their name to the Tennessee Titans.

He left the Titans after the 1999 season to become Andy Reid’s first major free-agent acquisition and, along with left tackle Tra Thomas, helped build the foundation of an Eagles team that would make the postseason seven times in Runyan’s nine seasons.

In 2006, Runyan, then 33, broke his tailbone a few days before an Oct. 21 game against the Bears when he fell getting out of the cold tub. The injury made it difficult for him to sit, sleep and travel on airplanes. Still, he only missed some practice time.

Runyan arrived in Philadelphia with a streak of 58 straight games played, 62 if you count the postseason. He proceeded to start the next 144 regular-season games, plus another 17 postseason games.

His 21 career playoff starts are the most ever by an offensive tackle in NFL history and ninth overall in league history. He made the Pro Bowl in 2003.

Runyan, a Republican, has served as congressman for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district since 2011 after originally being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010.

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