Philly March Madness: (3) Brian Dawkins vs. (14) Scott Rolen

Philly March Madness: (3) Brian Dawkins vs. (14) Scott Rolen

Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition. Examine the cases of the two fine Philadelphia athletes below, and cast your vote at the bottom as to which you think should advance to the next round. And as always, feel free to explain your selection and/or debate the choices in the comments section.

(3) Brian Dawkins

Before there was Ed Reed, before there was Troy Polamalu, there was Brian Dawkins. Dawkins joined the NFL in 1996, when John Lynch and Rodney Harrison—a pair of great players in their own right—were just becoming starters, but no safety from that period was the total package like #20. All three were ferocious tacklers, yet Dawkins had superior range and a nose for the football. He could do everything—blitz, run support, hit, and cover. The Clemson grad was an instant starter, but when Jim Johnson joined the Eagles in 1999, his career took off. That first year, Dawk finished with 4 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks, and a trip to Honolulu. That line became typical over the next decade, as he appeared in eight Pro Bowls all together and was voted a first team All Pro five times. A member of the 2000s All-Decade Team, Dawk became just the tenth player ever to join the "20/20 club" for sacks and interceptions, and in one of his most famous performances, he became the only player in NFL history to record a sack, interception, forced fumble, and touchdown catch in a single game, returning a shovel pass on a fake punt 57-yards against the Texans in 2002. So much success on the field could only be overshadowed by the man's love for the fans in Philadelphia. It has been speculated if one were to cut Brian Dawkins, he would bleed midnight green. Sadly, he had to finish his illustrious career elsewhere, but the man nicknamed "Weapon-X" will always be a Philadelphia Eagle. -Kulp

(14) Scott Rolen

Once upon a time, before there were WFCs or "The Machine," there was Scott Rolen. Reaching the big leagues in 1996, Rolen was the first in a line of players who were saddled with the expectations of restoring the Phillies as one of the teams to beat in the National League. A former second-round pick, Rolen went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1997, and the following season he won his first Gold Glove, something he would soon become known for. While he was a power-hitting third baseman, Rolen wasn't as flashy at the plate as he was in the infield. He held his own at the dish, batting .282 with 150 home runs and 559 RBIs in seven seasons with the Phillies. His defense is what really turned heads though, and he would claim Gold Gloves in 2000, '01, and '02, en route to eight for his career. Some observers have even suggested he may well be the best fielding third baseman in Major League history. Unfortunately, Rolen wasn't happy with the Phillies. Only once during his tenure did the club finish above .500, and as a result he criticized management's willingness to win. Eventually he got his wish to be traded, and in the midst of the '02 season—his first year selected to appear in the All Star game—the Fightins shipped him to the Cardinals for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin, and Bud Smith. While Rolen played the prime of his career with another organization, Phillies fans have imagined Rolen back in red pinstripes from time to time, but a lengthy career here just wasn't meant to be. -Kulp

Who should advance to the next round?online surveys

Results So Far:

East Bracket:

(1) Julius Erving (91.8%) over (16) Von Hayes (8.2%)
(8) Simon Gagne (77.9%) over (9) Seth Joyner (22.1%)
(5) Eric Lindros (70.3%) over (12) Eric Allen (29.7%)
(4) Randall Cunningham (77.6%) over (13) Shane Victorino (23.4%)
(11) Cole Hamels (82.1%) over (6) Mark Recchi (17.9%)
(14) Tug McGraw (51.1%) over (3) Moses Malone (48.9%)
(7) Darren Daulton (74.0%) over (10) Andrew Toney (26.0%)
(2) Chase Utley (93.5%) over (15) Andre Waters (6.5%)

Midwest Bracket:

(1) Mark Howe (60.2%) over (16) David Akers (39.8%)
(9) Rod Brind'Amour (73.6%) over (8) Rick Tocchet (26.4%)
(5) Brian Westbrook (93.3%) over (12) Jayson Werth (6.7%)
(4) Mike Richards (85.1%) over (13) Trent Cole (14.9%)
(6) John LeClair (89.2%) over (11) Clyde Simmons (10.8%)
(3) Jimmy Rollins (75.8%) over (14) John Kruk (24.2%)

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.