The best seasons ever by Eagles 35 years old and up

As soon as he starts another game in an Eagles uniform, Jason Peters will become the oldest starter in Eagles history.

Peters, who rejoined the Eagles on Tuesday, was 37 years, 348 days old when he started at left tackle against the Seahawks in last year’s wild-card game.

That made him the 2nd-oldest starter in Eagles history, about a month younger than Hall of Famer Art Monk was in 1995 when he started his only game as an Eagle.

Here’s a look at the 10-oldest starters in Eagles history with their age on the day they made their final start as an Eagle, according to Pro Football Reference. Note that five of them – Monk, Lofton, Dent, Matson and Humphrey – are Hall of Famers:

Art Monk: 38 years, 19 days, Dec. 24, 1995, Eagles at Bears
Jason Peters: 37 years, 348 days, Jan. 5, 2020, Eagles vs. Seahawks
James Lofton: 37 years, 182 days, Jan. 3, 1994, Eagles at 49ers
Woody Peoples: 37 years, 162 days, Jan. 25, 1981, Eagles vs. Raiders [SB]
Roman Gabriel: 37 years, 58 days, Oct. 2, 1977, Eagles at Lions
Richard Dent: 37 years, 1 day, Dec. 14, 1997, Eagles at Falcons
Jeff Garcia: 36 years, 321 days, Jan. 13, 2007, Eagles at Saints
Ollie Matson: 36 years, 231 days, Dec. 18, 1966, Eagles at Washington Football Team
Chuck Bednarik: 36 years, 216 days, Dec. 3, 1961, Eagles at Steelers
Claude Humphrey: 36 years, 188 days, Jan. 3, 1981, Vikings at Eagles 

This got us wondering about the best seasons ever by Philadelphia Eagles 35 and older. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Irving Fryar, WR, 1997
Irv had the best year of his career in 1997 at the age of 35, with 86 catches, 1,316 yards and six touchdowns. He set an NFL record for most receiving yards ever by a player 35 or older, breaking the record of 1,109 set in 1991 by Drew Hill. The closest anybody has gotten since is Hall of Famer Cris Carter, another former Eagle, who had 1,274 yards in 2000. The only older Pro Bowl receiver in NFL history is Jerry Rice.

2. Chuck Bednarik, C-LB, 1960 
Bednarik made his eighth Pro Bowl in 1960 at the age of 35 and was a first-team all-pro, when he played both ways on the Eagles’ last championship team until 2017. He’s one of only 11 defensive players in NFL history to make 1st-team all-pro at 35 or older. Bednarik played two more years and in 1962 at 37 in his final season became the oldest full-time starter in franchise history.

3. Brian Dawkins, S, 2008
Dawk made his seventh and final Pro Bowl as an Eagle in 2008, when he was 35. He actually made two more as a Bronco when he was 36 and 38, but he’s the oldest defensive Pro Bowler in Eagles history. In 2008, playing much of the season as a hybrid linebacker-safety, he had three sacks, an interception, a career-high 11 tackles for loss and a career-high six forced fumbles – second-most in the league – as the Eagles reached the NFC Championship Game. 

4. Jim Ringo, C, 1967
The Hall of Famer spent most of his career with the Packers but finished his career with a Pro Bowl season for the 1967 Eagles at the age of 36. He’s the oldest position player in Eagles history to make a Pro Bowl and one of only nine centers in NFL history to make a Pro Bowl at 36 or older.

5. Jeff Garcia, QB, 2006
Garcia was 36 years, 323 days old when he made his last start as an Eagle, which made him about 7 1/2 months older than Roman Gabriel was in 1976 and made Garcia the oldest starting quarterback in Eagles history. Garcia went 5-1 with 10 TDs and 2 INTs and a 95.8 passer rating in place of injured Donovan McNabb down the stretch in 2006 and then became the oldest QB in Eagles history to win a playoff game when the Eagles beat the Giants in a wild-card game. Norm Van Brocklin had held that record when he won the 1960 NFL Championship Game at 34.

6. Bill Bergey, LB, 1980
Bergey had an outstanding final NFL season in 1980, starting all 16 games at 35 years playing linebacker for the No. 1 defense in the NFL and a team that went to the Super Bowl. Bergey and Chuck Bednarik are the only linebackers in Eagles history to start after their 35th birthday.

7. Pete Retzlaff, TE, 1966
He was 34 when he made his last Pro Bowl, but Retzlaff still had a pretty good year in 1966, his final year in the NFL. He caught 40 passes for 653 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games, leading the Eagles in all three categories and finishing among the top six tight ends in football in all three categories. To this day, only three tight ends have had more receiving yard in a season at 35 or older – Tony Gonzalez three times and Ben Watson and Shannon Sharpe once.

8. David Akers, PK, 2009
Akers made 32 of 37 field goals at 35 years old in 2009 and 32 of 38 a year later, making the Pro Bowl both years. He also made a Pro Bowl with the 49ers at 37 and is one of 23 players in NFL history to make three Pro Bowls after his 35th birthday. The 143 points he scored in 2010, his last year with the Eagles, are 7th-most in NFL history by a player 35 or over.

9. Bob Howard, CB, 1979
Howard spent the last two seasons of a 13-year career with the Eagles, and in his final season he had three interceptions, making him the oldest player in franchise history with three or more INTs in a season. 

10. Donnie Jones, P, 2017
At 35, Jones had a brilliant year during the Super Bowl season, averaging 45.3 yards per punt with a net of 40.6, which is 5th-best in franchise history, along with 21 punts inside the 20. 

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The best seasons ever by Eagles 35 years old and up originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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