Former Eagles star, Hall of Fame inductee Brian Dawkins reveals that he contemplated suicide

Tom Schad
Former Eagle Brian Dawkins will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Hall of Fame inductee Brian Dawkins says he dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts early in his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In excerpts of an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia that were published Monday, the longtime Eagle said he struggled to balance his responsibilities in the NFL with his roles as a new father and husband. He told the outlet that he felt pressured in various aspects of his life, which led to outbursts of anger.

Dawkins also said he began to drink to escape his pain, using alcohol as a "crutch."

"I just wanted to be in a dark room by myself with nobody," Dawkins told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "My faith back then wasn't that strong, so I listened to the other voice in my head, and that's where suicidal thoughts came in, and then actually planning out how I would go about it in such a way that (my wife) Connie and my son would get the money from my insurance policy."

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Dawkins, 44, racked up 895 tackles and 27 interceptions over the course of his 16-year career, which included 13 years in Philadelphia and three with the Denver Broncos. He retired after the 2011 season and will be one of eight members of the 2018 Hall of Fame class that will be inducted Saturday.

Dawkins credited his wife with helping pull him out of the depression and sparking his NFL success. He told NBC Sports Philadelphia that he started seeing a psychiatrist and taking anti-depression medication, in addition to leaning on his faith.

"Giving my life over to the Lord completely helped me go on to become the athlete I became and the person I became," Dawkins told the news outlet.

Contact Tom Schad at or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.