April 12, 2015

Highlighted Year: Eric Allen, 1989

Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles

Age: 24 (Nov. 22)
2nd season in pro football & with Eagles
College: Arizona State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 188

An outstanding cover cornerback in college, Allen intercepted a total of 15 passes and was an All-Pac 10 selection in 1987. Having caught the eye of Philadelphia’s Head Coach Buddy Ryan, the Eagles traded up nine spots in the second round to draft him in ’88 and he moved directly into the starting lineup as a rookie. Allen intercepted five passes for a team that ranked second in the NFL with 32.

1989 Season Summary
Appeared in 15 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 8 [2, tied with David Fulcher, 1st in NFC]
Most interceptions, game – 1 on eight occasions
Int. return yards – 38
Most int. return yards, game – 18 (on 1 int.) at San Diego 11/5
Int. TDs – 0
Sacks – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 0
Tackles – 48

Missed playoff game due to injury

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, Pro Football Weekly
2nd team All-NFL: NEA
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Eagles went 11-5 to finish second in the NFC East and qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card entry while leading the NFL in interceptions (30) and placing second in sacks (62). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to Los Angeles Rams (21-7).

Allen spent another five seasons with the Eagles, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after four of them. He was part of a defensive unit in 1991 that was best overall and against the run and the pass individually. In ’93 he intercepted six passes and returned them for a league-leading 201 yards and four touchdowns, which highlighted his ability to make big plays as well as provide excellent coverage. He followed the exodus of defensive stars out of Philadelphia, signing with New Orleans as a free agent in 1995 and achieving one last Pro Bowl selection. With his skills declining, he got by on savvy and played two more years with the Saints before moving on to the Oakland Raiders in 1998. Allen missed time with a knee injury but also had six interceptions in 2000, returning three of them for touchdowns. He retired following the 2001 season, having intercepted 54 passes that he returned for 826 yards and 8 TDs. 34 of those pickoffs, for 482 yards and 5 scores, came with the Eagles, making him one of the franchise’s career co-leaders in interceptions. Allen received consensus first-team All-NFL honors once and was an All-NFC choice on two other occasions, achieving selection to the Pro Bowl six times.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970