PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, the anchors of an offensive line that helped the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl berth, will be entering the team’s Hall of Fame this season. The Eagles said Thursday night the two linemen will be inducted on Oct. 14 before the team’s 8:20 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers at Lincoln Financial Field.
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“Building a strong offensive line may not generate all the headlines, and those players aren’t the ones who are going to score touchdowns and gain a lot of attention, but it’s absolutely essential to success in the NFL,” Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a video posted on Twitter. “And it’s something that we have always valued with the Philadelphia Eagles, using our first-round selection in the 1998 NFL draft on Tra Thomas and then in 2000 making Jon Runyan a free-agent priority, provided the bookends to our offensive line and gave us the foundation for an offense that helped us reach five NFC Championships games and one Super Bowl through the 2008 season.”
The Eagles drafted Thomas with the 11th overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft, and the tackle went on to spend 11 of his 12 seasons in the league with the Birds. Thomas was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Eagles and played in 166 games — second most every by an O-lineman in franchise history.READ MORE: Official First-Edition Printed Copy Of U.S. Constitution Set To Go Up For Auction
Runyan joined the Eagles in 2000 as a free-agent signing. A fourth-round pick by the Houston Oilers in 1996, Runyan started all 144 games he played with the Birds, which still stands as the fifth-best consecutive games played streak in franchise history.
The duo started a franchise record 134 regular-season games together from 2000 to 2008, a stretch that saw the Eagles make the playoffs seven times, win the NFC East five times, appear in five NFC Championship Games, and a Super Bowl appearance.
Lurie, in a statement announcing the inductees, said Thomas and Runyan gave the Eagles “every bit of confidence to execute the brand of offensive football we wanted.”
“Both durable and consistent, they were perfect complements to each other and gave us a tremendous advantage on the edges. Tra brought incredible athleticism and technical dominance, while Jon gave us the power and nasty disposition we needed,” Lurie said. “They will join the other Eagles greats in quite fitting fashion as they are inducted together at halftime of our game against Tampa Bay.”
Thomas now runs his own business Pinto’s Palette in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He previously served as an offensive assistant on the Birds’ coaching staff in 2013-14.MORE NEWS: COVID Outbreak At Robbinsville High School Cancels In-Person Classes For A Week
Runyan represented New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district from 2011 to 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives and now serves as the vice president of policy and rules administration for the NFL.