I'm not alarmed by the departure of Brian Dawkins.
There were complaints similar to the ones circulating now when the team released Jeremiah Trotter in 2007. Trotter was a step slower and the team knew it before all the fans and media it surprised by letting him go. Trotter left a significant leadership void for the Eagles, which allowed Dawkins to step into that role more fully. Who will fill Dawkins' shoes, though, may be the biggest question.
Dawkins, who can still lay the big hit, definitely wasn't the same coverage safety this season as he had been in the past. With the signing of Joselio Hansen, the team was also free to trade Lito Sheppard for some picks, which is exciting considering the way this organization finds franchise players on draft day.
Just as Stewart Bradley and Co. have filled in well for Trotter, so will Quintin Demps* for Dawkins.
*Joining free safety Demps is strong safety Quintin Demps. Has any team in the history of the NFL had two players with the same oddly-spelled first name playing together at safety?
If Demps retains the top spot on the depth chart at FS, someone else will be getting more return opportunities. If DeSean Jackson is expected to play a bigger role at receiver, he should probably be weened off the return game as well except for big situations.