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Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance. (AP)
MCNABB'S FRANCHISE RECORDS
1. All-time leader in passing yards - 32,873
2. All-time leader in touchdown passes - 216
3. All-time leader in games played at QB - 148
4. All-time leader in completions - 2,801
5. All-time leader in wins at QB - 92
It gives me great pleasure to pen this article about Donovan J. McNabb, the greatest quarterback in Eagles history.
Yep, unequivocal and unparalleled. That’s right, booed on draft day, first-quarter worm balls, Super Bowl upchucking, No. 5 is congruent with the best Birds QB ever.
We all know the statistical facts -- they are unmatched by Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham or any of your other Eagles favorites throughout history. You can try and name a guy who was better, but respectfully, you would be wrong.
No, McNabb didn’t win the Super Bowl. No Eagles quarterback has ever done that. But he’s been more vilified for all the things he hasn’t done than appreciated for what he has accomplished. Such is life in many ways. The only other thing he didn’t win, (other than the Big One) while here in Philly is the popularity contest.
So many people speak so strongly about what McNabb wasn’t during his time in midnight green. How underwhelming he was in key situations. Yes, his oddly-timed goofball moments and inconsistencies under center were frustrating.
However, what McNabb naysayers are quick to forget is the state of the franchise before No. 5 arrived in 1999. How does a 1998 QB medley of Bobby Hoying, Koy Detmer and Rodney Peete sound? About as appetizing as a bowl of moldy mashed potatoes.
Please don’t forget the guys McNabb was throwing the ball to when he was in his prime. Sheesh. You could put together a full list of Mr. Irrelevants with McNabb’s wideouts from 1999-2010. I’ll even give you Terrell Owens, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but here are the other guys: Todd Pinkston, Greg Lewis, Na Brown, Brian Finneran, Torrance Small, Freddie Mitchell, James Thrash. Need more? Remember Antonio Freeman, Dameane Douglas and Reggie Brown? Good, me neither. Check that, I think I would just rather forget. You can’t call that hodgepodge of “talent” a viable receiving corps. Tight end Chad Lewis was probably McNabb's second-most reliable target in a career which spanned more than a decade on South Broad Street.
McNabb will become the ninth Eagle to have his number retired by the team in a Sept. 19 ceremony at Lincoln Financial Field. Nearly 100 victories -- 92 to be exact -- 32,873 passing yards and 216 touchdown passes -- it will take one heck of a quarterback to come to Philly and surpass those numbers.
No. 5 continued to take the high road at his retirement announcement on Monday, opting to apologize for the promise to bring a parade down Broad Street, but never delivering.
Perhaps his most poignant moment Monday came toward the latter half of his press conference when he said, “Let’s put the booing to rest. That was back in ‘99.”
You’re right, Donovan. Let’s finally put that to rest.