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No winners or losers in Terrell Owens-Donovan McNabb debate

No winners or losers in Terrell Owens-Donovan McNabb debate

No matter your opinion on Terrell Owens being left out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we can agree he’s done nothing to help his own cause. Going on television wearing a counterfeit gold jacket with his accomplishments printed on the back makes a mockery of everybody involved, and his incessant whining won’t garner sympathy from members of the selection committee, either.

At least the Hall of Fame is a battle he can theoretically win. Given enough time, Owens should get in – that is, if he ever gives it a rest, and probably even if he doesn’t. Where Owens will never be able to claim a victory is his feud with Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, no matter how much of the public is on the wide receiver’s side.

Owens spent over seven minutes regurgitating his side of the McNabb-Eagles soap opera in his latest tell-all with busybodies Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Wednesday. This past January, it was 97.5 The Fanatic promoting more of the same sob stories we’ve been hearing since 2005. Nothing changes. Owens is justified in all of his reactions and behaviors, and he’s all too eager to explain why.

For the record, I’ve always maintained he was wrong about his contract dispute with the Eagles. Owens complained he was underpaid in ’05 and the club could get out of the deal the following year. The contract did pay a low base salary for that season, but made him among the highest-paid receivers in the NFL over the first two years on average, and there was no reason for the Eagles not to honor it as long as he was performing and focused. Maybe Owens feared frequent tiffs with McNabb would be reason enough for the front office to cut bait. Then again, maybe Owens could have simply bit his tongue, too.

But, in all honesty, who really cares who was right or wrong at this point? That was 12 years ago. Whatever Owens’ issues – business with the Eagles, personal with McNabb – nothing is gained by debating them any further. If you disagree with my assessment of the situation, fine. There are far more relevant topics to debate.

Yet, Owens is always going be on the losing end of any argument he finds himself because of his inability to be the bigger man. He may have overmatched defensive backs in the NFL and muscled his way out of Philadelphia back in the day, but in 2017, Owens comes off small when talking about the past.

Want to impress Hall of Fame voters? Try this gimmick on for size: Instead of seizing every opportunity to air dirty laundry with McNabb or the Eagles, simply say that chapter is closed and you wish everything would have turned out different. It’s not an admission guilt of wrongdoing, or even burying the hatchet, but it’s not pointing the finger and making excuses, either.

Until Owens learns to do that, he will lose every fight he’s in until the end of time.

Which is not to say McNabb or the Eagles won with Owens. Nobody did. Not the quarterback, not the team, not the head coach, not the front office, not the franchise, not the fans. Nobody. Had McNabb been able to make nice with Owens for a few years longer, he would’ve posted numbers that make him a lock for the Hall as well. If the Eagles had only found a way to placate Owens, they may have won a Super Bowl or two.

Instead, everybody came away scarred and with nothing to show from the debacle. That’s true no matter whose “side” you take, which is why Owens needs to stop trying to play defense.

Every time Owens attempts to delegitimize the Hall and the people involved with the process, he puts himself further away from Canton. Every time he makes an excuse for what transpired with McNabb and the Eagles, it accomplishes nothing – only to serve as a reminder of what could have been, as well as an example of why Owens finds himself in this predicament in the first place.

The Giants targeted Eagles CB Jalen Mills a historic amount

The Giants targeted Eagles CB Jalen Mills a historic amount

If it felt as though Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was involved in every other play against the Giants on Sunday, well, that’s actually not too far off.

We knew Mills saw a lot of action. He was shadowing Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for most of the afternoon, which is usually a sure sign a lot of footballs are going to come your way. One look at the box score can tell you Mills finished with a game-high 12 tackles.

That only tells part of the story. The Giants went after Mills so much, it made history.

Mills was targeted 21 times in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus — the highest number any cornerback has faced in over 10 years. PFF’s numbers only date back to 2006, but even if it’s only the most in the last decade, and not all-time, that’s still saying something in the increasingly pass-happy NFL.

To put that in perspective, Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw 47 passes total, so nearly half went to Mills’ man.

And how did Mills fare? Predictably, it was a mixed bag. Manning completed 71.4 percent of those attempts for 119 yards. Thirteen of those targets alone were for Beckham, who finished with nine receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

When you put it like that, it sounds bad. However, the Eagles — Mills included — were playing a lot of off-man coverage and conceding routes underneath. So while Mills allowed a high volume of completions, those plays only amounted to 5.7 yards per attempt.

Granted, Beckham found the end zone twice. More often than not, Mills was limiting Giants receivers to short gains. In fact, the longest completion the second-year defensive back allowed went for 14 yards, as well as only 23 total yards after the catch.

"Besides those (two touchdowns), you always want them back in the red zone," Beckham said. "Both were contested. Both were short. For the most part of the game, I think I played pretty well."

PFF described it as “death by a thousand paper cuts,” but it wasn’t Mills’ death at all. All things considered, he did pretty much what the banged-up Eagles defense needed him to do to secure a victory.

Giants WR Brandon Marshall allegedly spit on Eagles fan

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USA Today Images

Giants WR Brandon Marshall allegedly spit on Eagles fan

Odell Beckham Jr. pretended to urinate on the Eagles’ home field, but it was Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall who may have crossed the line with his use of bodily fluids Sunday.

A video shows the unidentified Eagles fan accuse Marshall of spitting on him amid a heated verbal exchange during pregame warmups. It’s unclear what compelled a six-time Pro Bowl selection to have words with some guy wearing a Randall Cunningham throwback jersey, but if Marshall did spit, it was after he was repeatedly challenged to a fight.

There is no visual confirmation as to whether Marshall spit on the man, either, as the footage appears to be shot on the first smartphone ever made. Marshall’s head does make a forward motion as if he were spitting. Then again, some people just have trouble controlling their saliva when they’re yelling, too, leaving open the small-percentage chance this was accidental spittle.

You be the judge.

Spit or not spit, it will be interesting to see if the Eagles and Lincoln Financial Field rethink their policy on allowing fans on the field before certain games after this little — ahem — spat.

(h/t Sporting News)