Donovan McNabb Says He's a HOFer: “My Numbers Are Better Than Troy Aikman”

Rob BrownCorrespondent IApril 19, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Donovan McNabb is a free agent after demanding his release from the Vikings last season. However, that hasn’t stopped him from making comments to keep him in the headlines.

A few weeks ago, McNabb appeared on ESPN’s First Take and created a firestorm by criticizing Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and his ability to coach quarterbacks. He continued to state that RGIII wouldn’t fit the scheme and that Shanahan’s history with a signal caller not-named-Elway wasn’t a good one.

During an appearance on the interview Barfly, McNabb stated that he saw himself as a hall of famer and compared himself to some past greats to make his point. When asked if he would vote for himself for the Hall of Fame, McNabb responded this way:

Absolutely. One thing that people don’t realize [is] I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it. I played the game to win. I’m a competitor. When I step out on that field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field. ... I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest of my career. And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame, and I played with probably two or three other Hall of Famers.

Many will cite the fact that McNabb has never won the big one during his career which included being an Eagle for 11 seasons. He did lead Philadelphia to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl, but never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

Peyton never won the big game until he won the Super Bowl finally. Dan Marino never won the big game. But does that mean his career is a failure?

No, not at all," McNabb said. "And a lot of times, if we want to sit and look at the numbers for certain players, then we need to look at numbers for all of them.

When we want to sit and look at numbers—because that’s what it is when it comes to the Hall of Fame—my numbers are better than Jim Kelly, better than Troy Aikman, better than a lot of the guys who are in the Hall of Fame. But one thing they do have is a Super Bowl.

He does have a point—his statistics are better than those of Aikman and Kelly, but does that make him a hall of famer by default? Remember, it took Art Monk YEARS of being snubbed while guys like Michael Irvin leap frogged him into Canton.

But let’s not act like McNabb’s stats are the whole story. A lot of the Philadelphia offense ran through the screen pass to Brian Westbrook, but I doubt McNabb will acknowledge that.

Westbrook caught 426 passes in Philadelphia, and although you know that all of them weren’t from screen passes or dump passes, a lot of them were. If you take those passes out of McNabb’s stats, his completion percentage drops from 59% to a staggering 51%.

To be fair, if you take Irvin away from Aikman, or Reed from Kelly I’m sure their numbers drop too. But the point is that McNabb’s game was completely different than the quarterbacks that he is comparing to.

The thing that you have to be careful when comparing eras is that the game is different. Even though Kelly and Aikman didn’t play too long ago, their teams focused on the balance between running and passing the ball. Thurman Thomas and Emmitt Smith ran the ball more often than Westbrook.

Is McNabb a hall of famer, he may get in one day. Should he be running his mouth and comparing himself to ‘90s greats? No.


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