Philadelphia Eagles: All-Time Top 5 Quarterbacks
The Philadelphia Eagles have a long history, and with a long history in the NFL comes a lot of quarterbacks. The Eagles have had many talented signal-callers play for them, but there are definitely those who stand above the rest.
These next five quarterbacks are the all-time best at the position for the Philadelphia Eagles franchise, based on a combination of pure stats, regular season wins and postseason wins. These five men stood a cut above the rest of all the other quarterbacks who called the Eagles their team.
Feel free to comment once you've read the article on players you think were left off the list or if you disagree with the order they're in.
Honorable Mention: Sonny Jurgensen
Photo from profootballhof.com
Sonny Jurgensen was a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, and enjoyed three successful seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles after taking over as starter for the 1961 season.
During those three years he passed for over 8,000 yards, threw 65 touchdowns and led the Eagles to a 15-19-2 record, headlined by a 10-4 season in which he passed for over 3,700 yards and tossed 32 touchdowns.
Jurgensen doesn't make my top five because he only started three seasons for the Eagles before being traded to the Washington Redskins, where he continued to enjoy a Hall of Fame career for several seasons. Had he played a few more seasons for the Eagles, there's a good chance he'd have found his way into the top five.
5. Ron Jaworski
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Ron Jaworski, known as "Jaws," comes in at fifth on the Eagles' all-time QB list. The former Monday Night Football commentator enjoyed a 10-year run with the Eagles, during which he set the then-franchise record for touchdowns with 170.
Jaws led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 69-67-1 record during his tenure, along with a 4-4 record in the postseason. He passed for over 26,000 yards and was remarkably durable during his career, starting all 16 games in five different seasons.
Jaws had a good career as an Eagle, but his legacy will always be losing to the Oakland Raiders in the team's first Super Bowl appearance. That loss made the Eagles the first team to lose in the Super Bowl to a wild-card team, and aside from the very next season it marked the end of Jaws winning in Philadelphia.
Downturn of his career aside, Jaws led the Eagles to a lot of wins and remains one of two quarterbacks to lead Philadelphia to a Super Bowl. Even though he never won them a title, his career puts him on the all-time great list of Eagles quarterbacks.
4. Randall Cunningham
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Randall Cunningham is best remembered for his ability as a running quarterback, but his numbers across the board are impressive and he had a great career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Cunningham's 11-year career as an Eagle was highlighted by a record of 63-43-1. He passed for over 22,000 yards with a solid 150-to-105 touchdown to interception ratio. Adding that to over 4,000 yards rushing, 32 rushing touchdowns and a yards-per-carry average of 5.5, Cunningham was the definition of a dual-threat quarterback.
Possibly more impressive than any of those numbers was his 91-yard punt, which remains an Eagles record for longest punt and an awesome accomplishment, even if it was helped by a few bounces.
The black mark on Cunningham's tenure as an Eagle was a below-average playoff record of 3-6. Still, Cunningham helped pull the Eagles out of a tradition of losing by leading them to a playoff win in 1992 that ended a 12-year drought.
3. Norm Van Brocklin
Photo from profootballhof.com
Norm Van Brocklin was already established as one of the best quarterbacks of his era before being traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles, having won a NFL championship and led the league in passing yards three times.
Van Brocklin, also known as "The Dutchman," only played three seasons for the Eagles from 1958 to 1960. He only passed for a little over 7,000 yards and had a modest touchdown to interception ratio of 55-to-51.
But Van Brocklin will always be remembered in Philadelphia for the 1960 season, when he led the Eagles to a 10-2 season. He continued his regular season success into the postseason by beating the Vince Lombardi-led Packers in the NFL Championship Game, becoming the only starting quarterback to defeat a Lombardi Packers team in the playoffs.
Van Brocklin's championship remains the most recent one for the Eagles, and that cements him among the greatest Eagles quarterbacks of all time.
2. Tommy Thompson
Tommy Thompson's NFL Championship ring, from profootballhof.com
Tommy Thompson played for the Eagles from 1941 to 1950 after being traded from Pittsburgh.
His statistics weren't that impressive, as he only managed a little over 10,000 yards in eight seasons (he missed 1943 and 1944 because he served in the Army during World War II). He threw 100 interceptions to just 90 touchdowns, and had a completion percentage barely over 50 percent.
He was also blind in one eye due to a childhood accident.
But Thompson's career will be remembered for his work in the playoffs. He won two NFL Championships with the Eagles in '48 and '49, while losing the 1947 title game. He won those games in terrible weather conditions by not making mistakes when it mattered, something that has haunted the Eagles ever since.
While his numbers were not impressive, and it could be argued Thompson was nothing more than a game manager, he still won two titles for Philadelphia in games where the quarterback could have easily cost his team the game due to inclement weather,
And he did all of this seeing out of only one eye.
1. Donovan McNabb
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Donovan McNabb has the title of most-criticized quarterback in Philadelphia Eagles history, and most would agree he'd be in the running of most criticized athlete to play in Philadelphia. From being booed on draft day to constantly having his mental toughness questioned, McNabb faced tons of pressure from the fans on a constant basis.
He also put together a Hall of Fame career during his 11 seasons as an Eagle.
McNabb's reign as the Eagles' starting QB was defined by a 92-49-1 record along with a postseason record of 9-7. He led Philadelphia to a stretch of four straight NFC Championship Games, five total, and a Super Bowl appearance where the Eagles lost by a field goal.
As an Eagle, McNabb passed for over 32,000 yards, threw 215 touchdowns to only 100 interceptions and ran for 3,000 yards and another 28 touchdowns.
He accomplished much of this without a true No. 1 receiver, relying on players such as Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell aside from his one full season with Terrell Owens.
Despite never bringing a title to Philadelphia, McNabb should be remembered as the best quarterback for the Eagles of all time.