You know as the GM was checking out last night’s Sunday Night Football game between the G-Unit and the Eagles something struck me…I noticed something from my childhood resurface, what was it? It was the wings. Yes the wings on the helmet of Philly players. These wings stand out in my mind due to one man, Randall Cunningham.
As my mind started to drift back to the better days of a misspent youth, I started to see the flashes of a young and exuberant Randall Cunningham, one of the pioneers of good African American scrambling QB’s. So as I saw the replays in my head I had to ask myself, If I were an Eagles fan (which I’m not) which of the two would I choose in a conference championship game to lead Philly to the Super Bowl, Cunningham or McNabb?
Both quarterbacks are very similar yet they both clearly define different eras in Eagle history. So Cunningham vs. McNabb? That is a tough one. So I decided to take these two quarterbacks at the height of their careers and see how they compared.
Let’s start with McNabb. In his best season to date (2004) his sixth year, McNabb posted a QB rating of 104.7 as he led the Eagles to a 13-3 regular season record. Over the season McNabb racked up 3,875 yards with his arm and 220 yards on the ground with his feet.
In McNabb’s best year on the ground (2000) he rushed for 629 yards. The year of 2004 saw McNabb throw 31 TD’s and 8 int’s. McNabb completed 300 of 469 attempts that year. (Also note worthy; this is the year that McNabb led Philly to the Super Bowl in a losing effort as they fell 3 points short to NE that year.)
As for Cunningham, the scrambling pioneer, his best season was 1990. At that time he ALSO was in his sixth year for the Eagles. His passer rating that year was a good bit under McNabb’s as he posted a 91.6 on the year. He threw for 3,466 yards (Yes that is 409 less than McNabb) and along the way he accumulated 30 TD’s and 13 Int’s.
McNabb had one more TD and five less int’s. The mind blowing stat for me though was this; in that same year where Cunningham posted his best QB numbers (as an Eagle) he flat out killed it on the ground. The guy rushed for 942 yards, simply amazing. Sadly, the Eagles would finish 2nd in the division in 1990, losing to the Redskins 20–6 in the wild card game.
In conclusion, McNabb has led Philly further with his Super Bowl loss than Cunningham ever had. At best, Cunningham was only able to make Philly division champs once to McNabb’s five division titles.
Overall, McNabb has thrown more TD’s with fewer interceptions than Cunningham. However, Cunningham remains the better rusher while pioneering a modern era revolution at the QB position. It’s also worth noting that BOTH guys rushing abilities took drastic dives after some time in the league (five years for Donovan, seven for Randall).
Randall also posted six seasons were he rushed for over at least 500 yards, McNabb has done that only once. McNabb is the better passer, while Cunningham was the better rusher with a greater threat to break the pocket. In the end, McNabb is a better winner. Sorry Randall…I still have the memories. Man you were good! Holla.
-GM of the Year