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Donovan McNabb: If Your Team Needed a Quarterback, Would You Want Him?

Billy DeCostaCorrespondent INovember 28, 2008

Donovan McNabb has been slammed a lot lately.

Before his comeback game last night, the five-time Pro Bowler had been harshly ridiculed for not knowing the NFL tie rule. He had thrown one touchdown to five interceptions, completed only 46 percent of his passes and had a dismal average quarterback rating of 32.1 in only a two-game span.

He was even benched at halftime of their blow-out at the hands of Baltimore.

The Philadelphia media was all over him. There was major talk about both McNabb and coach Andy Reid being gone at the end of the season. They said he had overstayed his welcome in Philly and it was time for a new direction.

But what if your team needed a quarterback? Would you want Donovan McNabb?

This question is purely hypothetical. It's not meant for any current examples. If you are a Lions fan, Donovan McNabb would obviously be a blessing.

But if you were starting a franchise today and had your pick at any NFL quarterback, would Donovan McNabb be at or near the top of your list? Would he be in your top five, right under Tom Brady and Peyton Manning?

Surely, he would be in mine.

I often wonder, even though I know the nature of sports fans in Philly, why they are under-appreciative of McNabb. He's a five-time Pro Bowler. He's led his team to three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl that he nearly won.

He's a special talent. Even after injuries, he's a dual-threat quarterback who would rather pass than run. That's rare in this league. He puts up big numbers. Even though he could change this stat this season, he's never thrown more than 13 interceptions in a season.

He's got a strong, accurate arm and a quick release. He's been one of the top quarterbacks in the league for seven of eight years. He's been riddled with injuries, but plays through pain whenever possible. And not been riddled enough to stop him from being an elite passer in the league.

Who else could be on that list, fighting with him for a spot? Obviously, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are right at the top of everybody's wish list. But after that, things get hazy.

Forget about age. Bring into consideration the system that the player plays in.

For example, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees are having incredible statistical years. But, their consistent 300-yard games are more a product of their offensive scheme than their pure raw talent.

So, Brees will still be up there. Tony Romo is becoming a superstar in the game. Eli Manning has proven himself to be a elite quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is a tough-brewed winner. Brett Favre, even at 39 years old, is still in the debate.

Cases could even be made for Phillip Rivers, Jay Cutler, or Carson Palmer.

But McNabb has been is right up there with the best. He brings so much to the table and he's proven to be a consistently elite quarterback.

And while I raise that point for debate, I'm also trying to make a point.

For at least the two seasons, there's been so much talk about Philadelphia considering getting rid of Donovan McNabb. At times, it's even seemed like he's being pushed out the door.

But what's the rush? He has been everything Philly wanted out of him when they drafted him 10 years ago. Now, he's still performing at a high level. Why would you want to get rid of your franchise player?

Ride out the rest of McNabb's contract. They have a talented team in Philadelphia. If they can just get a few more pieces to the puzzle, Donovan McNabb can lead them to another Super Bowl.

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