Donovan McNabb: The Least Respected Quarterback in Football

David MitchellCorrespondent IApril 5, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He should be Dan Marino. To the Philadelphia Eagles, at least, he should be.

He should be Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton, Warren Moon or Dan Fouts. As the greatest statistical quarterback in Eagles history, Donovan McNabb should stack up with any of these Lombardi-less football legends.

Instead, he's Rodney Dangerfield—a resumé full of records and still no respect. After 11 dedicated seasons to the Eagles, McNabb was cast off to the division-rival Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Studying McNabb's accomplishments is like thumbing through the Kama Sutra—just when you think you know them all, you find a new one that's more exciting than the last.

He holds franchise records in wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and Chunky Soup commercials. He also lead the team to four consecutive division championships, five NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance.

The only blemish on his record is that unoccupied ring finger. Apparently all this gets you is a congratulatory pat on the back and a Philadelphia boot in your ass.

The funny—and, perhaps, most baffling—thing is that this isn't the first time McNabb's name was tossed around the rumor mill. There hasn't been a quiet off-season in three or four years despite his unrelenting work ethic and loyalty to the team that drafted him. And every time, I've said the same thing.

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Why in hell would they trade this guy?

While some 40-something prima donnas can go through a series of down years and still expect the team to wait and hang its entire future on the straps of his Wranglers, McNabb quietly put together a Hall-of-Fame career.

Win or lose, he worked harder than any player on either sideline.

Some players give up on broken plays. McNabb scrambles for 14 seconds like he's playing freeze tag before chunking a completion down the field.

Sure there's the money issue. I understand that. I understand that McNabb was due a hefty roster bonus and would have taken up a big chunk of the Eagles' salary cap.

But at some point, hasn't a player earned the right to go out on his own terms? Hasn't a player earned that extra zero? After all, the Eagles did make a hell of a lot more than that off of him.

Hasn't McNabb earned the right to go down in Eagles history as the greatest quarterback to ever don the wing on his helmet?

The answer to each of these questions is unequivocally "yes". And yet, I get the feeling that at the end of the day, he is still moderately forgotten by a fanbase that should be kissing the ground he walks on.

I get the feeling that he's still sitting at home brooding over the turn of events and thinking that same phrase that was uttered so many times by Dangerfield.

I get no respect...