Donovan McNabb Deserves to Have His Number Retired by the Philadelphia Eagles


Boy, talk about a story that shouldn’t drum up any controversy but somehow has.

Donovan McNabb is quite simply one of the best quarterbacks to play in the last twenty years. His resume speaks for itself, but somehow, I don’t think many fans realize or take the time to look at where he stands next to some of the all-time greats.

McNabb currently sits at No. 17 all-time in terms of career passing yards. He’s ahead of names like Jim Kelly, Phil Simms, Troy Aikman and Randall Cunningham. He’s also No. 22 all-time for touchdown passes — ahead of Steve Young and Bob Griese. If that’s not enough to make his case, his career passer rating is 24th in the history of the league, ahead of Jim Kelly, Roger Staubach, Len Dawson, Troy Aikman and Warren Moon.

It seems like the only knock on McNabb is the lack of a Super Bowl win. That said, when did winning a Super Bowl become criteria for having your jersey retired? Warren Moon and Jim Kelly had their numbers retired without winning Super Bowls.

The Philadelphia Eagles currently have eight retired numbers. Of those eight, five of them are in honor of players who were a part of their three World Championships in 1948, 1949 and 1960. The other three are from the modern era: Reggie White, Jerome Brown and Brian Dawkins.

Dawkins and McNabb were the faces of the franchise during the last decade. It just doesn’t make sense to retire one and not the other, especially given the fact that none of the eight retired numbers belongs to a quarterback. McNabb, no matter how you measure or what grading rubric you use, is the greatest quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise.

McNabb was booed on the day he was drafted and booed throughout his career in Philadelphia. Through it all, he was the catalyst for the most successful period in Eagles history during the Super Bowl era.

It is my hope that McNabb’s No. 5 jersey is retired in Philadelphia during the 2013 season. I think Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie should and will get that done, resulting once and for all in a standing ovation for McNabb that he never got and so rightly deserved during his career in Philadelphia.

BY J.P. SCOTT ON MAY 17, 2013



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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to and Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

2 thoughts on “Donovan McNabb Deserves to Have His Number Retired by the Philadelphia Eagles

  1. Adam
    May 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm


  2. Brandon
    May 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm