Thursday, December 21, 2006

Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb will be a
Cowboys fan on Christmas Day.

Bruised, bloodied, and beaten, a limping Donovan McNabb will be an observer Monday night as his Philadelphia Eagles match football wits with the division rival Dallas Cowboys. There will be no sympathy for the man when the cameras pan to him, however, as Philadelphia has McNabb one swift kick from the doorstep.

While Jeff Garcia has been a godsent fill-in for the Eagles since McNabb's ACL tear against the Tennessee Titans on November 19, McNabb has reason to feel otherwise. The Philadelphia radio and television circuits are brimming with ultimatums for the Campbell's soup icon, and the armchair general managers -- the fans -- have been asking if it's feasible to keep Garcia as the starting quarterback next season.

Don't count on it. The hypothesis, though, says a lot about how professional and amateur critics alike agree that, despite winning the Wild Card in 2000, reaching the NFC Championship game every year from 2001-2004, and reaching the Super Bowl in 2005, McNabb's window is closing. Injuries in three out of the last five seasons -- including the last two -- and an apparent inability to perform in the clutch is making him more and more expendable every minute he is not on the field.

That is why McNabb will be rooting for the Dallas Cowboys -- secretly -- on Monday. McNabb's logic is "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Jeff Garcia is a threat to everything McNabb had locked up since 2000: job security, the respect of his teammates, and the fans' idolatry. If Garcia has another outstanding game against the Cowboys and the Eagles win, the water creeps up even further to McNabb's neck.

The Eagles will most likely have a mid-level draft pick in the 2007 NFL draft, and they may use it to draft a quarterback if they feel McNabb is not their future two or three years down the line. While the likes of Brady Quinn and Troy Smith are destined to be taken in the top-ten, someone like Houston's Kevin Kolb or Iowa's Drew Tate could drop into the Eagle's periphery.

Unfortunately for McNabb, he has no control over his destiny. Like Bobby Abreu, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies, the fans can boo McNabb's way out of town.

McNabb will be rooting for Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys, believe it or not. There's always room for one more at Texas Stadium.