October 24, 2011
Outside looking in
Donovan McNabb looked to be a surefire Hall of Famer in his Eagles heyday, but as his career unceremoniously has wound down, so have his chances. Using McNabb's stats as the barometer becomes a Rorschach test — is he of the caliber of Steve McNair, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, Randall Cunningham and Steve Grogan, or is he with Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Joe Montana?
The numbers say he's among both. The difference between the groups? Each member of the latter has a Super Bowl ring and, perhaps coincidentally, a bust in Canton. McNabb, despite six Pro Bowls and three NFC championships, never has won a Super Bowl, and that's why he'll have to buy his golden jacket at the department store.
Time will tell
It's too early to say if Donovan McNabb is a Hall of Famer. He's not done playing. McNabb is 34 years old. It's not uncommon for top quarterbacks to play into their late 30s with success. He will merit consideration because he has won more games than all but 13 quarterbacks and he ranks fourth all time in touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Even if McNabb never plays again, it's still early to determine if he's Hall worthy. There is a reason there is a five year "cooling off" period before players are eligible for the Hall of Fame. It takes time to assess a player's career in terms of how it measures up with the careers of others. A player's accomplishments need to stand for a while before he can be measured.
He's not worthy
The Morning Call
Disgruntled Eagles fans would stage an "Occupy Canton" protest if Donovan McNabb were inducted, and while some critics are too harsh, he's not Hall of Fame worthy.
McNabb was good, and the Eagles wouldn't have played in five NFC title games and one Super Bowl without him. But the Hall of Fame is for greatness, which comes from delivering when it matters the most. McNabb hasn't.
His passing numbers are impressive, especially his low interception rate, but they're also puffed up because he played for Andy Reid, who dislikes running the ball even more than postgame news conferences.
Away from Reid, McNabb has lost his way, along with a lot of games and his Hall of Fame chances.
Couldn't seal deal
Los Angeles Times
There is no question Donovan McNabb belongs in the Hall of Fame discussion, but without a Super Bowl ring he's better qualified for the Hall of Very Good. Yes, with nine playoff wins and 24 postseason touchdowns, he ranks among the top 10 quarterbacks in league history.
That said, he never was able to seal the deal, and his 1-5 record in championship games and a Super Bowl does not weigh in his favor, especially because the Eagles were favorites in three of those losses. He has been named to six Pro Bowls but never has been named All-Pro or league most valuable player.
Maybe most compelling, consider the quarterbacks not in the Hall of Fame — Jim Plunkett, Joe Theismann, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler … all of whom have Super Bowl rings. Is McNabb more worthy? No.
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