How a former divisional rival almost became the Eagles’ starting quarterback
Welcome to the dead period of the 12-month long NFL season. The Super Bowl is over and we are still a few months away from the NFL Draft. There is literally nothing to talk about outside the new quarterback rumor of the day for the Eagles, so I decided to dig something else up from 2002. Enjoy.
Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb suffered a broken ankle during their Week 11 battle against the Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles ended up winning the game, sitting at 7-3 but with an injured QB.
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was announcing a game that weekend when he got a call from Andy Reid asking him to come out of retirement.
“Then we got to halftime, and my producer got into my ear and said, ‘Hey, I need you to call this number.’ He’s never done that. He’s never done it before, and he’s never done it since. I said, ‘Well, who is it?’ He said, ‘Well, it’s Andy Reid.’ I said, ‘Oh man.’ He said, ‘He says he wants you to call him at halftime.’ I said, ‘Well, we’re doing a game.’
He said, ‘No, he wants you to call him… I got him on the phone. He said, ‘Hey, did you hear what happened.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we did a game break.’ He said, ‘Well, I want to talk to you about coming to Philadelphia.’ I said, ‘Andy, we’re in the middle of a broadcast. It’s halftime right now.’ He said, ‘I know, I’m watching the game.’ So I said, ‘OK, [I’ll] call you after the game.”
Aikman mulled over the offer with Norv Turner but eventually declined the opportunity to return to the NFL. The Hall of Fame QB was retired for two seasons at the time and was 36-years-old. Aikman was miserable in his last season with the Cowboys, throwing for only 1,600 yards alongside 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 11 appearances.
Philadelphia then ended up going with Koy Detmer and AJ Feeley for the remainder of the regular season before McNabb returned for the Eagles’ divisional-round matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
The two went 5-1 and secured a first-round bye for the Eagles, so it’s safe to say it was a good thing Aikman never did play for Philadelphia. The public outcry would have been insane as well. Can you imagine Philly fans being forced to root for the quarterback who tormented them for a decade?
It’s unknown what is in store for the Eagles at quarterback this off-season, but I wouldn’t put it past Howie Roseman to see if the now 55-year-old still has what it takes.
Mandatory Credit: Inside the Star