Down, past Brett Favre, past Tom Brady, past Peyton Manning I went looking, scrolling through ESPN's list of the 50 best locks for the Hall of Fame.
And didn't find Donovan McNabb until reading a page called "On the Bubble."
There with Drew Brees and Steve McNair is the guy on whom Philly rests its hopes for an Eagles championship.
(And no snark about the list being only for players "active" in the NFL)
Being hurt is what's got him down.
Although McNabb is one of the elite quarterback talents of his generation, injuries and big-game shortcomings hurt his reputation. Three consecutive NFC Championship Game losses and a Super Bowl defeat -- in which his star receiver accused him of running out of gas -- might prove difficult for Hall of Fame voters to overlook. If McNabb can build substantially on his statistical résumé, which already includes 152 touchdown passes, his chances improve greatly. However, if his injury woes continue, he likely will need at least one Super Bowl ring to secure a spot in Canton.
But Brian Dawkins makes the cut.
The heart and soul of the Eagles' defense, Dawkins doesn't appear to be slowing down with age. He had one of his best seasons in 2006, cementing his reputation as one of the game's premier ballhawks by making several big plays during Philadelphia's late-season surge. Dawkins has been named to six Pro Bowls and has played in an Eagles-record 13 playoff games. He is the only player in league history to have recorded a sack, a fumble recovery and a touchdown reception in the same game.
Dawkins is the only Eagle to fly into Canton, ESPN predicts.
One lippy former Eagle gets his due -- he who cannot be named, only initialed. "