Remember when Donovan McNabb walked out of the Cowboys Stadium tunnel prior to last year's playoff game against Dallas strumming an air guitar?
OK, you may have already wiped away any trace of that moment or of anything that followed in the Cowboy's 34-14 massacre of the Eagles.
But it's Cowboys week and it's time to revisit the past and really -- honestly -- we [the media] didn't bring up McNabb's much-criticized mime act before what proved to be his last game in an Eagles uniform.
Quintin Mikell did.
"I’ll tell you this: I didn’t even see the whole guitar thing until this season," the Eagles safety said Wednesday when he was asked if McNabb's performance in that game was the final nail in his coffin. "I was just like, ‘What?’ I didn’t even know about that until this year and I was just like, ‘OK, that makes sense.’ I don’t know. It is what it is. That was last year and we got a new team.”
A reporter joked that McNabb might have been playing a banjo.
“He’s got a little too much soul for the banjo," Mikell said.
McNabb, of course, was traded away three months later. But he wasn't the only Eagles player sent packing from that team. Andy Reid and the Eagles front office made some wholesale changes and jettisoned a number of aging players including running back Brian Westbrook, cornerback Sheldon Brown and McNabb.
“I feel like everything was calculated," Mikell said. "Obviously Coach Reid and the front office has been around this game for a long team and they know the right guys to keep around and the guys to let go to keep everything flowing. So I feel like everybody is in here – and they told us this – everybody’s in here for a reason. This is the elite.”
We'll see how elite this Eagles team -- or at least how different -- it is from the one that lost to the Cowboys in all three meetings last season. Dallas is a much different squad than the one that won the NFC East a year ago and clobbered the Eagles in back-to-back games at the end of the season, 58-14. They opened 1-7 but have won three of their last four.
The Eagles think they'll see a team that's playing much better under interim coach Jason Garrett and a team similar to the one that gave them beat downs in Dallas last season.
"When you're sitting on your butt in the playoffs and you see the team destroy you two times in a row, it's sickening," Mikell said. "So I've definitely had this one circled."
In injury news, tackle Winston Justice did not practice today with a hyperextended knee and is questionable for Sunday at this point. King Dunlap took his place at right tackle.
"We have full confidence in King, so if he has to be the guy that goes, then I think all the players have full trust in him," Reid said.
Cornerback Asante Samuel (knee) and defensive Juqua Parker (hip) returned to practice. "I think they're ready to go" for Sunday, Reid said.
Reid was also asked if anything came of the Eagles' complaints to the league office about the extra hits they feel quarterback Michael Vick has taken.
“You know what, I’m done with all of that," Reid said. "We’re moving on playing the game and Michael feels the same way. And I probably put him in a bind by saying anything about it. So it’s about going and playing now. We’re not worried about any of that stuff.”
Vick leads All-Pro balloting with 729,838 votes. He is ahead of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (691,146 votes), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (623,074 votes), Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (591,598 votes) and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (547,340 votes) to round out the top five. Voting at nlf.com concludes on Dec. 20.