What they're saying: Time to trade McNabb?

The Donovan McNabb debate has dominated the headlines since the Eagles' season ended last Saturday. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

With the Eagles' season over, the national pundits have joined in on the conversation on what moves the Birds need to make going forward.

And as you might have guessed, the focus is on the quarterback.

The folks at the Inquirer and Daily News have been chiming in on whether they think Donovan McNabb should be back for another season.

And you all had your say in our Stay or Go feature. With nearly 14,000 votes as of Wednesday morning, 67 percent of you say it's time for McNabb to go.

Every season/offseason, the consensus from the national media is that Eagles fans are too harsh on McNabb. They say he's underappreciated by this city and its fan base.

But after McNabb accounted for just one touchdown in two games against the Cowboys to end the season, have the national media changed their tune?

Here's a roundup of links. Decide for yourselves.

SI.com's Peter King said he'd be surprised if the Eagles got rid of McNabb, but now might be the right time:

I think I'd be stunned if the Eagles got rid of McNabb, because Andy Reid's not the kind to throw away (or trade for a couple of good draft picks) his starting quarterback. But I think it's time for the Eagles to seriously think about it.

If the Eagles believe [Kevin] Kolb is a player, and I'm told they certainly do, Reid owes it to the franchise to think long and hard about allowing Kolb to compete for the job or take the job next year in his fourth season, at age 26. It's not like the Eagles need draft fortification, but McNabb could bring, let's say, something in the range of two second-round picks from Brad Childress if Brett Favre retires. Maybe it'd do Kolb good to get out of the Philadelphia cauldron.

John P. Lopez of SI.com gave out grades to the Eagles' positional units following last weekend's loss. Both McNabb and the offensive line received an F:

You could make the case the Eagles offensive line lost this one even before kickoff. These guys were so bad all year, the Cowboys clearly game-planned for it: With no running-game, get physical with the Eagles receivers and tee-off on the quarterbacks. Philly's O-line was manhandled all night.

ESPN.com's Gregg Easterbrook points to the loss of Jamaal Jackson as a major reason the Eagles fell apart:

As for Philadelphia, could it be that Jamaal Jackson was the league's MVP? Since the Eagles center went out injured in Week 16, the Philadelphia offense declined from among the league's best to 14 points in its final two outings. Many snaps were bad, disrupting play timing, and backup center Nick Cole doesn't understand how to move laterally to help other blockers, which Jackson does well.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio says he won't believe that McNabb is returning unless the Eagles give him an extension:

Until then, we'll suspect that the Eagles are feigning interest in bringing McNabb back in order to operate from a position of strength if/when someone calls about a trade for McNabb. And there could be many potential suitors.

Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post warns Eagles fans to be careful what they wish for:

Has everyone forgotten what life was like before McNabb? We all loved what Randall Cunningham brought to the team in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but in the 11 years (1985-1995) Randall quarterbacked this franchise (the same number of years McNabb has led the team), the Eagles made the playoffs five times, winning just twice (2-5 overall) and failing to get past the divisional round.

The Eagles ranked third in Football Outsiders' final DVOA ratings for the regular season, behind the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers.

Matthew J. Darnell of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner blog advocates keeping McNabb:

We don't even need to get into the discussion of how good or bad Donovan McNabb might be. There's no better option, and that's just the way it is. Your can either stick with McNabb, or rebuild and miss the playoffs for the next few years. There's no third way to go.

Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning-News wonders who NFL GMs would rather have: McNabb or Tony Romo?

In the case of Romo vs. McNabb, the Cowboys quarterback has looked like the better passer almost since he got the job during the 2006 season. In his three full seasons as a starter, Romo's passer rating was always five to seven points higher than McNabb's – a significant number with so many quarterbacks owning marks in the 80s and 90s.

Bob Matthew of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle says the Buffalo Bills should go after McNabb:

McNabb would not be Buffalo's QB of the future, but he'd be a huge improvement for the present. Even if the Bills select a QB (Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen) with the No. 9 pick in this year's college draft, McNabb would be a solid starter for now.

Have a link I missed? Send me an e-mail and I'll include it in my next post.