The Eagles have a definite rivalry with the Washington Redskins, whom they play Monday night, but the rivalry ranks third behind the ones with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the Eagles’ history with Washington is the players who have been on both sides of the rivalry.
Here’s a list of some of the most prominent ones:
The Eagles acquired Norm Snead from the Redskins in a March 31, 1964, mega-deal of quarterbacks, and in Philadelphia, it remains a trade that lives in infamy. Jurgensen had led the NFL in passing yards (3,723 in 14 games) and touchdowns (32) in his first year as a starter with the Eagles in 1961, but he was limited by injuries to nine games in 1963.
“I don’t think this is a gamble,” Eagles first-year coach Joe Kuharich said in the Inquirer the day after the deal. “I think it was horse for horse.”
Jurgensen, 29 at the time of the trade, played 11 years in Washington and went to four Pro Bowls in what became a Hall of Fame career. He also led the league in passing yards three times and compiled a 52-51-5 record. Jurgensen, 83, is still a color analyst on Redskins radio.
Snead, 24 at the time of the trade, played seven seasons in Philadelphia and his record as the Eagles starter was 28-50-3. Defensive back Jimmy Carr was also sent to Washington for defensive back Claude Crabb in the deal. Both players were non-factors.
The stunning news that the Eagles had traded their franchise quarterback to a division rival came on Easter night in 2010. As it turned out, it was a deal that did little to help either team. McNabb was benched during his only season with Washington and went 1-1 in his two games against the Eagles, with the more memorable one being the Monday Night Massacre down in D.C. Michael Vick threw for 333 yards and four TDs in that 59-28 Eagles win. The Eagles used the second-round pick they got for McNabb on safety Nate Allen, who never lived up to expectations in his five seasons in Philadelphia. The Redskins used the sixth-round pick they got for McNabb from Minnesota on Alfred Morris, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards three times in four seasons.
For “purely a football reason,” former Eagles coach Chip Kelly released Jackson after the deep-threat receiver caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards in 2013. Both were career highs, and he matched his career best with nine TD receptions. All sorts of speculation – contract demands, bad attitude, a strange home invasion, and possible gang connections – surfaced as reasons for Jackson’s release, but the fact is he went to the Redskins and had three productive seasons. Jackson twice amassed more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season and also led the league in yards per catch. In the five games Jackson played against the Eagles, Washington went 4-1 and he had 20 catches for 440 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson, 30, is now with Tampa Bay.
A contract controversy led to Trotter’s release after the 2001 season. The Eagles angered the middle linebacker when they placed the franchise tag on him, and when the two sides could not agree on his financial value to the team, the tag was removed and Trotter signed with Washington. He spent two losing seasons with the Redskins under coach Steve Spurrier, and practically every Eagles fan alive still wonders if Trotter could have stopped that pass across the middle to Tampa Bay’s Joe Jurevicius that went for 71 yards in the 2003 NFC championship game. Trotter, of course, returned to the Eagles on two occasions, and last season he went into the team’s Hall of Fame.
The undrafted wide receiver started his NFL career with Washington in 1997 and finished his career there in 2008. All told, he played nine years in Washington and caught 126 passes for 1,620 yards and seven touchdowns. In just three years with the Eagles, he caught 164 passes for 2,026 yards and 15 touchdowns and also rushed for a couple of scores. The best part of his legacy in Philadelphia: The Eagles used the fifth-round pick they got for him on defensive end Trent Cole, who with 85½ sacks ranks second only to Reggie White in team history.
The cornerback was dealt to Washington in 1976 after infuriating Dick Vermeil when he did not report to training camp. In return, the Eagles got defensive end Manny Sistrunk and a sixth-round draft pick. It worked out great for the Redskins. In seven seasons with Washington, Lavender had 29 interceptions, made two Pro Bowls, and won a Super Bowl. It worked out well for the Eagles, too. They used that sixth-round pick to get Wilbert Montgomery.
The best kicker and all-time leading scorer in Eagles history played in one game with Washington in 1998 before coming to Philadelphia as a kickoff specialist in 1999. He spent a dozen years with the Eagles and will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime of Monday night’s game against the Redskins.
The best kicker and all-time leading scorer in Washington history was selected by the Eagles in the 14th round of the 1970 draft. He spent just his rookie season with the Eagles. He joined Washington in 1974 and was the Redskins kicker for 13 years.
After a decade as the best return specialist in the NFL with Washington, Mitchell came to the Eagles in 2000 and had three more outstanding seasons with his former NFC East rival.
Five facts about the Eagles-Redskins rivalry
- The Redskins lead the series, 86-75-6.
- The first game between the franchises was on Oct. 21, 1934, at Fenway Park. The Boston Redskins beat the Eagles, 6-0.
- The Eagles’ first win in the series came on Nov. 3, 1935, at Fenway Park.
- Washington’s longest winning streak in the series is 11 games.
- The Eagles’ longest winning streak in the series is eight games.