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December 09, 2016

Troy Aikman almost suited up for the Eagles in 2002

Remember the gutsiest performance of Donovan McNabb’s career? Back in Week 11 of the 2002 season, playing against the Arizona Cardinals (peep those ugly uniforms), the Eagles best all-time quarterback broke his ankle early in the game.
Despite such obvious pain, McNabb went on to go 20-25 for 255 yards and four touchdowns, a performance that still doesn’t get talked enough about today:

Of course, McNabb had to miss some time after that game. He wouldn’t come back until the playoffs, while Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley took the controls and steered the Birds to a 5-1 record down the stretch and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Jim Johnson and John Harbaugh sure knew what they were doing, huh?

The Eagles did just fine with Detmer and Feeley, but originally, Andy Reid had another Plan B. Already working for Fox as a broadcaster, Troy Aikman was asked by Reid to suit up for Eagles right after McNabb broke his leg. It ended up being a close call. From the Dallas Morning News:

"And I gave it some consideration - actually I told Andy I was going to sleep on it and call him in the morning.

"I called my producer at Fox and asked him what he thought my career was long-term in television. Then I called [former Cowboys offensive coordinator] Norv Turner and talked to him about it from the football perspective.

"And I woke up the next morning and I just thought, 'Man, is this something I really want to do?' And I decided against it. So I called Andy and said, 'Look. I appreciate the interest, but I'm going to stay put and best of luck.'

How crazy would it have been to see the guy who won three Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys thrown right into the fire, leading an excellent Eagles team? How many bad memories does Aikman have of The Vet?

As it turned out, it was probably a good decision by Aikman, who certainly did have a future in broadcasting.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann