It seems so long ago since Terrell Owens lined up to Donovan McNabb’s right against the Baltimore Ravens. A smiling McNabb took the snap, dropped back and lofted a perfect fade into the corner of the end zone. Owens out-muscled the cornerback to haul in the touchdown before doing his best Ray Lewis impersonation in celebration.
In those days there was nothing missing at The Linc.
Sunday McNabb was back in action -- well half action -- against Ray Lewis' Ravens.
The infamous Ray Lewis celebration was back on the field except that this time there was no T.O for the Eagles. There was no set quarterback for the Eagles -- no offensive answers -- this time the celebration was not an imitation.
Lewis led a strangling Ravens attack against whatever QB Eagles coach Andy Reid could throw, or attempt to throw, at the NFL’s fiercest defense.
McNabb went 8-for-18 for 59 yards with two interceptions before Reid had his quarterback’s coach abruptly inform McNabb to take a seat -- he was done for the day.
McNabb’s embarrassing 13.2 QB rating was the worst of his career -- coming one week removed from being dreadful against the woeful Cincinnati Bengals.
Meanwhile, T.O. was right at home in Dallas. He hauled in catch, after catch, after catch finishing the day with a score and 213 yards -- the second-most yards of his career -- as the Cowboys (7-4) rocked Owens’ former team San Francisco to pull into a second place tie in the NFC East.
The Eagles meanwhile slipped to 5-5-1 -- yes Donovan, there are ties in the NFL -- falling farther to the bottom of the divisional heap.
It was a crucial week for both the Eagles and Cowboys.
The teams went two different directions -- one team's season was saved, the other team's was lost.
Owens and McNabb both had direct effects on the outcomes of each game. Unfortunately for Philly fans the Birds are heading south while the Cowboys are moving up.
In 2004 everything seemed in place.
The Eagles snatched Owens away from the Ravens landing the most prolific receiver in the game to pair with a young, fresh and promising McNabb.
eHarmony eat your heart out.
Connecting for 15 touchdowns, the duo lived up to the hype leading the franchise to its first Super Bowl birth in a generation.
The combo was among the NFL’s elite.
But the Eagles came up short on the big stage against the New England Patriots. Owens played his heart out on an ankle scrap-metaled with screws while McNabb puked his heart out.
2005 was a totally different story after the Super Bowl birth in 2004.
Same players, different pages.
The two began to butt heads in 2005. Instead of solving the problem the Eagles made a choice, McNabb or Owens?
Of course the Eagles went with McNabb, doing anything they could to get a bickering Owens out of Philadelphia, including paying him to ride the bench for the second half of the 2005 season.
The Cowboys happily accepted the unwanted.
Now three seasons removed from Terrell the Terrible, the Eagles have only one playoff appearance and that was without an injured McNabb.
Dallas has made the playoffs both years Owens has been a Cowboy. In 2006-07 he had some of the most impressive offensive numbers in the league.
Now the Cowboys have their sights on wrangling another playoff appearance this season.
Owens was supposed to be the problem in Philadelphia. Now we’re not so sure.
Four years removed from that magical season, both players are going different directions. One is playing his heart out, the other is still sick to his stomach.