McNabb's future once again an issue after loss

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After another season ended in the playoffs for Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles, a familiar question expects to linger in the offseason.

What is McNabb's future with the Eagles?

"I say it every year," McNabb said after Philadelphia lost to the Dallas Cowboys 34-14 in the opening round of the playoffs Saturday night. "I want to be here and don't want to be anywhere else."

The 11th-year Eagles quarterback had his contract restructured this past summer, but didn't get an extension past the 2010 season.

While Philadelphia has made the playoffs eight times with McNabb, the Eagles haven't won the Super Bowl trophy that has long eluded the franchise.

Because of those postseason failures, the question has come up several times whether the Eagles need a new start with someone other than McNabb.

When asked if McNabb was going to be the starter in 2010, coach Andy Reid responded: "Yes, I do."

McNabb was 19 of 37 for 230 yards with a touchdown and an interception as his career postseason record dropped to 9-7.

The Eagles had won their first game in seven consecutive postseason appearances since Reid became coach. McNabb was the starter in six of those victories.

"Donovan is a great quarterback," Philadelphia running back Brian Westbrook said. "We wouldn't have had the success we had without him."

McNabb guided the Eagles to a six-game winning streak and an eye on a first-round bye heading into their regular-season finale with the Cowboys. But Dallas won that game 24-0 and Philadelphia wound up as the No. 6 seed instead of No. 2, which it would have been with a victory.

The rematch against their longtime rivals turned out to be another mismatch for the Eagles.

"I'm very surprised," McNabb said. "The guys were motivated to change what happened last week. We didn't capitalize on the opportunities we had. I take full responsibility for that."

A disastrous second quarter did in the Eagles as they were sent to their earliest playoff exit under Reid and McNabb.

Philadelphia players promised they'd get things corrected after the humbling loss six days earlier. Instead, it was much more of the same, especially in a second quarter that saw Dallas score 27 points on five straight possessions.

The Cowboys were 3-0 against Philadelphia this season, outscoring the Eagles 78-30. This is the 19th time in 79 tries a team completed a three-game sweep.

"It was the same as last week," said Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson, who was held to three catches for 14 yards and a late touchdown. "We played with them for a while, then it got out of control. It's embarrassing to come back here and have the same results."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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