Maybe it's just me, but Michael Vick has felt like an outsider these past two seasons. I still see him primarily as an Atlanta Falcon. I still think about those years when his Falcons and our Eagles were the powers in the NFC. We hated Michael Vick back then! Now he's in Philadelphia and while I've made peace with his past and have clearly loved watching him play this season, I still don't have this feeling that he's our quarterback. Certainly part of that is the fact that he hasn't been starting here that long but there's another reason as well.
He still hasn't beaten the Cowboys yet. This weekend, he gets a chance to take that step.
This is a watershed moment in the career of any Eagles QB. These Dallas games are the ones that make or break you. They're the ones that people remember. Let's not forget that two blowout losses to Dallas effectively ended Donovan McNabb's career in Philadelphia. The Eagles play Dallas twice in these last 4 games. Imagine if we got swept by Dallas again, you can't tell me there wouldn't suddenly be a tremendous amount of doubt in Michael Vick at that point.I remember Alex Rodriguez's first few years in New York. There was so much talk about him not being a "true Yankee" and debate over what he'd have to do to earn that title. In Philadelphia it's simple. You want to be seen as a "true Eagle" you go beat the Dallas Cowboys.
It's more than just Dallas though, the Eagles head on the road to face the Giants the following week. That game will probably decide the NFC East. Then in week 17 it's the Cowboys in Philadelphia for a game that will almost certainly have big playoff implications. Beyond that, if all goes well, it's the playoffs... where all QBs make their name.
Vick has done great things this year. He's got his name in the MVP race, he'll easily be a pro bowler this season, and he's got this Eagles team atop the NFC in week 13. That's all great and we appreciate that... But if we're to truly accept him, he's gotta beat the Cowboys, he's got to get into the playoffs and he has to make noise when he's there. That's the point, in my mind, when he truly becomes our quarterback.
For his part, Vick said this week that he loves playing in Philadelphia and feels welcomed by the fans.
"I mean it is great, it is unbelievable. Being here last year I really didn’t have a chance to really get a feel or a sense of what it is really about. I knew that the fans were very into their football. They love the game. They are very passionate and they want to win. Just after being here and having a chance to see what the atmosphere is going to be like and having a chance to soak it all in. It has been great. It has been a great feel. You want fans that demand a lot out of the team, demand a lot out of the players because it keeps you on track. It keeps you on your toes."
If you like us now Mike, just wait to see how good life gets in Philly when you beat the Cowboys.