Eagles Are A Top 10 Organization
By Lance Epstein
While fans grow frustrated [rightfully so] and complain about the failures of the Philadelphia Eagles to bring home the ultimate prize of a Lombardi Trophy or any football championship trophy for 50 years, the team has reach new heights. The Eagles franchise has managed to be a top organization the National Football League for nearly a decade.
One person that believes that the Eagles are still a top-10 franchise in the NFL is Fox Sports reporter Adam Schein. In a recent article, Schein ranked all 32 organizations in the league and based their rankings on the team’s front office, head coach, fan support, public relations and stadium.
Schein has the New England Patriots in his top spot. Rounding out the rest of his top five are the Indianapolis Colts [second], New Orleans Saints [third], Baltimore Ravens [fourth] and Green Bay Packers [fifth]. Finishing in dead last was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He claims the Bucs hierarchy has shown a lack of commitment to winning.
Nevertheless, the first NFC East team to make the list was Eagles, who finished at No. 6 with 49.5 points out of a possible 60-points. However, the rest of the NFC East was closely followed behind the Birds. Dallas with 48 points and the Giants with 47.5 points also placed in the top 10 at No. 9 and 10 respectively. As for the Redskins, they just missed out at being included in the top 10. The Redskins [44.5 points] and new head coach Mike Shanahan came in as the 11th-best franchise.
One of the reasons that Schein has taken such a shine to the Eagles organization is due to the club having a stable head coach in Andy Reid, the fantastic ownership demonstrated by Jeffrey Lurie and the master of contracts in Joe Banner. In fact, the only reason that Schein does not have the Eagles in the top five is due to Kevin Kolb's inexperience.
"Arguably, the number is too low, with my conservative yet fair grade for Kevin Kolb," Schein wrote. "But make no mistake, Philly's organization is among the best in all of sports. Andy Reid wins every single year. Owner Jeff Lurie has a great model in place. Team president Joe Banner is sharp doing contracts, and new GM Howie Roseman has been ready for this promotion for years."
Certainly, fans of the Cowboys and Giants will argue that they should be ranked ahead of the Eagles. Both organizations have won multiple Super Bowls [sadly the Eagles have won none] and have recently built billion dollar state-of-the-art football stadiums. Also, neither team traded away their franchise quarterback like the Eagles did this past off-season, when dealing Donovan McNabb to their inner-division rival.
Even though the Cowboys handed the Eagles three losses last year [two by a wide margin] and finally won a playoff game for the first time since the mid-90s, Schein does not believe they deserve to be ranked over Philadelphia.
"The higher ranking than a year ago is a direct reflection of Jerry Jones letting his football people make the football decision. The new stadium, Jones' brilliant marketing and a great fan base give Dallas a big number for intangibles," he wrote. "Tony Romo and Wade Phillips got over major hurdles by winning in December last year, winning the division and finally in the postseason."
As for the Giants, Schein states that head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning have a knack for coming up big when it matters the most. Additionally their new stadium [just award the 2014 Super Bowl] makes them a top 10 franchise. Yet, Schein proclaims that the price of tickets at the new Giants stadium will keep a lot of die-hard fans from being able to root on their favorite team. This was a major factor on why the Giants trailed the Eagles.
"The Mara family does it with dignity. And the Maras and Tisch family were instrumental in getting a gorgeous new stadium. But with the PSLs, many true blue Giants fans who called Giants Stadium home were priced out and left out in the cold," Schein wrote. "Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have proven to be at their best when it matters the most."
Of course, another reason the Giants could be behind the Eagles is due to the fact they have lost four consecutive games to the Eagles; including a home playoff game in 2009.
Finally and perhaps the biggest surprise on the entire list was the Redskins at No. 11. Schein sees the Redskins turning over a new leaf, which surprisingly starts from its owner Daniel Snyder not spending a ton of money.
"Surprised? Actually, I am, too. But then again, Washington replaced the running jokes of Jim Zorn, Vinny Cerrato, a bingo caller and Jason Campbell with Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, Kyle Shanahan and Donovan McNabb," he wrote. "And you have to credit Dan Snyder (yes, I just wrote that) for locking himself in the closet and letting Shanahan and Allen run the show. This past offseason proved Snyder is over his spendthrift ways."
Without a doubt, Eagles fans rather posses multiple Lombardi Trophies and have parades down Broad Street rather than being ranked ahead on a list over the other three NFC East teams, but this is still a nice honor. The Eagles have shown a commitment to winning [unlike previous regimes in Eagles history] for the past 11 years and have just come up on the short side of the stick.
Hopefully one day the franchise can overcome their short-comings, win a title and leap frog to No. 1 on this list.
Let us know how you feel about the Eagles being ranked ahead of the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins. Too high? Too Low? Just about right?