WHAT COULD BE worse than Donovan McNabb coming back to Philadelphia in the maroon and gold of the Washington Redskins? How about being a Cowboys fan and having Troy Aikman wearing Eagles midnight green?

Coulda happened.

During an interview with former Cowboys teammate Michael Irvin on Irvin's radio show on WQAM-AM out of Miami, Aikman confirmed the rumor that the Eagles had contacted him in 2002 to fill in for an injured McNabb.

When the Birds couldn't persuade him out of the Fox broadcasting booth, they used A.J. Feeley and Koy Detmer at quarterback for six games, and McNabb made it back to play in two playoff games - against Atlanta and the gut-wrenching, devastating, we-shoulda-been-in-the-Super-Bowl loss to Tampa in the last game at Veterans Stadium.

Calling that game for Fox at the Vet was . . . drum roll, please . . . Troy Aikman.

In the interview that was transcribed by the Dallas Morning News for its website, Aikman told Irvin and his cohost, Kevin Kiley, that he thought about the offer from the Eagles, but he had mixed feelings about being on the sidelines when McNabb came back.

"I was a couple years out of the game at that time [having last played in December 2000]. Donovan McNabb had broken his leg. I'd gotten a call from the Eagles. They were wanting me to sign with them and then report to Philadelphia the next day and leave broadcasting," he told Kiley.

"I [could] go to Philadelphia for five or six games or whenever Donovan gets healthy again and then really kind of be done with football or I can continue in this job that I currently have that hopefully will be here for a long time."

Aikman opted for the booth. It seems he made the right decision.

"Well, I'm glad you didn't, Troy," Irvin quipped. "It would have hurt my feelings to see another guy catching those passes."

To which Aikman responded, "Oh, you were going to have to go with me. I was going to tell you that once I got signed."

Irvin and Aikman, Eagles? Say it ain't so, Roger Ruzek.

- Mark Perner