March 3, 2015

The Philly Fifty: #44 Tommy McDonald, Eagles

For the complete list and explanation of criteria and scoring, check out the Philly Fifty page

Longevity – 3

McDonald played WR for the Eagles from 1957-1963 (7 years).

Peak – 3

At his peak, McDonald was the best WR in the NFL. In 1961, he led the entire NFL in receiving yards (1,144) and TD (13) in a 14-game season. He was named 1st team all-NFL twice and also led the NFL in receiving TD’s in 1958.

Popularity – 2

Well known, but among the older Eagles, not overly popular.

Team Success – 3

A member of the 1960 championship team (a team he scored 13 of the 29 touchdowns for). The Eagles had one other good season (10-4, 1961), but were bad otherwise during McDonald’s tenure. Their total record was 38-48-4.

Awards – 3

As mentioned above, he was 1st team all-NFL in 1960 and 1961. He was 2nd team in 1959 and 1962. He made 5 pro-bowls in his 7 seasons with the team.

Stats – 3

McDonald is 1st all-time for the Eagles in Yards/Catch at 19.2. And yes, that is higher than Desean Jackson. He is 2nd in receiving TD, 5th in receiving yards, 10th in receptions. McDonald had an amazing 66 TD in 88 games. The leader, Harold Carmichael, had 79 but it took him 180 games. McDonald averaged 0.75 receiving TD/game as an Eagle. The only two WR with that kind of number (and at least 60 career TD) are Randy Moss and Don Hutson.

Historical Standing – 3

McDonald entered the HOF in 1997. His 84 receiving TD tie him for 15th in NFL history.

Excitement – 4

McDonald was a tremendous big play threat for the Eagles, arguably their best ever. His career numbers are a little lower, but during his years with the Eagles his TD-rate (mentioned above) and yards/catch (only a couple players in history have a 19+ yd/catch) were all-time rates. Like our current big-play threat, Desean Jackson, McDonald was tiny at 5’9”, 176 lbs.

Total: 25

For the complete list and explanation of criteria and scoring, check out the Philly Fifty page

If you liked this post...Help Spread the Word:
  • YardBarker
  • BallHype
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google
  • Mixx
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz


  1. jjg says:

    Tommy was excitable and often exciting; “frisky” applies.  Loved the slant route.  Great pair of hands.  Had an extra-gear.  Would jump up quickly after being tackled as a statement of his
    indomitable spirit.  #25 with the high cutoff sleeves:  Mr. Eagle – - except when he became Mr. Cowboy, Mr. Ram, Mr. Falcon & Mr. Brown.  I rooted for him everywhere he went.  I imagine most Philadelphia Eagles fans did.  An inspirational player.  Was an All-American halfback for the great Bud Wilkinson’s #1 ranked, undefeated ’55 & ’56 Oklahoma Sooners [won 47 straight from '53 to '57!].  1st ever Sooner to score a TD in each game of season.  ’56 Maxwell Award winner.  Tommy McDonald animated those silver wings, found HOF glory. 

    #18 fleet, high-flyin’ Ben Hawkins (out of Arizona St.) career yds. per catch avg. is higher than DeSean Jackson’s too, 18.3 to 18.2.  Was a nice wideout for 5 years or so.  Led league with big ’67 
    receiving numbers.  

  2. Dino says:

    Surprised that he’s not popular with his peers.

    • jjg says:

      “Not overly popular” – I don’t know what that really means.  Source(s)?  Context?  Speaker agenda?  I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions.  Have been around Philadelphia a long time.  Never heard anything bad about Tommy McDonald.  I’d love to meet him, and thank him. 

  3. joof says:

    Im curious where Mike Quick comes up on this list. To bad Fred Barnett didnt make this list…ha