Another “Donovan McNabb era” has officially ended, this time in even less ceremonious fashion than the ones previous. And now, McNabb can be had for just under $1.5 million.

For the second time in just over a week, we’ll be on waiver wire watch Friday as a veteran quarterback becomes available in a league flushed with backup quarterbacks in starting roles.

Let’s be clear: McNabb isn’t good. He was. But not anymore. The Vikings have already gotten more out of Christian Ponder than they did from him, which is quite sad considering that Ponder was far from ready when the season began.

Here’s a look at McNabb’s 2011 stats compared to those of Kyle Orton, who was a semi-hot commodity after being released by Denver last week:

McNabb: 6 games, 60.3%, 1,026 yards, 6.6 AVG, 4 TD, 2 INT, 82.9 rating
Orton: 5 games, 58.7%, 979 yards, 6.3 AVG, 8 TD, 7 INT, 75.7 rating

The way I see it, only two teams would probably consider putting in a request for McNabb’s services: Dallas and Chicago.

Houston’s being thrown out there, but the Texans have already signed two veteran pivots in the last two weeks and they didn’t even think about trying to claim Orton last week. Things have changed with the injury suffered Sunday by Matt Leinart, but the team seems to think they can survive with their current quarterbacks.

The Chiefs had a need under center, but they claimed Orton. The only other two franchises to attempt to land Orton were the Cowboys and Bears.

Of course, those two teams have very different job openings. Dallas is looking for Tony Romo insurance with current backup Jon Kitna dealing with a back injury, while Chicago could use a veteran starter for its playoff run.

It’s unclear how much of an upgrade McNabb would be over Caleb Hanie, but obviously that’s the best fit for both parties. It’s not easy to win in January without an experienced quarterback, so adding McNabb for about $1.5 million would make a lot of sense.

The problem for the Bears is that they’d have to wait for 23 teams to pass before having their shot at McNabb. At least 22 will do exactly that, but the Cowboys are a wild card.

How much sense would it make for Dallas? A ton, actually. Even if McNabb never takes a snap in North Texas, it would be smart business for Jerry Jones and Co. to spend that money simply to keep him away from the Bears, whom they’re fighting with for playoff positioning in the NFC.

But Dallas might not want to bother with McNabb and Chicago could shy away considering that he doesn’t know a complicated Mike Martz offense. So there’s also a solid chance that the 35-year-old is done.

Then again, that’s what we said about Albert Haynesworth…