As we’ve reported before, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to make changes in their front office, and they’ve been linked to several potential candidates. One of those names is Troy Aikman, the former Dallas Cowboy quarterback who is now an ESPN analyst. He’s also been linked to the New England Patriots, where he’d be reunited with Bill Belichick, who he played for in the 1990s.
According to this report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL owner Jerry Jones has floated the idea of hiring Troy Aikman to be a front office adviser. Aikman admitted to being flattered, but he didn’t exactly slam the door in Jones’ face, and he doesn’t see himself as in a position to do so.
Jerry Jones has already reached the milestone of winning more Super Bowls as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys than anyone else in NFL history. But the longtime owner of the NFL’s most storied franchise has been coy about whether he’ll give his current head coach and play-caller, Jason Garrett, another contract extension.. Read more about dallas cowboys owner and let us know what you think.
Jerry Jones has had full control over everything concerning the Dallas Cowboys for more than three decades. He dismissed Tex Schramm, the club’s sole general manager, only a few months after purchasing the team in 1989, and replaced him with…himself. And at the time, it seemed to be a great move. He selected UCLA quarterback Aikman, Troy with the No. 1 overall selection in the 1989 NFL draft and then assembled a squad that won three Super Bowl championships in four seasons in the early to mid 1990s.
However, since their third Super Bowl triumph in 1995, the Cowboys have only won four playoff games and have never advanced beyond the NFC Championship Game. And Jones has a large share of the responsibility. Many feel he effectively binds his head coaches, preventing them from fully participating in the decision-making process that goes into building a football club.
Many of his employment decisions have been questioned throughout the past quarter-century, and it seems that the only people he’ll even listen to are his sons Stephen and Jerry Jr., as well as daughter Charlotte, who are the only other executives in Dallas. For years, some have demanded that Jerry Jones, the owner, dismiss Jerry Jones, the general manager, but this has clearly not occurred.
Jones, who is now 78, will have to stand down at some time. I mean, that’s what one would assume, right? When that occurs, it’s probable he’ll nominate one of his children to the position of general manager. If there’s one outsider he’d consider bringing in, it’s reportedly Aikman, who has previously said that he’d like the challenge of becoming a general manager for an NFL club.
Jerry Jones has shown interest in employing Troy Aikman.
Troy Aikman was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2005, and Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman were in attendance. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jones said, as he has for some years, just before the opening of Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, that he “would do everything known to man to get back to a Super Bowl.” Naturally, he was questioned whether stepping down as general manager was part of it. Jones seemed to dismiss the idea, stating that the greatest way to get things done is to accomplish them quickly, and that the “quickest approach is to have the person with the checkbook be engaged at the grassroots level.”
When questioned directly about bringing in Aikman, Jones seemed receptive to the idea, even stating that he had previously explored it (h/t Sports Illustrated).
“I’d think about it, and I’m thinking about it right now. That would not be a problem for me…. If we were to make a football personnel choice, I’d place Troy at the top of the list.”
Troy Aikman vs. Jerry Jones
That’s at least something, right? So Jones didn’t indicate he’d be willing to hire Aikman as general manager. But what about an assistant general manager? Perhaps a position like Vice President of Player Personnel? Given his previous remarks, it seems like Stephen Jones has the inside track to become the next GM, which would certainly prevent Aikman from taking a job if one were offered to him.
Aikman has previously said that he would love the challenge of becoming an NFL general manager.
Since retiring from the Cowboys after the 2000 season, Aikman has worked as a color commentator for Fox Sports, although he has considered moving into the front office. Even as late as 2019 (h/t NFL.com), the three-time Super Bowl winner expressed interest in becoming an NFL general manager.
“I suppose it’s something I’ve always been interested in. In prior years, I had the opportunity to speak with [then-Broncos general manager] John Elway. I spoke with [49ers general manager] John Lynch about his choice to accept the position in San Francisco, and I’ve stated many times that I still feel there’s another frontier for me to explore — maybe there isn’t, but I believe there is, and I believe that could very well be it.”
While Aikman recognizes how time-consuming a general manager position would be, he believes the “challenge would make it worthwhile.” He also said that his chances of landing such a position are diminishing with each passing season, since most clubs would prefer to hire a younger player.
Regardless of what Jones says, the Cowboys are unlikely to be a viable choice.
Despite Jones’s claim that he is considering hiring Aikman, the chances of Aikman ever becoming the Dallas Cowboys’ general manager are low to none. And Aikman is well aware of this. “It’s always been a long shot in Dallas for the simple fact that it’s a family affair,” the six-time Pro Bowler stated in a 2020 interview with SI.
And Aikman is absolutely correct in his assessment. While Aikman might take on a lesser position with the Cowboys, he’d eventually want to be the general manager, which isn’t going to happen. Stephen has been with the club for the same amount of time as his father and seems to be taking on more responsibilities each year. Jerry may still have the ultimate say, but Stephen now has more power than he has ever had.
So, if Aikman ever decides to leave the booth for a front office, it won’t be the Cowboys’ front office, no matter how magnificent or appropriate it may have been.
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