Troy Aikman has been in the Fox NFL broadcast booth since 2001, and has become an authoritative voice, unafraid to be critical of teams during games, including the Dallas Cowboys, the team that drafted him first overall in 1989 and with which he won three Super Bowls.
Lately, Aikman has also been critical of the Cowboys off the field, in particular franchise owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
This week, the 53-year-old combined both a critique of Jones and a desire to possibly explore a role outside of television.
‘Real stubborn and steadfast’
Aikman was on 1310 The Ticket in Dallas on Tuesday and was asked if he could envision himself taking on a player personnel role in the Cowboys’ front office. He didn’t shoot down the idea of leaving the broadcast booth, but he did shoot down the idea he would do it to take a position in Dallas.
Aikman believes Jones wouldn’t bring in someone high-ranking to help with personnel decisions, saying he is “real stubborn and steadfast in that he’s the one in charge.”
Aikman’s right on that: In his weekly interview on a different Dallas station, 105.3 The Fan, last week, Jones noted more than once that he’s the GM and the one who makes the decisions. (He also cursed so much the station’s internal system dropped his call.)
“I think in a lot of ways, until that changes, this team's going to have some problems,” Aikman said of Jones’ reign.
‘I still believe there’s another frontier for me’
While Aikman did spend all of his career with Dallas, he’s said in the past that frustration toward the end of his career led to him retiring earlier than he anticipated.
But Aikman acknowledged he would consider a career change.
“It’s something that I guess I’ve always entertained,” he said, adding that he’s spoken with peers who have ventured into team management.
“I've had a chance to talk with [Broncos general manager] John Elway in previous years. I've visited with [49ers general manager] John Lynch, and the decision that he made to take on that job in San Francisco, and I've said many, many times, I still believe there's another frontier for me — maybe there's not — but I believe that there is, and I think that might very well be it,” Aikman said. “It's something that I think would be very challenging. I'd be giving up a lot to leave the job that I have to take on a role like that. It's an all-consuming job and I certainly recognize that, but I think the challenge would make it worthwhile.
“Now whether or not I'm ever afforded that opportunity, we'll see, but with each year that passes, the likelihood of it happening becomes less and less. I understand that more and more teams want to go young and kind of groom somebody that's gonna be there for the long haul, but relatively speaking, I've got a lot of great years left and I feel that having been in a championship locker room and knowing what that looks like, what that feels like, and then I guess my job now as a broadcaster, I've been in those organizations.”
Aikman is very good at his current job, and there’s no way of knowing whether he’d be as successful as a GM. But given what he said about his experience and what he’d bring to the table, it sounds like he wants to give it a shot.
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