Troy Aikman Biography

Troy Aikman was a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1989 to 2000. The 6-4 220 pound Aikman was born November 21, 1966 in West Covina, California. Currently he calls NFC football games for the Fox network.

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Player Info

Height 6' 4"
Weight 220 lbs
DOB: 11/21/1966

Troy Aikman Stats

NFL Draft

1989/Round 1/Pick 1

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Troy Aikman Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 6 Time Pro Bowl Player
Awards NFL Awards
Super Bowl MVP
Walter Payton Award
Honors Pro Football Hall of Fame
Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor

Team(s) As A Player

Dallas Cowboys 1989-2000

 #1 Draft Pick Troy Aikman

After a brilliant college career at UCLA, going 20-4 as a starter, Troy Aikman was the first pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys had new ownership in Jerry Jones, and a new head coach Jimmy Johnson, only the second head coach in Cowboys history after the long tenure of Tom Landry.

The Cowboys were coming off a 3-13 season, so it was no surprise when they selected Troy Aikman with their first pick. Aikman was widely considered the best quarterback in the NFL Draft after winning the Davey O’Brien Award in 1988. He possessed uncanny accuracy, good mobility, and the poise every team wants in a starting quarterback.

Aikman's Rookie Woes

 Troy Aikman was thrown to the wolves as a rookie quarterback. Without much talent around him he and the Cowboys struggled as he went 0-11 as the starter and the Dallas Cowboys finished with a woeful 1-15 record.

Troy Aikman’s Preparation

In football, preparation is the key to winning. Very few prepared better than Troy Aikman. Wade Wilson, the backup quarterback for the Cowboys, said he never witnessed anyone ready himself for a game like Aikman did.

“He prepared every week in infinite detail,” said Wilson. “He played in the same offense so long he had to know it better than the coaches, but he was always taking notes. He'd come to meetings with all kinds of different colored pens and write things down like he was hearing them for the first time. Then he'd study it all as if he was preparing for a test and anything less than 100 percent was unacceptable.” (1)

Troy Aikman Super Bowl MVP

In 1992, Troy Aikman set career highs in completions (302), passing yards (3,445) and touchdown passes (23), and led the Cowboys to Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena against the Buffalo Bills. Aikman completed 22-of-30 passes for 273 yards with 4 TDs as Dallas obliterated Buffalo, 52-17 Aikman was assisted by the defense which forced a Super Bowl record 9 turnovers. Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP.

The next year, with Aikman having one of his best seasons posting a 99.0 passer rating, Dallas defeated the Bills again in Super Bowl XXVIII, this time 30-13 for a second straight Super Bowl title. It was the franchises 4th Super Bowl title, tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers. It was widely expected that the team might win the Super Bowl at the end of the 1994 season, becoming the first team to win three consecutive titles. However, Jones and Johnson began having disputes regarding their own personal responsibility for the team’s success. Johnson was out and in was Barry Switzer, a former college teammate of Jones when the two were at Arkansas. Despite the turmoil, the Cowboys almost returned to the Super Bowl but were beaten, 38-28, in the NFC Championship game by the San Francisco 49ers.

The 1995 Cowboys bounced back, going 12-4 and found themselves back in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The winner of the game would tie San Francisco with their fifth Super Bowl win. The Cowboys offense struggled against a tough Steelers defense, but Larry Brown had two interceptions to win the MVP award and lead Dallas to victory 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX.

Troy Aikman Hall of Fame Induction

In 2006, Troy Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He was joined by Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, and Rayfield Wright for the 2006 Class. Aikman will be remembered as an extremely accurate passer who won 3 Super Bowls. He is the second Dallas Cowboys quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first was Roger Staubach.

Troy Aikman Career Stats

Quarterback Troy Aikman had a fine career for the Dallas Cowboys. In 12 seasons he completed 2,898 of 4,715 passes for 32,942 yards, 165 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. He played in a run first offense with Emmitt Smith the key ingredient for success. Ernie Zampese said. “Troy would have a lot more yards in his career, but that would not have been best for the football team. Troy was all about the team.” (1)

Troy Aikman brought accuracy that few quarterbacks have possessed in NFL history. “The things that stand out are his accuracy and toughness,” said Pat Summerall. “He hit receivers in stride as well as any quarterback that ever played the game. And you couldn't rattle him. We saw him take unbelievable hits _ and not all of them sacks, mind you _ and get up on the next play and hit Jay Novacek right between the 8 and the 4 for a key first down.” (2)

Troy Aikman did his best to limit mistakes, especially interceptions in his Hall of Fame career. He may not have thrown the touchdowns that other Hall of Fame quarterbacks have, but he didn’t have to. “If we were out there and a defense stopped us, Troy could deal with that,” Irvin said. “He knew they were pros just like us and they were doing their jobs. But an interception . . . he couldn't take it. He would feel like he hurt his team. It would eat him up. In Troy's mind, the perfect quarterback game wouldn't have to have 10 touchdown passes. It would have to have no interceptions.” (1)

Troy Aikman’s Broadcasting Career

After his retirement as a player, Aikman joined Fox’s NFC telecasts as a color commentator for the 2001 season. A year later, he was named to the network’s lead announcing crew, teaming with Joe Buck and Cris Collinsworth. Aikman received an Emmy Award nomination for his television work in 2004, he and Buck worked Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005.

Aikman also hosts a weekly sports radio show which airs on Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. ET on Sporting News Radio, and appears weekly during the football season on the Dunham & Miller morning show on Dallas sports talk radio station 1310 The Ticket.

By A. Goodin,
August 8, 2007

Related Links

Troy Aikman Biography Sources

(1)  Hall of Fame bound Troy Aikman raised the stakes for Cowboys (2006, August 1) Dallas Morning News
(2)  Let the debate begin: Aikman or Staubach? (2001, March 10) Knight Ridder