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Troy Aikman Biography

NFL Player Bio: Troy Aikman

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Troy Aikman, born November 21, 1965, accomplished just about everything a quarterback possibly can. The 6-Time Pro Bowler is a triple Super Bowl Champion. He was the number-one pick in the NFL draft. He led UCLA to a period of excellence the Bruins have yet to recapture. He led a resurgence of an NFL team that had fallen on hard times. He is also a member of the pro and college halls of fame.

Troy was offered a contract by the Mets to play baseball out of high school, but Aikman decided to go play football for the Oklahoma Sooners. Things were going well for Aikman. In 1985, he earned the starting job and had Oklahoma on a good run. Then in a game against Miami that pitted two of his future head coaches in the NFL, Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson against each other, he broke his ankle on a sack by future all-pro Jerome Brown. Aikman was replaced by wishbone specialist Jamelle Holieway, who took the baton from Aikman and won a National Championship. With Holieway now entrenched as quarterback, Aikman transferred to UCLA.

Aikman sat out a year, before taking the reigns and immediately making his impact felt under the aerial attack of coach Terry Donahue. A pair of 10-2 seasons followed, including two Bowl wins. In his senior season, he distanced himself from the other quarterbacks in the nation. A Cotton Bowl win over Arkansas only further made him the obvious top choice in the draft--a spot held by the bottomed-out Dallas Cowboys.

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Aikman’s arrival in Dallas accompanied an overhauling of the franchise. The old guard was out as new owner Jerry Jones revamped the entire team. Jimmy Johnson was in as coach. Loaded with draft picks, Dallas picked wisely and started hitting the jackpot with selections that would later yield legendary results.

There would first be some growing pains, however, as Aikman’s first season was a disaster with an 0-11 record as a starter. With Aikman and favorite target WR Michael Irvin in place, Dallas got Emmitt Smith before the ’90 season. Smith would wind up becoming the NFL’s leading all-time rusher and his impact was felt as Dallas was 7-9 in Aikman’s sophomore season. In 1991, the development continued, but Aikman only made it 11 games before an injury knocked him out for the regular season. The Cowboys did well enough without Aikman to make it to the playoffs and advance, before Aikman returned in a loss against the Lions in a divisional playoff game.

Picture of Troy Aikman

The 1992 season saw everything come together. Aikman was healthy and put up big numbers. The Cowboys were among the class of the league at 13-3. The playoffs, however, meant they would have to go through the powerful 49ers in the NFC Championship, which Dallas won 30-20. In Super Bowl XXVII, Aikman and the Cowboys romped to a dominant 52-17 win over Buffalo. In the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl win in 15 years, Aikman threw for 4 touchdown passes.

In 1993, Aikman and the Cowboys continued their success. A 12-4 season led to another big playoff run, highlighted by wins over the Packers and 49ers. In Super Bowl XXVIII, they again met the Bills. While not the blowout of the previous year’s big game, the Cowboys came on late to beat the Bills 30-13. Aikman joined a select club of consecutive Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Now reunited with former college coach Barry Switzer, Aikman and the Cowboys were bounced from the playoffs in 1994. In 1995, however, the Cowboys got on another big roll. After again knocking out the Packers, they faced Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX. A 27-17 win saw Dallas now fringing on dynasty-status, with 3 superbowl wins in 4 seasons.

Aikman had continued success, making the playoffs in 3 of the next 4 years. He continued putting up good stats and winning games, but the magic was gone. In addition, concussions were adding up and Aikman’s time looked short. In 2000, his final season, he was frequently battered and announced his retirement following the season.

His stats and longevity might not be up there with other top Hall of Fame quarterbacks and it is considered acceptable to leave him off top-ten all-time QB lists. Then again, if it’s OK to ding a guy like Dan Marino for never winning a Super Bowl, it’s only fair to credit a guy who excelled in that area. In winning 3 Super Bowls, Aikman is in a select group and should be recognized as one of the NFL’s greatest winners.

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