Staubach to Jerry: Let Aikman have a go at this thing
FEB 06, 2014 9:01a ET
DALLAS - On the occasion of his 72nd birthday, Hall of Famer Roger Staubach was stumping for another iconic Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Making an appearance at the unveiling of the newly-renovated Cooper Fitness Center, Staubach was asked what he thought about Troy Aikman possibly getting involved with the Cowboys as an executive.
Staubach loved the topic so much that he kept returning to it after I steered the interview in another direction. What prompted this conversation was a comment Aikman recently made on his weekly radio show on The Ticket in which he expressed interest in someday working in the front office of an NFL team.
"It would depend on Stephen [Jones] and Jerry [Jones] sitting down with Troy and figuring out how Troy could contribute in a significant way," Staubach told a small group of reporters. "I think it's a good idea. There might be a formula there somewhere. I'm a big Aikman guy so I think whatever he's going to do, he's going to do well.
"He could be another John Elway, as far as a general manager. Elway's done a great job in Denver, so I think if they could figure out a way that would work with the family situation I would love to see Troy involved with the Cowboys."
Aikman, appearing at the same ceremony Wednesday, doesn't see the Cowboys as a fit for him. He told me that he was part of a group that explored buying an NFL team a few years ago. I think he'd like to have an ownership stake in a team while also being a vital part of the front office. He said the "family dynamic" with Stephen and Jerry would make it difficult for him to have a role within the organization. But I do think once his young daughters are closer to graduation, it's something Aikman will pursue. Just don't expect him to look for a general manager's role.
"I wouldn't want to be Matt Millen," Aikman told me, referring to the former Detroit Lions GM who was hired straight from TV. "You don't just step right into that job. That's not the way John Elway did it. He was with the Denver Crush and was able to get some great experience on the business side."
Aikman said his role as the lead analyst at FOX has given him an opportunity to learn how successful organizations are built. That's what led him to make some pointed comments about how Jerry runs the Cowboys while meeting with reporters last week in New York City.
"If you take Seattle for instance, if you say 'hey, what is their philosophy?' you kind of know what that is," Aikman said via The Dallas Morning News. "They're going to play great defense, they're going to run the football and they draft players who fit the mold of what they're looking for. I don't know that the Cowboys...
"The Cowboys tend to change their beliefs each year on what it is they need or what they're about. I find that to be somewhat unusual for a club that has been owned by the same owner for however long it's been."
That's probably the harshest thing I've heard Aikman say about Jones. And he's on the money. The Cowboys don't seem to have an identity from season to season, unless you count .500 records.
If Aikman has a successful run with another NFL organization, it will be a bitter pill for Cowboys fans to swallow. But it's time to begin preparing for that scenario. This is something he absolutely wants to pursue once his daughters are out of the house. But Staubach can't quite give up on Aikman joining the Cowboys. It was Staubach himself who was asked to be GM Tex Schramm's right-hand man in 1989 before Jones purchased the team. Staubach didn't pursue the opportunity because he was in the process of building a successful real-estate game.
"I like Stephen. I think Stephen's a young up-and-comer," said Staubach on Wednesday. "He's getting a lot of experience. It's really Stephen and Jerry trying to say, âDo we want somebody to come into our life now and help us?' I think Aikman would be an ideal situation and one that maybe could work."
Sadly, Aikman doesn't fit the Cowboys' current structure. And that alone tells you how screwed up this structure is.