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Jones Responds To Aikman’s GM Comments

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current FOX NFL analyst Troy Aikman would love to become a team’s GM some day.  Aikman shared his interest in a recent interview and sees it as the next steppingstone in his football career, which he apparently doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

Aikman to Become GM Anytime Soon?

If Aikman were to become a GM, however, he makes it completely clear that it wouldn’t happen with the Cowboys, as long as owner Jerry Jones is at the helm.  This isn’t because Jones wouldn’t accept him, but, rather, because Aikman wouldn’t accept Jones.  After the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback made his comments a matter of public record, Jones has now weighed in and given his two cents, which, because of inflation, are now only worth about a quarter of a cent.

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Aikman said that Jones is “real stubborn and steadfast that he’s the one in charge,” which are important traits to have as a business owner.  However, they can clash with the role of a GM, who is supposed to be tasked with leading a team in essentially all aspects of its operations.  Jones keeps a short leash on the staff beneath him and likes to maintain control over virtually all movements.

In response to Aikman’s GM comments, Jones said during an interview on a local Dallas radio station, 105.3 The Fan, “Now I would wager that if he [gave everything] to buy the team, he would do it exactly like I do it.  I would wager that. Because you just want to, ultimately, with that much on the line and that much at stake, you want to break any ties and make the calls.”

Aikman led the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in just four years.  The Hall of Famer was with the team from 1989 to 2000 and, ever since he left, things haven’t been the same.  Jones added, “[Aikman] emptied the bucket just like I did to become a Cowboy.”

Jones at least recognized the contributions Aikman made to the team’s success, which was significant.  It meant that Jones didn’t try to accept all the credit on his own.

At the top of the Cowboys hierarchy sit Jones, VP Stephen Jones, VP of player personnel Will McClay and Tex Schramm, the team’s president and GM.  However, Jones makes it clear that he is the ultimate playcaller and even ensures that he is also listed as the GM and president.  The top brass has input into operations, but Jones makes all team decisions.  Given the team’s unlucky stretch over the past couple of years, he might want to listen to some of the others.

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Jones added, “It’s a misnomer to think I just throw darts and just say, ‘We’ll do it this way, that way.’ I’ve never done that. But as I’ve said many times, I’ve never not made the ultimate decision.  Knowing [Aikman], I know how he was attentive to [then-Cowboys offensive coordinator] Norv Turner, I know how he had deference to many people to get better. He would be a great listener, or a great acceptance of direction and advice. Hopefully I have that as well.”

Football is played on the field and, with the exception of decisions affecting the office, so should the way the team is led.  Other teams have been very successful leading that way, while the owner takes more of a backseat to the day-to-day operations.  Jones may have been able to build an empire by keeping the reins held tightly, but that empire hasn’t extended to the Cowboys and, if one solution doesn’t work, it’s time for a new strategy.  Since a football team, in the eyes of most, is nothing more than just another business venture, Jones should know that.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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