Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is best known for leading the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl triumphs. But his post-football career is nearly just as good.
After retiring in 2000, Aikman made the switch to the broadcasting booth, something that is not uncommon for stars today as several are currently plying their trade at various networks.
For some, being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys is a dream job, and Troy Aikman was that for 12 years. But how did he get into broadcasting? In a chat on the @boardroom’s TikTok page, Aikman detailed how it all started.
“I had no interest in doing any broadcasting,” Aikman said. “I think within our locker room, we thought that Michael Irvin would probably get into it or Deion Sanders, and both of those guys did.
“I went over to Europe and did some games with a friend of mine who was a broadcaster and ended up really enjoying it, and that’s when Fox said to me, ‘Hey, when you retire, if you want to broadcast, we’ve got a job for you,’ and that was two years before I retired.
“Here I am 21 years later, and I’m still doing it, but I never imagined broadcasting would, I guess, afford me the lifestyle that it has. And where salaries have gone has really changed dramatically over the years. But it’s been an amazing job. I think it’s probably the greatest job in America.”
Why did Troy Aikman retire so early?
Having played for 12 years, many think that this is a long career in the NFL, and it is, but for Troy Aikman, he retired relatively young at just 34 years of age. In today’s game there are players like Tom Brady (45), Aaron Rodgers (39), Joe Flacco (38), Matt Ryan (37) and a host of others still playing past Aikman’s retirement age.
But why did Troy Aikman retire so early?
Well, in a radio interview in 2013, the Hall of Famer said that he left the game because of persistent back issues that plagued him in his last season. He went 4-7 in his 11 games before calling it quits.
One other factor was the number of concussions that Aikman had suffered, including the one that ultimately ended his career by Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington.
Many thought this was the reason why Troy Aikman retired, but it was instead his back issues. Now, clearly the number of concussions certainly played a part in his decision to retire at just 34 (had four in the span of just 20 games). But coupled with back issues, it was clear Aikman wasn’t the same quarterback anymore.
He still had a superb career as he was one of “the triplets” with Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. Troy Aikman finished with a 94-71 record, 32,942 passing yards, 165 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, a three-time Super Bowl champion and the 1997 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
It was an incredible career that was relatively short.