Friday, January 10, 2014
What about the return of Troy Aikman?
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- John Elway is in his third year as the Denver Broncos' executive vice president of football operations. It's a fancy title that says, basically, he's in charge of all things football when it comes to the Broncos.
The Hall of Fame quarterback has been able to ride Tim Tebow to a playoff appearance -- and win -- and was able to lure Peyton Manning to the Broncos as a free agent.
Bringing Troy Aikman into the front-office fold would help the Joneses generate goodwill with Cowboys fans.
Before Elway took that job, his personnel experience consisted of owning the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.
The Broncos have gone 26-6 in the last two seasons with Manning as quarterback and are the AFC's top seed in the playoffs for the second straight year.
The Dallas Cowboys do not have an executive vice president of football operations.
They have Jerry Jones as owner, president and general manager. They have Stephen Jones as chief operating officer, executive vice president and director of player personnel. Will McClay is the assistant director of player personnel.
On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to appear on "The Score With Babe Laufenberg." Sportscaster Bill Jones asked what changes could or should the Cowboys make in 2014. I came up with change the defensive coordinator. I mean, how hard is that when Monte Kiffin's defense was as bad as it was?
Laufenberg, the former Cowboys quarterback, sports director at KTVT and Cowboys radio analyst, had an ingenius thought.
Think about the goodwill that would give Jones, who has long been criticized for being the general manager by just about everybody upset with the lack of success the Cowboys have had. Think of the jolt it would give the franchise.
Last year, Jones talked about sometimes having to do something "inordinate" to get the change you seek. His idea of change was to fire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator and have Bill Callahan call plays. And the Cowboys still went 8-8.
In his role as a Fox analyst, Aikman has been closer to the game than Elway was when he took over. I wonder if a part of him sees what Elway has done and thinks, "I can do that." Is Elway poring over player reports every waking minute and up on all of the salary cap machinations? Not necessarily.
Dan Marino tried to do this in 2004 and it didn't take. He lasted just three weeks as the senior vice president of football operations. Last fall Marino hinted he would be interested in a front-office gig once again, referencing Elway's success.
A lot of this is pie in the sky. We know Jones won't give up the GM duties. Ever. We also don't know if Aikman would ever consider giving up the Fox gig for something a little more grinding than calling games about 20 weekends a year. And we don't know if he could work with (or for) Jones again.
As we sit and wait to see what changes Jones will or will not make in this offseason, it sure is fun to ponder a Cowboys' life with Aikman in the front office.