Hall-of-Fame quarterback Troy Aikman bleeds Cowboys blue despite his current job as a supposedly neutral NFL analyst alongside Joe Buck but he clearly is not blind to the dysfunction of the organization in Dallas according to Todd Archer of ESPN.
“Go through the list and this team, over a long period of time, has been what it’s been,” Aikman told Archer. . “It hasn’t always mattered who the head coach has been. So to me, if you’re asking me, I’d say there has to be a complete overhaul of the entire organization.” No one knows better than Aikman that that is likely not going to happen with owner Jerry Jones also being the general manager and in charge of every decision made, although Jones does lean on his son Stephen as well as vice president of player personnel Will McClay and coach Jason Garrett for personnel matters.
“I’ve heard Jerry say, ‘OK, look, we’re going to do it differently. I’m going to do it differently,’ . . . but it’s the same. Nothing changes,” Aikman said. “And that to me is the bigger issue beyond, yes, coaching is important, personnel, all those things are important, but how are you going about evaluating how you’re going about running the organization? Whatever that looks like — and everyone has an opinion on what it does look like, but I’m not in the building. I have no idea. I talk to people. I talk to people who have been inside the building and have a pretty good understanding how things are run and in a lot of ways there’s a lot of dysfunction and that has to change if this team is going to be able to compete on a consistent basis like the teams that you look to around the league that seemingly are in the hunt each and every year.”
Aikman has a personal relationship with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (they were once teammates in the 1990’s) but he also has a unique perspective in his current job to peek behind the curtain at other franchises and see what works and what doesn’t. And it is clear that things have not really worked in Dallas for a long time despite the optimism of Dak Prescott’s 2016 rookie season. The Cowboys are 3-5 at the moment, 70-58 in nine years under Garrett, and have exactly two playoff wins since Aikman beat the Vikings in the 1996 wild card round. He also knows that Jerrah is not going to fire himself or take a step back so things are unlikely to change anytime soon.