The 300: #10 Troy Aikman

The tenth instalment of The 300 brings us our first quarterback…

NFL CAREER

Dallas Cowboys (1989-2000)

 

POSITION

Quarterback

 

WHY IS HE IMPORTANT?

You want to know why he’s important? How many NFL players can you think of who, if you start punching their first name into Google, come up as the first option? This guy even beats out the Norse God of Thunder, for goodness sake!

Aikman was, to some extent, a sporting polymath. Baseball’s New York Mets tried to draft him long before he was even NFL eligible (baseball being somewhat less interested in their players getting an education before turning professional). At college, he was the first freshman to start for Oklahoma since the Second World War. When he transferred to UCLA, he became the first Bruins player to ever be voted as the nation’s top quarterback.

He was the first pick in the 1989 Draft, and then beat out future Hall of Famer Steve Walsh for the starting job. It was a role he was to hold for eleven seasons. He won three Superbowls in four seasons (XXVII, XXVIII and XXX), being voted MVP in his first appearance and, indeed, never losing a championship game.

Aikman struggled with injuries and especially concussions (he recently said the he believed that he had suffered at least ten) during his NFL career (even 1990s quarterbacks were protected less than those of today), but it was back issues which brought his career to an end. In his final season he was often replaced by former Redskins‘ quarterback Randall Cunningham due to fitness problems and, ironically, it was a hit from Redskins’ linebacker LaVar Arrington which ended his career midway through the 2000 season.

He then, of course, went on to have a hugely successful broadcasting career, a move which almost certainly paved the way for Tony Romo, the next long term Cowboys quarterback, to do the same thing.

Richard O’Hagan

 

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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    The tenth instalment of The 300 brings us our first quarterback… NFL CAREER Dallas Cowboys (1989-2000)   POSITION Quarterback   WHY IS HE
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