Former NFL Quarterback

6'4'', 219 lbs

California kid

Troy Kenneth Aikman was born on November 21, 1966 at West Covina, California. He is the son of Kenneth and Charlyn Aikman, and brother to older sisters Tammy and Terri.

It is not widely known that Troy had a mild form of clubfoot which was corrected by wearing casts on his feet until 13 months of age. Following the casts, he needed to wear corrective footwear until he was three.

Okie bound

His family made the move to Henrietta, Oklahoma by the time Troy turned 12. The family had a 172 acre ranch, a lifestyle change that was less than exciting to young Troy. He spent his free time hunting and fishing as well as in team sports with his friends.

A gifted athlete, Troy earned All-State honors in both baseball and football while attending Henrietta High School. He was offered a spot with the New York Mets following his graduation, but instead wisely chose to attend college, first at the University of Oklahoma, then transferring to UCLA.

College Career

Before choosing the University of Oklahoma, Aikman was courted by Coach Jimmy Johnson, then with Oklahoma State. This was not the last time Aikman's path would cross that of Jimmy Johnson.

Aikman left Oklahoma following a broken ankle which sidelined him and being informed by Coach Barry Switzer that the team was switching to an option offense which would feature much less passing. While sidelined, Aikman had been replaced by QB Jamelle Holieway, who eventually led the team to a National Championship in 1985, a title which was culminated by winning against Penn State in the 1986 Orange Bowl 25-10. With Hollieway firmly ensconced as starting QB, Aikman ran his own option play and transferred to UCLA. As a transfer student, he had to red shirt for the 1886 season. Next year he won the starting QB role, continuing the winning ways that had been interrupted by his ankle injury. His final 2 seasons ended with matching 10-2 records. The first year culminated with a winning trip to the Aloha Bowl, with the UCLA Bruins beating a tough Florida Gators team (with Emmitt Smith) 20-16. His 2nd season ended with a winning trip to the Cotton Bowl, besting the Arkansas Razorbacks 17-3. Some of the honors he collected are as follows:

  • The Sporting News All-America Team, 2nd team QB, 1987
  • Pac 10 Offensive Player of the Year, 1987
  • Most Valuable Player, Aloha Bowl, 1987- winning QB in 20-16 effort over the Florida Gators.
  • The Sporting News, All-America Team, 1st Team QB, 1988
  • Finished college as the 3rd highest rated passer in NCAA history
  • Henry R. (Red) Sanders Trophy, MVP of the year, 1988
  • Heisman Trophy Finalist, 1988 (finished 3rd)
  • Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, 1988 (given to best college QB in nation.)
  • College QB of the Year, 1988
  • Most Valuable Player- Cotton Bowl, 1988 - winning QB in a 17-3 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

In a strange foreshadowing of his pro career, Aikman was knocked unconscious following his 2nd TD pass with less than 2 minutes on the clock in that 1988 Cotton Bowl game.

Aikman finished his career at UCLA with a pass completion percentage of 64.8, passing for 5,298 yards. He passed for 41 TDs with only 17 interceptions.

#1 draft pick

Following college, Aikman was the first round draft choice of the NFL Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had fallen on hard times, going a woeful 3-13 in 1988. New team owner Jerry Jones made an earth shattering move by firing long time and beloved Coach Tom Landry, the only coach the Cowboys had ever had. Landry was replaced by Jimmy Johnson, the successful former coach of the Miami Hurricanes. The 1989 season started out with a new owner, new coach, and a new rookie QB.

Long road to the top of the mountain

Success did not come overnight for Aikman and the Cowboys. His first season as a pro was 1989, a year in which they finished 1-15. After the first 4 losses Troy broke a finger, costing him 6 weeks on the sideline. The Dallas faithful were generous in passing out blame, sometimes referring to their rookie QB as Troy Ache-man.

The 1990 campaign fared better, ending with a record of 7-9, help arriving in the form of Emmitt Smith, former Florida Gator running back. Aikman already had wide receiver Michael Irvin in his arsenal and the combination of Aikman, Smith, and Irvin was very difficult to defend against. The trio earned the nickname of The triplets.

Aikman ended his third season (1991) with a run to the playoffs, going 11-5 for the season.

Next year (1992), things really got rolling with a 13-3 regular season finish. The Dallas Cowboys went to the playoffs, beating the Philadelphia Eagles to win their division, then the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship. They met the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII, winning by a decisive 52-17. Troy Aikman was named game MVP for completing 22 of 30 passes, amassing 273 yards of offense, and 4 TDs.

Aikman in his 4th season again took the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, a replay of their former season by meeting the Buffalo Bills again. The Cowboys won 30-13 for their 2nd consecutive Vince Lombardi Trophy. Emmitt Smith took MVP honors.

The 1994 campaign ended differently. The Cowboys went to the playoffs but stumbled against Steve Young and the 49ers, who eventually won against the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl IXXX.

In 1995 Aikman returned to the Super Bowl, winning this time against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Dallas Cowboys went into decline following their Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh. Controversy among players, strife between owner Jerry Jones and Coach Jimmy Johnson, and other issues consumed the team. In a period of quickly changing personnel, Aikman continued to be a steady performer, but suffered from a faltering pass protection by his offensive line. On December 10, 2000 in a game against the Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium, linebacker LaVar Arrington sacked Aikman, dealing him his 10th concussion. That was to be the final play of Aikman's professional football career, deciding on the advice of medical specialists that it was too risky to continue. He hung up his cleats in the off season.

Troy Aikman achieved several significant records in his Cowboy career. The Cowboy uniform (#8) is the only one he has ever worn as a pro, something of note in an era of free agency. A partial list of his accomplishments follow:

  • Winner of three Super Bowls, one of just three QBs to do so.
  • Only QB to win 3 out of 4 Super Bowls
  • led his team to 4 consecutive NFC Championship games, (1992,1993,1994,1995), winning 3 out of 4
  • Led his team to six consecutive playoff seasons (1991-1996)
  • One of only 3 Dallas Cowboys to play in 3 different decades
  • Winningest QB in a single decade (90 wins in the 90s), eclipsing Joe Montana (86 wins in the 80s) and Roger Staubach (84 wins in the 70s)
  • Ranked # 19 Leading Lifetime Passer with a career rating 0f 81.6
  • Finished pro career ranked #4 Highest percentage pass completions (61.6%), behind Steve Young (64.3%), Joe Montana (63.2%), and Brad Johnson (61.8%).

Dallas Cowboy team records

Aikman holds a stunning list of Dallas Cowboy team records, an amazing feat considering he came along following the stellar career of Roger Staubach. His accomplishments include:

  • Most seasons (as well as consecutive seasons) leading team (1989-2000)
  • Highest rating as a rookie (55.7%)
  • Most pass attempts as a rookie (293 in 1989)
  • Most career pass attempts (4,453)
  • Most pass attempts in a single game (57 against Minnesota Vikings in 1998)
  • Most pass completions as a rookie (155)
  • Most career pass completions (2,742)
  • Most pass completions in a single game (34, achieved twice, once against New York Giants in 1997, again against Minnesota Vikings, 1998)
  • Highest pass completion percentage as a rookie (52.9%)
  • Highest pass completion percentage in a season (69.1%)
  • Highest pass completion percentage career (61.6%)
  • Gained most yards as a rookie (1,749)
  • Gained most yards in a single game while a rookie (379)
  • Most yards gained, career (31,310)
  • Seasons gaining over 3,000 yards passing-5
  • Most games over 300 yards passing, career- 12
  • Most TDs as a rookie (9)
  • Most TDs in a game (5, tied with Danny White, Craig Morton, Don Meredith, Eddie LeBaron)
  • Most TDs in a game as a rookie (4)
  • Most consecutive games with a TD pass (16)
  • Most career TDs (158)
  • Most consecutive pass attempts without interception (216)
  • Most pass attempts without interception in a single game (57)
  • Lowest percentage of pass interceptions as a rookie (6.14%)
  • Lowest percentage of passes intercepted in single season (1.53)
  • Lowest percentage of pass interceptions career (2.85%)

Appearing in post season playoff games was common for Troy Aikman. He played in 17 combined playoff games and Super Bowls, posting 12 wins.


Troy Aikman in a long career has reaped a large variety of awards. Some of his awards are:


  • Named to All-Rookie Teams by most of the sports press organizations


  • All Madden Team


  • NFL Pro Bowl
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year


  • MVP-Super Bowl XXVII
  • NFL Pro Bowl
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • Named the 1992 Henryettan of the Year by his hometown
  • Bob Lilly Award
  • All Madden Team


  • The Sporting News, NFL All Pro Team, QB
  • NFL most accurate passer (69.1% completion rate
  • NFL Pro Bowl, named starting QB- replaced due to injury by Bobby Hebert
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • Dallas All Sports Association Pro Athlete of the Year
  • All Madden Team


  • NFL Pro Bowl
  • Byron White Humanitarian Award
  • Dallas All Sports Association Field Scovell Award
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • All Madden Team


  • NFL Pro Bowl, named starting QB- replaced by Warren Moon due to injury
  • Bob Lilly Award
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • All Madden Team


  • NFL Pro Bowl, Named starting QB- replaced by Gus Frerotte due to injury
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • All Madden Team


  • NFL Man of the Year (after being a Top 5 finalist for 6 years)
  • Dallas All Soprts Association (DASA)Children's Medical Center of Dallas "Role Model of the Year" Award
  • Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
  • Dallas Cowboy NFL Man of the Year
  • All Madden Team


  • Bob Lilly Award


  • Winningest NFL QB ever over a single decade-90 wins
  • UCLA Atletic Hall of Fame


  • Dallas All Sports Association Big D Award
  • Sports Illustrated, TV Top Newcomer


  • Texas Sports Hall of Fame
  • Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, along with team mates Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin

Career highlights

Troy Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility.

Along the way to his niche in the NFL Hall of Fame located in Canton, Ohio, Aikman amassed impressive stats. Some of his accomplishments were:

  • Played in 165 games
  • 4,715 pass attempts
  • 2,898 pass completions
  • 32,942 yards passing
  • 165 TD passes
  • 141 career interceptions (3%)
  • 81.6 career rating
  • 327 rushing attempts
  • 1,016 rushing yards
  • 3.1 yards gained per rushing attempt
  • 9 rushing TDs
  • 47 fumbles, only 22 of which were lost

"Shut up and play, that's how I've always felt about injuries. That's life in the NFL."

The cost of setting that impressive list of team and league records didn't come without a price. As with most of his professional football playing peers, Troy Aikman knows what the inside of a hospital looks like. The list of his injuries is almost as long as the list of his accomplishments. Week after week, year after year of laying it on the line has given Aikman a battered body. The critics during his rookie year called him Ache-man. After 12 years of battering, the title fits all too well. His injuries and illnesses included:

  • 10 concussions
  • fractured collarbone
  • right shoulder separation
  • lacerated right index finger
  • bone chips, right elbow
  • melanoma, left shoulder
  • fractured left index finger
  • lumbar diskectomy
  • degenerative back condition
  • strained left hamstring
  • sprained MCL, left knee
  • sprained LCL, right knee
  • strained right calf
  • broken ankle

From behind center to behind the microphone

Following his playing career, Troy Aikman didn't disappear into anonymity. He turned up in the broadcast booth, working for the Fox Network as a commentator. He was named by Sports Illustrated as TV Top Newcomer in 2001.

Long before that occured, Aikman had been working in broadcasting. He, along with Brad Sham, had been on a local Dallas radio program during football season. During the mid 90s Aikman had worked in TV along with veteran broadcaster Pat Summerall on a program which aired locally in Dallas.

In 1999, the Fox Network had Aikman along with Brad Sham winging off to Europe to provide coverage of NFL Europe. Fox had been wooing Aikman for a job in the booth and this was his chance to test the waters. Following his retirement from play, Troy teamed with Daryl Johnston and veteran announcer Dick Stockton as the Fox #2 team.

Reviews were positive for his work behind the mike. Next year saw a shake up of Fox's NFL coverage team. John Madden bailed out for a turn at ABC Monday Night Football while Pat Summerall decided to lighten his schedule, making a spot open for a new #1 broadcast team. Troy Aikman, Chris Collinsworth, and Joe Buck got the nod for the post.


Troy Aikman didn't wait for fame to strike before engaging in his humanitarian efforts. In 1992 he created the Troy Aikman Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The foundation was initially tasked to provide for the physical, psychological, social, and educational needs of children who were not eligible for government assistance. The efforts of the foundation was further focused in 1995 when it sought to create interactive playrooms for children in hospitals. The first such playroom, dubbed "Aikman's End Zone", opened at Children's Medical Center, Dallas, Texas in 1996. Aikman partnered with film director Stephen Spielberg in the effort. Other Aikman's End Zones have been added, and the goal is to have these facilities for children available in every NFL city.

Aikman also sponsors a scholarship at his old high school for students who want to pursue higher education but can't afford it.

He pledged to match funds in 1991 for building a health and fitness center for his hometown schools in Henryetta, Oklahoma.

Author, author

Troy Aikman has been the subject of innumerable magazine, print, radio, and TV features. In going full circle, he has been the author of several books. One such work is Things Change, written with Greg Brown, (1996). Also by Aikman are Mind, Body, and Soul, (1998) and Reaching For the Stars, written with former Cowboy QB and idol Roger Staubach, (1993).

Cowboy up!

Along with fellow Dallas Cowboy player and NFL Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman participated as a team owner in NASCAR. They jointly owned Hall of Fame Racing, and ran a team in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing Series. The team has changed their majority ownership position in 2007, being owned by Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, owner and CEO and COO respectively of the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team.

Other Pursuits

Troy Aikman must be a fan of Dirty Harry Callahan, because he's a man who knows his limitations. He has appeared in a host of TV programs as well as in film. His appearances include appearing in the Tom Cruise film Jerry McGuire, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, The Late Show with David Letterman, Prime Time Country, and Dancing With the Stars. Most, if not all of these appearances were as himself, a task for which he is perfectly well suited. In contrast to former jocks who attempt an acting career with poor results (can anyone recall Brian Bosworth?), Troy has taken the simple path and found contentment in being who he is, a retired athlete.


It wasn't until 2000 that Troy Aikman went to the altar. He married Rhonda Worthey, who was also employed by the Dallas Cowboys organization as a publicist. Ms. Worthey had one daughter (Rachel) by a previous marriage. She and Troy became parents to Jordan Ashley Aikman in 2001 and to Alexa Marie Aikman in 2002. Before marriage Troy was briefly involved with country singer Lorrie Morgan and (so rumor has it) Sandra Bullock and Janine Turner.

Throughout his career Troy Aikman never seemed to seek the spotlight. He attempted to keep his private life private. Aikman still enjoys fishing and golfing.

Recently while traveling through Chicago I was listening to the Dennis Miller Show on a local news-talk AM radio station. In his own special style, Dennis was telling a story about Troy Aikman. It took place during one of his several concussions. The team medical personnel were trying to determine the extent of Aikman's injury when the upstair booth called down for a progress report. "He doesn't know who he is!", was the reply of the medical staff. After a momentary pause the man upstairs said "Good, tell him he's Joe Montana and get him back out there."


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