Even though we’ve done our best to keep our blog as spoiler-free as possible, we can’t help but spoil the ending to the current season of the Dallas Cowboys. After all, there’s nothing stopping us from revealing our thoughts on that game! On Sunday, the Cowboys fell to the Atlanta Falcons, a team that had been picked by most experts to finish with the worst record in the NFC. It wasn’t the result we wished for, and our hearts are still hurting. We’ve been there, guys.
During the early morning hours of December 15, 1997, the Dallas Cowboys were on a bye week. Most of the team was at home, but a few (including Troy Aikman and Charles Haley) were in Los Angeles, where they had played the night before. As the players were heading home, a blizzard blocked their path. They spent the night in an airport, and on the flight home the next morning…
Remember the classic comedy Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray repeats the same day over and over? Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman talks about how his relationship with the player-coach was like his own Groundhog Day. The deserving player could not escape football coach Barry Switzer.
Troy Aikman Rising Star
Aikman chose the Oklahoma Sooners football program because he had confidence in coach Barry Switzer and thought they would be a good fit for him. Unfortunately, Sweater’s run-based formation was not ideal for the young quarterback. Aikman played 24 meaningless football games with the Sooners before injuring his leg in a game against the Miami Hurricanes. It’s time for a change. Switzer played a role in Aikman’s transfer to UCLA by personally approaching Bruins head coach Terry Donahue with a recommendation. Aikman was an immediate success at UCLA, becoming a unanimous All-American and winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the best quarterback in the NCAA, according to Sports Reference. Aikman’s star was on the rise. This was not the last time he would see Switzer.
Aikman and the partnership with Jimmy Johnson
. After a 3-13 record in 1988, the Dallas Cowboys, under coach Jimmy Johnson, selected Troy Aikman first overall in the 1989 NFL Draft. In the 90s, it was common for rookie quarterbacks to sit on the bench behind a veteran for a few years, and the league was much more focused on running the ball than it is today. Johnson immediately throws Aikman into the thick of things as the starting quarterback, which is rare. According to Sports Reference, the quarterback’s performance and the team’s 0-11 record show that there is room for improvement. Over the next three years, Aikman and the Cowboys moved forward. The arrival of Michael Irvin and the selection of Alvin Harper, Emmitt Smith and other key players on both sides of the ball created a dynasty that became America’s team. In 1993, Aikman was the first of six Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls. His time in the NFL is not Aikman’s first experience with Johnson. Johnson tried to recruit Aikman twice, in high school and in college, before they ended up in the NFL together. Aikman describes a difficult relationship with Johnson that challenged him and made him better. Today they are both members of the Hall of Fame.
Barry Switzer for Johnson
Cowboys defenseman Troy Aikman and head coach Barry Switzer on the sideline in 1995 Rick Stewart/Getty Images In the Great Dane Nation -Podcast with former kicker Morten Andersen, Troy talks about how Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fired Johnson and replaced him with Switzer : The rift between Jimmy and Jerry occurred at the owners’ meeting, and Jerry said: One coach in 500 could do what [Jimmie Johnson] did. At the time he said something like: I’ll hire Barry Switzer. I remember thinking: Barry Switzer? Where does he fit into all this? He didn’t even coach for a few years after he left OU. Of course he chose it. I think it’s a great hire. That’s right. Barry Switzer, who I played for at Oklahoma, was tough. He was demanding. I thought the players would like him, that they would appreciate his style. And Barry has a fantastic resume. He was a great football coach for a long time. Since firing Sweetzer, the Cowboys have had six coaches in 20 years. Jones has a reputation for being a fast reactor. So Aikman’s shock at the idea of replacing Johnson was not misplaced. The retired quarterback continued: Yeah, it was almost Groundhog Day for me…. It’s an interesting story with all these guys we keep coming back to. Switzer and Johnson are two of three coaches to win a Super Bowl and an NCAA championship. Johnson and Aikman are in the NFL Hall of Fame, and Switzer, though not in the NFL Hall of Fame, is easily inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame. So this version of Groundhog Day provided an extraordinary success for the star and supporting cast. COMPARED TO: Why Troy Aikman almost left Fox in his first year with Joe Buck