DALLAS - For the first time, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has addressed the criticism from his former Super Bowl quarterback Troy Aikman by suggesting that if Aikman - who has some aspirations to be an NFL general manager - was also an NFL owner, "He'd do it exactly like I do it.''
Jones, appearing with Shan Shariff and yours truly Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, voiced respect and even appreciation for Aikman's willingness to use his forum as FOX Sports' top NFL analyst to deliver sharp takes on the Cowboys management, saying the Hall-of-Fame QB's illustrious career has earned him that right.
“He emptied the bucket just like I did to become a Cowboy,” Jones said. "I would wager that if he ('emptied the bucket') to buy the team, he would do it exactly like I do it. I would wager that. Because ... with that much on the line and that much at stake, you want to break any ties and make the calls.”
Jones puts a fascinating twist on the issue. I've spoken often to Aikman on his views on how to manage an NFL team. Part of his emphasis is that a club should have "one voice'' and that the voice should be the coach - with the marketing of the product having nothing to do with the football side.
This is important because we shouldn't take Jones to mean an "involved'' Aikman would mirror exactly Jones' style; Jerry means his level of overall involvement were he in ownership.
“I know this,'' Jones said. "He certainly would like to be, it sounds like ... involved in the long-term involvement in a team, maybe the Cowboys. I understand that. Can you think of anybody, Fish, who would understand that more than me? I did everything and anything I could to get to live the life I live and that’s to be involved in everything from socks to jocks, that there is with the Dallas Cowboys.
‘TY Hilton Signs with Dallas Cowboys’? Fake News - But …
A Twitter account pretending to belong to Cowboys beat writer David Helman "reported'' this week that Hilton is signing a two-year, $10-million-plus contract.
Cowboys 'One Pressing Move' Before Camp: A Dak Prescott Weapon
There is a veteran still waiting to know his future in Dallas: tight end Dalton Schultz.
Cowboys vs. Rams: Micah Parsons' Take on Best Defensive Duo
Can Parsons and Trevon Diggs follow the same Hall-of-Fame trajectory as Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey?
“That’s the way it is.”
As I said on the air, Aikman (while unbiased in the broadcast booth) has a passion for the Cowboys just as Jones does. Nevertheless, for his part, Aikman recognizes how unlikely it is that Jones will revamp his organizational chart in a way that would bring the two together.
"(Joining the Cowboys),'' Aikman told Dan Patrick, "is the most unlikely (of potential NFL landing spots) because of the (family-based and Jerry-led) structure of the organization. ... This is not a criticism. I just don't think Jerry Jones will bring in anyone that will serve in a role such as the one I would prefer.''
Jones answered my question about Aikman/Jones friction by insisting that the relationship is "doing fine.''
"I can’t tell you how much I respect him and how much I appreciate his lineage with the Dallas Cowboys,'' Jones said.
He also emphasized that Aikman-as-GM "would be a great listener'' and that Jerry himself, surrounded by advisors, "Hopefully has that (attribute) as well.''
“It’s a misnomer to think I just throw darts and just say, ‘We’ll do it this way, that way,’” Jones said. “I’ve never done that. But as I’ve said many times, I’ve never not made the ultimate decision.''
Jerry Jones' point? If Troy Aikman "emptied the bucket'' in a way that allowed him to be an owner of an NFL team? Maybe Aikman, too, would be his own "ultimate decider.''