Time does not heal all wounds. But time has made friends of Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders, two Dallas Cowboys legends who did not always see eye-to-eye in their time at Valley Ranch ... but who met face-to-face this weekend in Jackson, Mississippi.
The occasion? A celebration of Sanders' debut as a college coach, now in his first season at Jackson State.
The two Pro Football Hall-of-Famers won a Super Bowl together, capping a 1995 season fraught with drama and conflict. Among the issues: Newcomer Sanders' veiled accusations, directed at Aikman, that the QB barked orders at Black players in a way that was different than he directed other teammates.
Assistant coach John Blake took Sanders' side. And as Blake was a trusted confidante of the relatively guileless coach Barry Switzer, Switzer allowed himself to be caught in the middle - which painted an unfair and inaccurate portrait of Aikman's qualities as a leader.
But that was 25 years ago, and teammates are teammates.
Surely Aikman has since forged a better relationship with Sanders, and surely Sanders takes a less incendiary approach to unfounded accusations. And now? It's Deion who is officially in a leadership role as he took the first step in his coaching career on Sunday as he made his debut in Jackson State’s season-opening work, in which his team dominated Edward Waters.
To the uninitiated, this was simply a touching moment, an old teammate offering support to a fellow all-time greats. But to those who understood the strife that was overcome by Aikman and company on the way to that third Super Bowl win of the 1990's?
It wasn't just a touching moment. It was a forgiving one.
CONTINUE READING: Cowboys: 'Hurry Up' And Sign Dak, Says Aikman