Jerry Jones may be the de facto general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, but the team has several respected executives pulling strings in the front office, including draft guru and vice president of player personnel Will McClay.
It's unclear if Jones will ever consider appointing someone else as general manager. McClay seemingly would be every fan's first choice given the resume he's compiled over the last two decades, but it wouldn't shock anyone if the ever-ambitious owner opted for a franchise great instead of McClay.
Troy Aikman likely would be Jones' dream successor.
The ESPN color analyst once called becoming a general manager a potential "frontier" he could explore after his broadcasting journey ended.
Unfortunately for Jones, though, Aikman acknowledged during a radio interview that the time to become an NFL general manager has passed.
Cowboys great Troy Aikman unlikely to pursue GM career
“There’s still a part of me, I think, that down the road — the talk has always come up about whether or not I want to be a general manager. And I think that has passed," Aikman said, via the Dallas Morning News. "But there may come a time that I’d be interested in just helping out with a club, with an organization, and not necessarily in an official capacity.”
There you have it, though it's definitely notable Aikman didn't shut the door on helping an organization in some capacity. Being a general manager is unforgiving, and it sounds like Aikman doesn't want to experience the trials and tribulations that come with helming a front office. Hard to fault him for that.
What more does he have to prove? Though his career was shortened by concussions, he still authored a Hall of Fame career that included three Super Bowl championships, a Super Bowl MVP and six Pro Bowls. All in a 12-year span.
After retiring, Aikman pivoted to the broadcast booth and has established himself as one of football's premier color analysts. He joined Fox in 2001 and called nearly 300 regular-season games alongside Joe Buck before the duo moved to ESPN to give Monday Night Football broadcast a new dynamic.
Of course, Aikman isn't going to call games forever. In the same interview, the 56-year-old spoke on when he might walk away from broadcasting.
“I probably give it [retirement] more thought than I should," Aikman said. "I always have been mindful of our time being limited . . . So I posed the question to myself a lot that, you know, if you’ve got ‘X’ number of years left, what exactly do you want to do with that time?"
“And I go a step further — does that include broadcasting, does that include living in Texas? . . . But yet, I am still broadcasting and I’m still living in Dallas, and I very much love the state of Texas and I love living in Dallas, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll do it. I’ve got a pretty good idea. And not to suggest that that I’m retiring any time in the near future, but I’ve got an idea as to when I believe that I’ll retire.”
Very cryptic comments from the three-time champ. Maybe he'll honor the rest of his contract with ESPN and then consider his future.
It's impossible to say, but the football world will miss him when he does walk away. Hopefully that isn't anytime soon.