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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Troy Aikman identifies the 1 big challenge of playing for Cowboys

Troy Aikman in a suit

Troy Aikman is one of the most famous Dallas Cowboys players ever. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback played for “America’s Team” from 1989-2000, winning three Super Bowls. He knows better than almost anyone what the pressures and responsibilities are that come with being a member of the Cowboys, or, in his case, the most high-profile player on the team.

Aikman believes that one of the hardest challenges of being part of the Cowboys is trying to maintain an edge of toughness, largely due to how popular they are and how well they are treated in terms of facilities.

“It’s an organization that it’s hard, I think, in order for them to keep an edge. And I think that’s important,” Aikman said on his KTCK radio show. “The facility that they practice at is amazing. It’s the nicest in the NFL. There are tours that come through constantly. You’re constantly reminded that you’re a Dallas Cowboy and you’re really popular.”

He said that Mike McCarthy has an extremely difficult task with trying to help the players maintain an edge. Aikman feels that his former coach, Jimmy Johnson, was great at that.

“I know when I was playing for Jimmy I don’t know that we ever felt like we accomplished anything, to be quite honest,” Aikman said. “The more we won, the tougher he got. There’s something to be said for that.”

That approach worked for Johnson and helped the coach become a Hall of Famer. But the toughness doesn’t necessarily sell well these days. Bill Belichick is notorious for being tough, and some players just don’t like playing for the Patriots as a result.

The Cowboys had a very good regular season at 12-5. They just blew it in the playoffs. Is that because they’re too pampered at their practice facility? Probably not.

Photo: Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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