Skip to main content

Offseason | 2024

Aikman on Dak contract: 'His best years are ahead'


DALLAS — When it comes to knowing how to win games in the NFL, not many understand the formula as well as legendary former Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Troy Aikman, the last to reach the championship standard at the position in North Texas.

Aikman also understands the challenges of the feat — going from 1-11 as a rookie first-overall pick to a three-time Super Bowl champion and Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame inductee.

None of Aikman's successors have been able to reach such heights as of yet, but Dak Prescott arguably presents the best chance for the Cowboys to return to Promised Land, though there's the bitter taste of the most recent playoff exit that must first be rinsed from the mouths of all involved.

Aikman points out that the failings against the Green Bay Packers was a team effort, though.

"I benefited from the success of the teams I was on in January, so I understand there's two sides to that coin," said Aikman, speaking from a charity event for Children's Cancer Fund in Dallas. "But until you do it, there's always the question of whether or not you can. 

"I do think this last year is gonna be a year that the organization and the players all look back on and see they really missed an opportunity."

That missed opportunity has led owner and general manager Jerry Jones to label the Cowboys as being "all in" for 2024, which includes head coach Mike McCarthy entering the season without a contract extension.

McCarthy will coach under the final year of his five-year deal, looking to finally replicate his rampant regular season success in the postseason. 

"I think there's been some of those in the last 20 years, when they've been the No. 1 seed, but the way the year ended for them — being the No. 2 seed — I really thought they'd be in the NFC Championship Game," Aikman added. "I'm certain they thought the same thing. Nobody cares what my plans were, but I didn't make plans because I planned on going to San Francisco and watching that game. 

"So, yeah, it was a missed opportunity and you just don't know how many more of those you're going to get. The criticisms are real and they're gonna continue to get louder each year that they come up short, just because of the amount of time since they've been able to get to the NFC Championship Game."

Prescott, at the moment, also finds himself marching into a contract year, following a career-best regular season, but there's a solid chance that changes at any given moment. 

The three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro quarterback addressed the status of contract talks with the Cowboys at the very same event on Monday — stating he's “definitely confident” and that, in the end, “it’ll happen”. For his part, Aikman agrees it will, and doesn't think Prescott's future in Dallas should be in doubt.

"I don't," said the Hall of Famer. "I don't think it is. … They've got to do this deal, don't they? They've got to free up some money, so he'll be here a little while longer, and he should be. He's proven he can play at a high level. 

"I know they've come up short as a team the last few years, but he's been a great player in this league and his best years are ahead of him."

Related Content