September 8, 2014

Highlighted Year: Troy Aikman, 1991

Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

Age:  25 (Nov. 21)
3rd season in pro football & with Cowboys
College: UCLA
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 218

Aikman started off in college at Oklahoma and was starting quarterback as a sophomore until breaking his ankle four games into the season. He transferred to UCLA where, after sitting out a year, he passed for 5298 yards and 41 touchdowns and led the Bruins to a 20-4 record with two bowl victories and received consensus first-team All-American honors as a senior in 1988. The Cowboys chose Aikman with the first overall pick in the ’89 NFL draft and he took over the starting job, showing great toughness with a rebuilding 1-13 team and missing time with a broken finger. A drop-back quarterback with a strong arm, Aikman continued to develop in 1990 and passed for 2579 yards until suffering a late-season shoulder separation that required surgery.

1991 Season Summary
Appeared in 12 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 363 [16]
Most attempts, game – 42 vs. Washington 9/9, at Detroit 10/27
Completions – 237 [14]
Most completions, game – 31 at Green Bay 10/6
Yards – 2754 [16]
Most yards, game – 331 at Detroit 10/27
Completion percentage – 65.3 [2, 1st in NFC]
Yards per attempt – 7.6 [4]
TD passes – 11 [16, tied with seven others]
Most TD passes, game – 3 vs. Washington 9/9
Interceptions – 10
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. Philadelphia 9/15
Passer rating – 86.7 [6]
300-yard passing games – 1
200-yard passing games – 8

Attempts – 16
Most attempts, game - 3 (for 9 yds.) vs. Washington 9/9, (for -5 yds.) vs. NY Giants 9/29
Yards – 5
Most yards, game – 9 yards (on 3 carries) vs. Washington 9/9
Yards per attempt – 0.3
TDs – 1

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 1
Yards – -6
Yards per catch – -6.0
TDs - 0

TDs – 1
Points – 6

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Divisional playoff at Detroit)
Pass attempts – 16
Pass completions – 11
Passing yardage – 114
TD passes – 0
Interceptions – 1

Rushing attempts – 2
Rushing yards – 0
Average gain rushing – 0.0
Rushing TDs – 0

Missed one postseason game due to injury

Awards & Honors:
Pro Bowl

Cowboys went 11-5 to finish second in the NFC East and qualifying for the postseason as a Wild Card. Won NFC Wild Card playoff over Chicago Bears (17-13). Lost NFC Divisional playoff to Detroit Lions (38-6).

The best was yet to come for Aikman and the Cowboys as the team won three of the next four NFL Championships. Aikman passed for 3445 yards and a career-high 23 touchdowns in 1992 and capped the year by being selected as the Super Bowl MVP. He was chosen to six consecutive Pro Bowls and was a steady, solid leader as well as consistent performer in an offense where he was often overshadowed by RB Emmitt Smith and WR Michael Irvin. But he had five 3000-yard passing seasons and averaged over seven yards per pass attempt six times. The team went into decline and concussions became an issue, forcing Aikman’s retirement in 2000. Overall, he completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns and, in the postseason, threw for another 3849 yards and 23 TDs while the Cowboys won 11 of his 16 starts. Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2006.    


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970

1 comment:

  1. I always felt Troy Aikman to be a little overrated as a QB. He certainly was talented, threw pretty spirals, and was a very accurate passer, but most of his success came playing for a Dallas team stacked at every position, particularly the offensive line, the biggest in the NFL at the time. He didn't seem as impressive at carrying the team and winning games by himself, like QBs like Joe Montana and Dan Marino had to at times, and was never fully tested to his limits. Rather, he seemed to function as a very valuable cog in a well-oiled machine, which slowly started to break down as the rest of the team regressed from their peak in the mid-90's.