DALLAS — Editor's note: the video above is from a WFAA interview in January 2022.
ESPN has signed former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman to be one of the new voices of Monday Night Football, the cable sports channel announced Wednesday.
While Aikman will be the football analyst, he'll be joined by long-time booth partner Joe Buck, who will be the play-by-play commentator. These two have spent a current league-high 20 NFL seasons together in the booth for FOX, including six Super Bowls and more than 300 total games called.
This season with Monday Night Football will make their 21st NFL season together. That matches the legendary Pat Summerall and John Madden’s all-time record as on-air NFL partners.
“The opportunity to be a voice on Monday Night Football, adding to its legacy and being a part of the future of the NFL on ESPN, has me motivated and reflective," Troy Aikman said in ESPN's press release. "As a kid in California, the voices of Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and my mom’s personal favorite, Don Meredith, echoed throughout our living room each week. Joe and I are humbled to be part of that same tradition that has existed for more than 50 years across generations of football fans. I am looking forward to the next several years with ESPN and all our new teammates.”
ESPN signed these two to multi-year deals, and as part of the agreement, Aikman and Buck will both contribute content to ESPN+ as well. The Monday Night Football season debut is Sept. 12, 2022.
Commentator Lisa Salters, Monday Night Football’s longest-tenured sideline reporter, will return for her 11th season. John Parry will be the officiating analyst again.
Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli will return for a second season.
Wednesday morning, Aikman posted a Tweet about the announcement, saying in part, "You can only imagine my excitement to be part of the legacy of MNF & continue working w Joe Buck."
In the upcoming 2022-23 NFL Season, ESPN will increase its number of broadcasted games from 20 to 22, with the addition of a Monday Night Football game on ABC and a Sunday international game on ESPN+.
With the addition of the Week 18 doubleheader, which began the past season, ESPN will have three weeks with multiple games this season. That number jumps to five beginning in the 2023-24 season and will continue for 10 seasons.
From 1989-2000, Aikman played all 12 of his seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, winning three Super Bowls and eventually being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Aikman retired from the NFL after the 2000-01 season and went immediately into the booth, working the 2001-02 season for FOX Sports, where he remained for the past two decades.
Aikman still spends plenty of time in Texas, and calls Dallas home. In February, Aikman traveled down to Austin to help debut a new beer brand he co-founded. The 55-year-old served the first pints at Lavaca Street Bar in The Domain.
Buck is an eight-time Emmy Awards winner and a Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award winner as well. He joined Aikman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
Both Aikman and Buck have been nominated for Sports Emmy Awards multiple times with Buck winning a record-tying eight times for play-by-play.
“Everything about Monday Night Football, including the broadcast, set the standard for the modern NFL experience," Joe Buck said in ESPN's press release. "My earliest memories of walking around football stadiums are tagging along with my dad as he called Monday Night Football on the radio. To return to the stadium on Monday nights with Troy – who I have the utmost comfort with and confidence in – and begin a new chapter, for us and ESPN, has me excited about this season and our future.”
“When you have the opportunity to bring in the iconic, longest-running NFL broadcasting duo, you take it, especially at a time when we are on the cusp of a new era in our expanding relationship with the NFL,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said. “The NFL continues to ascend, and we now have more games than ever before, providing additional opportunities for Joe, Troy and our deep roster of commentators.”
Aikman and Buck began their partnership in 2002 as a three-man booth with analyst Cris Collinsworth before becoming a duo in 2005.
Over their 20 seasons together, they have called more than 275 regular-season games, more than 40 playoff matchups, 18 NFC Championships and Super Bowls XXXIX, XLII, XLV, XLVIII, LI and LIV.
“Joe and Troy’s resume and longevity together is unparalleled amongst today’s NFL broadcasters," ESPN Head of Event and Studio Production Stephanie Druley said. "Throughout their many marquee games, including an impressive six Super Bowls, their knowledge has made viewers smarter and their passion is evident. They’ve been there for some of the NFL’s biggest moments and we are fortunate to bring that experience to Monday Night Football. Together, with the excellent reporting and storytelling of Lisa Salters, Joe and Troy will provide the foundation for this new era of Monday Night Football.”