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Most of us know Troy Aikman for all he's done on the football field and in the broadcast booth.
His career accolades are legendary in Dallas: No. 1 overall pick by the Cowboys in 1989, three-time Super Bowl champion in the 1990s, six-time Pro Bowler, Ring of Honor member, just to name a few.
But the most important aspect of his life is one that has nothing to do with his career.
"I've been fortunate enough to fulfill some dreams and play for the Cowboys and win Super Bowls. And now I have this amazing job with ESPN, but at the end of the day, our legacies are told by our kids," Aikman said.
The former Cowboys quarterback came to WFAA for a sit-down interview with Joe Trahan ahead of Dallas' Monday Night Football game against the Giants, and their conversation pulled back the curtain on Aikman's personal and family life.
Trahan and Aikman share a fellowship in fatherhood, particularly being girl dads.
Aikman has two daughters. Trahan has two daughters. This portion of the conversation lasted for about a third of the entire interview, and it spotlighted the sense of pride Aikman has in his girls.
Aikman said he always wanted to be a father and it's the most important thing in his life. He talked about how raising his daughters helped mold him as a man.
"When I became a single dad, I read a lot of books, trying to figure it out," Aikman said. "You know, what's important? And what I learned is that girls get a lot of their self confidence from their fathers. And so what I wanted to do was, I wanted to treat them in a way that when they then got to the age, which they are now, when they started dating, that they would then have an expectation as to how a man is supposed to treat them. And I think I've been successful in that regard. You know, time will tell. But that's probably been the challenge for me and what I set out to do."
Aikman is embracing a new chapter in his life, both personally and professionally. Aikman and his broadcast partner, Joe Buck, recently left Fox after 20 years and joined ESPN's Monday Night Football booth.
At home, both of Aikman's girls have enrolled in college.
"Now it's another phase of life for me and I've embraced it," Aikman said. "I will say that I'm happier than I've ever been. I feel better than I've ever felt. I'm not happier because they're gone. But I'm in a really good place in life. They're on to their next stage of life, and I'm going to my next stage of life, and it's been wonderful."
In this new stage of life, Aikman has still found ways to etch memories in old places. He hosted the Highway to Henryetta music festival back in June, and it was the first time his daughters had ever been to his hometown, Aikman said.
"Yeah and it's only a three-hour drive. But yeah, they've never been back," Aikman said. "So it was cool to go back and show them ... drove out to where I grew up out on the farm and saw that. They were at the high school there helping hand out computers and, and then of course they're at the concert where I played baseball when I was a kid growing up. So it was a great weekend all the way around."
Coming from a profession enamored by "legacies," Aikman remains centered on the most-integral stewards of his.
"My hope is that when my time is done, that my girls are telling their kids 'hey, my dad was a great dad.' And if they're saying that then my time here was was well spent," Aikman said.
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