Aikman weighs future with Cowboys, growing family

Thursday, February 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Troy Aikman wants to keep playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, especially because he has others to think about now that he and his wife are expecting their first child.

"I've made it clear I want to keep playing," Aikman said Wednesday while playing in the Bob Hope Classic golf tournament.

But he said the decision is not a simple one.

"My wife is pregnant and I've got an 11-year-old stepdaughter now," he said. "Obviously, I'm concerned with others now, when in the past I did things that I thought were best for me."

Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones' decision on whether to keep the quarterback who has brought him three Super Bowl titles could be extended an extra week without costing the team $7 million.

The deadline by which the Cowboys have to make a decision or pay the money has been pushed back a week to March 15. That extension was prompted by the NFL's recent decision to delay the start of its calendar year from Feb. 15 to March 2.

Originally, Aikman was due the $7 million if he was still on the roster on March 8. The team doesn't have to pay Aikman that bonus if they cut him or he decides to retire before the new deadline.

Despite suffering four concussions in his last 20 starts and missing all or part of eight games last season, Aikman maintains that he wants to play.

"We're still kind of working through some issues, and I'd like to play," he said. "Unfortunately, it's not as easy as a question and answer. We'll work something out that will be in the best interest of everybody involved."

Jones has said that he expects to make a decision before March 15. Jones said earlier it was not in the team's best interest to delay a decision because the makeup of the roster and the Cowboys'

philosophy in 2001 hinge on whether Aikman returns.

Jones has refused to elaborate publicly about the future of Aikman, the first player he ever drafted after buying the team in 1989.