Troy Aikman is Eli Manning's Best Case For the Hall of Fame

Eli Manning Announces Retirement
Eli Manning Announces Retirement / Elsa/Getty Images

Troy Aikman, the Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback, will call the Super Bowl on Sunday. While doing media this week, Aikman shared a unique perspective on Eli Manning's Hall of Fame case with the New York Post:

"“Back then, social media didn’t exist. I wasn’t asked [about the Hall of Fame] on the day of my retirement. When it got closer, after five years, it was almost like I had to apologize or defend my career. That’s the part of it that really kind of sucks. I don’t like it for him. I don’t like the debate. … I don’t like the process we go through for the Hall of Fame.”"

Troy Aikman via the New York Post

When you compare their careers, Eli and Aikman have very similar numbers. Eli played longer and Aikman won one more Super Bowl, but their regular season and postseason statistics were very close on a per game basis.

Considering the talent Aikman was surrounded by, his presence in the Hall makes a pretty convincing case for Manning's Hall of Fame candidacy. Just don't expect Aikman to push Manning or anyone else for the ultimate football honor:

"“As far as saying is he a Hall of Famer or he is not a Hall of Famer,” Aikman said, “I don’t think any player should ever retire from football feeling they are a Hall of Fame player. I think it takes away from those that are in the Hall of Fame. If you are fortunate to be asked to join, you should join with hat in hand and feel good about it. I’ve never liked hearing a player complain about not being selected to the Hall of Fame.”"

Troy Aikman via the New York Post

That's easy to say if you're in the Hall of Fame. Somebody like... former Dallas Cowboys great Drew Pearson, who can't get in, certainly wouldn't agree.