DALLAS - Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman is leading a new team: the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
He’s chairman of the annual fundraising campaign. The goal is $75 million. Aikman is throwing the first Dallas Cowboys reunion for the championship teams of the 90s to benefit the United Way.
Members of the Dallas Cowboys who won Super Bowls XXVI, XXVII and XXX will huddle up with their quarterback, almost 200 players, coaches and staff back together to benefit North Texas.
“It's almost like a high school reunion,” he said.
On Saturday night, Gilley's will host more than 600 people for the kick-off of the United Way's fundraising campaign. Aikman is following CEOs, who are now his teammates.
“Those are big shoes to fill when you look at the people who have been in that position,” he said. “But I felt it was the right time for me again at my age and where I'm trying to go philanthropically.”
“Troy takes it to the next level,” said United Way President Jennifer Sampson. “And he'll be able to help us attract people who may have never heard of United Way's work.”
Work in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties are focusing on education and financial stability for families and health.
Number 8 teamed up with the United Way as a young quarterback and deepened that involvement through the years. Last year, Aikman donated $1 million to the United Way's Unite Forever Campaign.
“I've spent really the last 28 years in Dallas,” he said. “This is home.”
Former Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson will also be part of Saturday night’s reunion.
“You can't hardly get him off the island down in Florida. He was an important guy to this whole thing. And the reason for that is a lot of our players who played under Jimmy have not seen Jimmy since the day he walked out the door at Valley Ranch,” Aikman said. “That will be a special moment for the people in the audience and the players to hear stories that quite frankly haven't been told.”
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones will be honored for his Pro Football Hall of Fame nomination.
“What do you think it'll be like having Jerry and Jimmy together?” Clarice Tinsley asked Aikman.
“I think it'll be awesome, you know,” he replied. “For better or worse, they are always going to be part of each other’s lives.”