In battle of QBs, Aikman passes muster MVP's 4 TD tosses carry Cowboys


PASADENA, Calif. -- It was typical of Troy Aikman that in the finest moment of his football career yesterday, he was feeling empathy for the losing team.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Most Valuable Player of SupeBowl XXVII, is noted for his down-to-earth approach to life and football.

That's why it wasn't surprising that Aikman could understand the Buffalo Bills' plight after the team lost its third straight Super Bowl.

"There was a certain amount of pressure placed on our team, but I don't see how it could compare with the pressure they must have felt," said Aikman, who completed 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns.

"I think the one sad thing about it is that they have an outstanding football team. They accomplished a lot of great things."

Aikman said it was very satisfying for him to win the game at th Rose Bowl because he never got UCLA to the Rose Bowl game in college. He also said it was his first championship on a major level.

"This game meant everything to me," he said. "A tremendou amount of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No matter what happens in my career from here on out, at least I can say I took a team to the Super Bowl and was able to win it, and there's a lot of people who get a chance to say something like that."

Aikman admitted he was nervous early on.

"I know early on, I was a little nervous and I think everybody on our team was a little nervous and offensively we weren't clicking," he said. "That has happened in other ball games as well. Once you kind of get settled down, then it normally turns into the same type of rhythm as any other ballgame."

It took awhile for the Cowboys to get settled down.

"We started off pretty shaky," Aikman said. "But then our defense allowed us to get into a comfort zone."

Aikman said the Bills started off with a lot of two-dee coverages, which took the Cowboys' wide receivers out of the game.

"The first time they lined up with a safety in the middle of th field with us being in a regular formation was the touchdown pass to Michael [Irvin] on the slant route. That's when we started to roll," he said.

It was the same type of route that Dallas' Alvin Harper ran whe he caught a 70-yard pass in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers to help wrap up the NFC championship game.

"Michael was on that route today," Aikman said. "We didn't get chance to throw it [earlier] because of the way they rolled up their coverage."

Aikman became the seventh Super Bowl-winning quarterback t through the playoffs without being intercepted, throwing 89 passes to break the mark of 83 without a pickoff set by Joe Montana of the 49ers in 1989.

"I try to go into every game knowing that we've got enough goo people who are going to come open that I don't have to force things," he said. "I try to be patient within the scheme of things.

"Every game comes down to turn overs and field position and third-down conversions, and one reason we've been successful in the playoffs is that we didn't turn the ball over."

As he walked off the field, Aikman did the Disneyland TV commercial, and it could be his first of many.

"I'm going to enjoy it as much as the next guy," Aikman said of his success. "I've always been able to stay focused in the sense that success is usually very short-lived."

Said coach Jimmy Johnson: "Troy's a great football player and he plays with a lot of poise. The biggest thing about Troy is that he hasn't let his superstar status go to his head. He's committed to the team winning and that sets a fine example for all the other players."

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