Matt Cassel once dressed up as Troy Aikman for Halloween
Matt Cassel is set to make his first start in a Dallas Cowboys uniform on Sunday against the New York Giants, and it was revealed this week that it won’t be the first time he played the role of Cowboys starting quarterback, albeit the first time it happened was a long, long time ago under vastly different — and amusing — circumstances.
Cassel’s brother Jack revealed to ESPN that Matt dressed up as Troy Aikman for Halloween while growing up in California.
“I think it was from a Sears catalog back in the day,” Cassel’s brother said. “We definitely had a Dallas Cowboys uniform. No. 8, Troy Aikman. We had the helmet. I think at one point we all dressed up as Aikman for Halloween.
“It was like, ‘What are you going to be this year?’ And somebody would say, ‘You be the Cowboy this year.’ ”
Cassel admitted shortly after he was traded to the Cowboys by the Buffalo Bills earlier this season that his affinity for the Cowboys organization runs deep.
“It’s been a childhood dream of mine to be a Cowboy honestly,” Cassel said. “My father grew up in West Texas, in Lubbock, and I’ve got family here, and I grew up a Dallas Cowboy fan all my life. So to actually have it come true finally and actually be here is a dream come true, and I’m really excited about it.”
The Cassel family were understandably huge fans of the Aikman-led Super Bowl teams, but Cassel says he has never approached the FOX analyst to tell him about it.
“Nah, I try to stay away from that,” he said. “I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey, get out of here. I know what you are trying to achieve with this.’ No, he has always been great. We never really caught up in that sense of it.”
In the end, Cowboys fans probably would be perfectly happy if Cassel simply would serve as a reasonable facsimile — much like an Aikman uniform out of a Sears catalog compares to the real thing — of the team’s Hall of Fame quarterback.
Or at least better than Brandon Weeden.