During a late December 2013 radio interview, Aikman said the real reason he retired was due to persistent back issues he had in his final season. Aikman explained that he had back surgery in the offseason following Super Bowl XXVII with no complications but by the time he reached his final season he was constantly getting treatment for back pain. While the hit by Arrington ended his 2000 season, he claims it was the back pain and not that concussion that ended his career. In a January 2020 interview, Aikman said he wanted to sign with the San Diego Chargers after being released by the Cowboys in the 2001 offseason to play for Norv Turner, but they signed Doug Flutie instead and Aikman chose to retire. He said Andy Reid called him after Eagles' starting quarterback Donovan McNabb suffered a broken ankle in week 11 of the 2002 season to offer him the starting position, but Aikman declined. In 2003, Aikman agreed to play for the Miami Dolphins with Turner as their offensive coordinator and began training again, but the team decided against signing him to a contract.