Troy Aikman may have found himself a permanent home in Dallas.

The UCLA quarterback led the ninth-ranked Bruins to an NCAA record seventh consecutive bowl victory on Monday with a 17-3 victory over eighth-ranked Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

He did so under the watchful eye of officials from the Dallas Cowboys, who own the NFL's No. 1 draft pick.

"(Coach) Tom Landry will make the final choice but I would be shocked if he didn't take Troy Aikman," said Cowboys' personnel director Gil Brandt. "I think Troy played real well."

Aikman has a preference: The Cowboys.

"I'd love to play for Dallas," said Aikman, who will finish his collegiate career at the Hula and Japan bowls. He was 20-4 as a starting quarterback at UCLA.

Aikman was almost overwhelmed by "Aikmania" when the Bruins came to Dallas for their historic first Cotton Bowl visit.

"I was more distracted this week than in all of the other weeks combined," Aikman said. "I didn't feel the pressure but it was hard to prepare for the football game. I got shut off from the media on Thursday and that helped. I was finally able to focus on the game."

What he saw was an Arkansas defense that tried to negate the long passes.

So Aikman picked apart Arkansas with a short passing game. He hit 19 of 27 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown and converted 12 of 20 third-down situations to earn Cotton Bowl offensive Most Valuable Player honors.

Aikman, who bounced back after an early interception, directed scoring drives of 93 and 74 yards, the second of which ended with a 2-yard scoring pass to Corwin Anthony.

UCLA led 14-0 at halftime, and the Bruin defense made it stand up.

Arkansas' only points came on a 49-yard field goal by Kendall Trainor in the third period. It was his 24th consecutive field goal.

UCLA countered on Alfredo Velasco's 32-yard field goal in the fourth period.

"We took what Arkansas gave us and we've been doing that all season," Aikman said. "You can't argue with success. When it came to the crunch we were able to convert third downs and keep drives going."

UCLA coach Terry Donahue said Aikman did a good job of staying under control.

"Troy needed to play his game and he did," Donahue said. "He was under an unusual amount of pressure and came through."

Donahue said it was a great honor to become the first coach to win seven consecutive bowl games.

"It's a significant win for our program," he said.

It was the first appearance by a West Coast team since Oregon lost to Southern Methodist 40 years ago.

"We had a great time," Donahue said. "I'd recommend this bowl to any Pac-10 team and we'd come back, that's for sure."