The Dallas Cowboys biggest needs are undoubtedly on the defensive side of the ball, as they could use an impact safety or a talented defensive lineman, and thus Aaron Donald and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix look like their two most likely picks with the 16th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In fact, Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys are reportedly very high on Donald, and that isn’t surprising given that the Pittsburgh product is generally regarded as one of the top ten most talented draft prospects due to his elite pass rushing ability. Although offensive tackle isn’t a big position of need with Tyron Smith and Doug Free starting, Taylor Lewan would be a strong pick for the Cowboys, as he is a top ten prospect who could be an elite tackle at the next level. If the Cowboys draft him, then they could kick Free inside to guard.
As you can see, the Cowboys could go in plenty of directions with the 16th pick, and there are some people who believe that trading down might be their best option if they are able to find suitors. However, there have always been these interesting rumors swirling around about how the Cowboys could draft in-state star Johnny Manziel and bring the man who is easily the most popular draft prospect to a team that is as scrutinized as any team in the NFL.
I’ve never been one to buy into the Manziel rumors, and I think the Cowboys would be crazy to spend a first-round pick on a quarterback when they already have Tony Romo leading the way. Romo is still a top ten quarterback, and he was excellent last season. His back injury is a fully legitimate concern, but a first-round pick on Manziel is just too rich for my blood; I think the Cowboys can afford to wait.
But the rumors are there, especially those stating that Cowboys czar Jerry Jones is a big fan of Manziel. An unnamed offensive coordinator in the NFL told the MMQB’s Peter King, If I had the first pick in the draft, I’d take Manziel.”
After this quote, King stated that he believes Manziel is Jones’s “kind of guy” and stated his firm belief that taking Manziel is a legitimate possibility for the Cowboys.
He isn’t the only one reporting about the possibility of Manziel being drafted by the Cowboys, as CBS announcer Jim Nantz told ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, “I can say this, he’s going to be the guy everyone wants to see. I’ve heard this rumor for a month — the Cowboys will figure out a way to get Manziel. Wherever Manziel goes, there is going to be more clamoring about Johnny Manziel than there would be about Blake Bortles going No. 1 or (Jadeveon) Clowney going No. 1, or anyone else. This is a guy that there’s just a tremendous interest in everything he does.”
All of these rumors are interesting and worth keeping an eye on, but everything is flying around during pre-draft season. I could see the Cowboys drafting a quarterback this year later on, but it wouldn’t make much sense for them to take Manziel in the first round, and it would have to take a really classic “Jerry” move for that to happen. And if they “figure out a way to get Manziel” by trading up for him, then the ice that is the patience of some Cowboys fans will finally break after already wearing thin. Manziel could be great in the NFL, but it isn’t worth risking a first-round pick when you already have a guy like Romo, who isn’t a broken-down old man until proven so.