Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles. Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel was indeed Dallas Cowboys top player at 16

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Jerry Jones is a magnet for criticism, and that’s thanks to his status as the Dallas Cowboys czar (the whole owner-as-GM thing is never a good thing). He’s made more than this fair share of baffling mistakes when it comes to handing out big contracts to players who simply don’t deserve them, and the defense has long been a major issue for the Cowboys. That said, Jones and the Cowboys have actually made a few smart moves this offseason, with the cheap deal given to Henry Melton being one of the hallmark moves. The Cowboys also did well to cut ties with DeMarcus Ware. Even though it’s always difficult to release a talented player who also happens to be the face of your franchise, Ware didn’t play well last year and was making far too much money. The Cowboys couldn’t afford to keep him at that rate, and Jones’s ability to successfully make that bottom-line decision showed some much-needed maturity from him (he usually overpays his guys, as we saw earlier this offseason with the Dan Bailey extension).

Anyway, there was plenty of fanfare surrounding the Cowboys before the first round of the draft started, because there were so many rumors linking the team to Johnny Manziel at 16. Although the Cowboys actually had Blake Bortles ranked ahead of Manziel among quarterbacks, he was rumored to be the top prospect on their board at 16.

Jerry Jones told ESPN that the Cowboys did indeed have Manziel ranked as the highest player on their board by the time they were picking at 16, and his reasoning for passing up on the Texas A&M Aggies QB shows both important maturity in his decision-making and some pretty obvious football explanations. It also seems like a few people didn’t understand that just because a team has someone ranked higher on their board, it doesn’t mean they will pick that player; need and fit change everything.

While Jones stated that Manziel has “got a chance to knock it out of the park”, he wisely stated that it wouldn’t have made sense for the Cowboys to draft him. Not only are they committed to Tony Romo, who is a top ten quarterback in this league and gives the Cowboys a chance (remember the Denver Broncos game?) to make the playoffs despite their putrid defense, but the media frenzy of a Manziel-Romo competition would have been too great and too detrimental to the team.

He said,  “There’s just too much dynamic here for him, for the franchise, for everybody. That’s just too much for insurance, and it’s not the usual development guy behind an accomplished quarterback. He’s a celebrity. He’s Elvis Presley.”

Click the link above for some more thoughts on Jones, because he actually does an incredible job of explaining the Cowboys decision to take Zack Martin, who fills a need (unlike Manziel) and is a great player in his own right. Manziel could have an amazing career, but it wouldn’t have made sense for the Cowboys to pass on a legitimate need and draft a possible franchise quarterback when they already have a clear franchise QB. Plus, teams usually take developmental QBs behind an established starter after the first round, as the only time a team does this in the first round is if their established starter will retire or leave soon.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Johnny Manziel Tony Romo

  • trinity

    What about the Denver Broncos games? It was just a shootout with poor defense, capped off, predictably, by Tony Romo throwing an interception to end the game. He is high risk, medium reward, and it’ll be nice to see Dallas draft his replacement someday. Although I agree, manziel wouldn’t make any sense.

    • Joe Soriano

      The only reason why you guys were in it was because of Romo. Without him, the Cowboys would have been blown out of the water, and not many QBs could have played as well as he did in that game. Here’s a great piece on why you shouldn’t blame him for that one interception, which was the one bad thing he did in a phenomenal game:

      Some people will never be satisfied, huh?

      • trinity

        I guess people who like winning will never be satisfied with Romo. I know the whole story on the interception. I know all the justifications people make for him. The stats and all. Tony Romo is a highly talented loser. Just simply that. No more, no less. He’s a top 10 playmaker and also a bottom 5 mistake maker. A guy who will put up big stats but will ultimately have nothing to show it, just simply because he can’t handle Pressure. He is not the entire issue with the cowboys. But anyone who says he is not part of the problem is simply lying or delusional.

        • JoeDaBeast

          No matter what Romo does, will some fans be satisfied. Eli has one two Super Bowls, more than his more talented brother, but all many talk about is his terrible season last year. Select a late rounder to groom and give a chance a year or two from now, as Romo’s replacement.

          • trinity

            Well first, Eli was horrific last season. But I’m not throwing away all he’s accomplished because of it. He’s not nearly as talented as Peyton, and I am worried that he is on the decline. But unlike romo, the guy has earned the benefit of the doubt because of his rings and clutch playoff performances. I agree, it’s time for a Romo successor.

          • JoeDaBeast

            You just made my point of Eli has “earned” the benefit of the doubt, but he doesn’t GET it from fans, not even from the Giant fans (that is unless they are downing the Cowboys).

          • trinity

            Yeah, I can’t speak for other fans. My opinion is that Eli has his disastrous moments, but he’s a good QB with two rings. And the cowboys are easy targets because of their high profile brand of sucking lol. It just is what it is.

  • Dana


  • Charles Vasquez

    It would of been a dream come true if the cowgirls drafted Johnny Jockstrap!

  • Hippy

    Who cares . They didn’t draft him . So why waste your time wrighting this .

    • Joe Soriano

      I understand where you are coming from, but I don’t think you understand why I wrote this article. I didn’t write it to rehash the same Manziel stuff most people are being force-fed, and I didn’t write it just to state that the Cowboys had him at the top of their board. If I did, then you would be correct in stating that I wasted my time. However, I wrote this article with the intent being to point out that the Cowboys and Jerry Jones aren’t as stupid as people think, and it’s a reminder that more goes into a draft-day decision than the “board” that everyone likes talking about. The Cowboys were clearly cognizant (even Jones) that adding Manziel would be a mistake due to their lack of need for a QB and the unnecessary spotlight it would bring, especially since plenty of people would try to annoy us all by making it a Romo vs. Manziel thing.

  • Earl Robertson

    Too many bad decisions in giving players money that doesn’t deserve it resulting in consequences of having to pass on maybe the next best thing and having to trade a 3 rd round pick. The worse out of the two is losing 3 rd rounder because Manziel chances of being great is 50/50