11 reasons the Cowboys need to find a way to land Johnny Football
JAN 09, 2014 10:34a ET
Logic says Johnny Manziel will not be a Cowboy. The heck with that.
It's going to happen. It has to happen. Please, Roger Goodell, make it happen!
It would be soooo perfect. The most riveting college player in years going to the NFL's most popular and polarizing team.
Sure, the Cowboys have the 16th or 17th draft pick, depending on a coin flip. They aren't loaded with future picks to deal. They already have Tony Romo and his salary. They also have Jerry Jones, so brilliant draft maneuvering is out of the question.
But for every good reason to say it'll never happen, there's a better one saying it has to. Here are 10 reasons why Dallas should trade up and turn Johnny Football into Johnny Cowboy.
1. Romo is 33 – Make that 34 at the start of next season’s training camp. He’ll be coming off herniated disc surgery. Ask Peyton Manning how that can go. The Cowboys have been winging it with backups. It’s time to start grooming a real replacement, since nobody really expects Romo to last out the five years left on his contract.
2. Manziel is legit – He began the season projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick, largely due to his slight build and the fact he barely tops six feet. He’s now projected to be among the 10, and probably the top five selections. He not just a crazy scrambler who can throw. He displayed the skill to be a pocket passer if that’s what’s called for.
3. Or maybe he’s not legit – Manziel’s pro potential will soon displace Obamacare, Duck Dynasty and even Tim Tebow as America’s most debated topic. Drafting him would assure Dallas of dominating sports talk radio and Jones of having at least 30 cameras and microphones in his face after every practice. That may mean more to Jerry than going 16-0.
4. He can take the heat – Dallas QB might be the most scrutinized job in America. Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr aren't used to having TMZ reporters tail them to the bathroom. Manziel has lived that life for more than a year. The spotlight not only didn't bother him, it seemed to inspire him.
5. Romo can be traded – He signed a six-year, $108-million contract before last season with $55 million guaranteed. He’s already been paid a $25 million signing bonus and his salary dips to $8.5 million in 2016. The contract wouldn’t be a poison pill for prospective suitors. And even with Romo’s glitches, he’d still draw plenty of interest in a league pockmarked with QB-desperate teams.
6. It would upstage that other Texas team - Houston has the No. 1 pick, and the current favorite for that spot is Louisville’s Bridgewater. The second Goodell says, “Dallas selects Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M,” nobody between Beaumont and El Paso will remember Bridgewater’s name.
7. Money – Jones isn’t adept at building Super Bowl winners, but he’s Vince Lombardi when it comes to making a fortune off football. Manziel would be a one-man marketing coup. Sales of No. 2 jerseys alone would pay for new gold plumbing fixtures in the owner’s skybox.
8. No. 2 - It’s been worn by only three Cowboys - Sam Paulescu (punter 2008), Anthony Wright (QB 2000-01) and Lin Elliott, last spotted missing three field goals in a 1993 playoff loss. The number desperately needs respect on the all-time roster, and Manziel’s just the guy to deliver it.
9. The Dez and Johnny Show - Talk about two time bombs. The NCAA suspended Dez Bryant a year for lying to investigators. During Manziel’s autograph fiasco, Bryant said he’d be mad if the NCAA didn’t nail Manziel for at least a game or two. He was more mad at the NCAA than at Manziel, but this still has the makings of a beautifully entertaining relationship.
10. Draft reality - You can luck into a sixth-rounder like Tom Brady every century or so, but half the remaining playoff teams are led by No. 1 overall picks. If you want to assure yourself of being an elite team, the best route is to take a quarterback with a high pick. There’s no way Manziel will be around at No. 16
11. A fresh start – The Cowboys are disappointing. Romo is a choker. The coach is a puppet. Jones is a buffoon.
Aren’t we all sick and tired of the same old storylines out of America's Team?
No matter who gets drafted, Dallas will still get far more attention than a perpetually-.500 club deserves. Since we’re going to be force-fed Cowboys anyway, wouldn’t it be wonderful to dine on a juicy, new storyline for the next few years?