Would Cowboys draft Manziel if he was there at No. 16?
Jerry Jones might not be willing to trade up into the top 10 to draft Johnny Manziel next month, but if the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback somehow falls to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 16, don’t rule out Manziel being their pick.
How much longer can Tony Romo be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback? It’s an important question largely because his long term successor isn’t on the current roster.
The perfect fit for Jones is Manziel.
Jones said during a February radio interview on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] that the Cowboys will never see Manziel because he’ll be long gone by 16. Mock drafts certainly aren’t an exact science, but it should be noted that it’s very rare to find one that has Manziel falling out of the top 10.
But what if he’s there?
As you’ve probably heard, Jones cares greatly about TV ratings. Manziel will easily outperform any other draft pick in that department. Adding to the intrigue, Jones has met with the former Texas A&M standout on multiple occasions over the last few months.
One of the toughest questions Jones would be faced with if Manziel was available is, will his style of play translate to the NFL?
"Manziel is in a class by himself in terms of rating," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said during a Wednesday conference call. "You don’t rate him against the other quarterbacks. He’s a pass/fail quarterback. He’s not really graded. You really want him or you don’t. He doesn’t fit any system. You have to create a system for him.
"I think Manziel brings energy, he brings leadership, brings a competitiveness. He’ll bring that it factor. He has it. He’s got that magic that everybody talks about."
And Jones would love to have that magic as much as any owner.
Now, Jones’ ownership/general manager style has changed a little recently. He traded back in the first round last year and selected a center. He didn’t overpay for Jason Hatcher, Jared Allen or Julius Peppers. He let DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin walk.
While Romo, 34, was just given a six-year, $108 million contract extension last year, he is coming off two back surgeries in less than two years. You can’t honestly believe that doesn’t concern Jones. Do you think he hasn’t pictured Manziel scrambling around the pocket and finding Dez Bryant for highlight touchdowns?
There’s no arguing that the Cowboys have much bigger needs than quarterback. Obviously the defense was historically terrible last season. The defensive line alone needs multiple upgrades.
But we’re talking about Jerry Jones, the man that loves publicity as much as anyone in professional sports. Yes, he wants the Cowboys to win, but he also wants to bring Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, LeBron James, Eminem, Jay Z, Drake, Jon Bon Jovi, Hulk Hogan, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones along for the ride.
Jones let Randy Moss come and go during the 1998 draft and regretted it for a long, long time. Don’t bet against him taking Manziel if he’s still on the board when the Cowboys are on the clock.
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota