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Jerry Jones shares how close Cowboys were to drafting Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cowboys jersey

The Dallas Cowboys passing on Johnny Manziel was one of the biggest disappointments of the NFL Draft.

Dallas was sitting there at No. 16 with Manziel still on the board. Everyone knew that the team liked him and that they were strongly considering him. Everyone knows that Jerry Jones loves publicity and making the splashy/risky pick. It would only have been too perfect for Manziel to go to America’s Team.

But the Cowboys didn’t bite and instead selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin.

Jones shared in an interview with NFL Network how close he was to making the pick.

“I want you to know almost as I was handing in the card it was that close to putting the Manziel card in,” Jones told Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin.

Jones then explained that he wanted to do what he did when he bought the team — gamble.

“Nobody thought it would work. The Cowboys were busted. Broke. Make a more of an unconventional decision here and basically take the risk.”

Jones resisted his instinct to make the risky pick. He says he had to consider Tony Romo’s feelings when making the pick and that he felt Romo could handle the distraction of having Manziel around.

“Well first of all I feel so strongly about Tony Romo. But Tony Romo could have handled being on the same team with Johnny Manziel. Both quarterbacks. He could have handled that,” Jones said when talking about how Romo would have dealt with the Manziel distraction.

Though he passed on Manziel, Jones believes the Heisman Trophy winner will be a great pro.

“Manziel’s special. I know him personally. I know he’s going to be a success in the National Football League. And it was a hard decision. It was probably one the rest of my career I will think about.”

Jones also says Manziel was the top player on the Cowboys’ draft board by three players.

After the Cowboys passed on him, Manziel texted the Browns and told them to draft him. They did and the city went nuts.

Manziel’s had an offseason of partying and has disappointed the Browns so far, and he appears likely to open the season as a second-stringer. We’ll see whether the Cowboys made the right pick. What we do know is that nothing would have been more exciting than Johnny Football.

Helmet smack to Shutdown Corner

Jerry Jones admits Johnny Manziel was highest on Cowboys’ draft board at 16

Jerry JonesThere was a lot of talk before the draft that Jerry Jones was high on Johnny Manziel and that the former Heisman Trophy winner would be in play for the Cowboys if he fell to No. 16. So when Manziel was still available at 16th overall when Dallas was on the clock, the drama-loving public was screaming for Jerruh to pull the trigger on Johnny Football. Unfortunately for us who love great theater, Dallas passed on Manziel and went with Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin instead.

A day later, the truth has finally come out.

According to Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer Charean Williams, Jerruh admitted Friday that Manziel was the highest-rated player on the Cowboys’ draft board at 16, but he felt the team has too much invested in Tony Romo to make that pick.

There’s two factors here. First, Jerruh invested a lot into Romo when he signed the quarterback to a six-year, $108 million extension last year. Romo is 34 and coming off back surgery, but he’s still Jerruh’s boy.

The other factor is that Manziel is not your ordinary backup; he would bring Tim Tebow-like attention with him. Drafting him would lead to so much speculation and questions it wouldn’t be fair to Romo.

“It’s not the usual development guy behind an accomplished quarterback. He’s a celebrity. He’s Elvis Presley,” Jones said Friday, via Tim McMahon.

So, yes, the Cowboys really liked Manziel, but with Romo at quarterback already, taking him at 16 just was not realistic for them.

Jerry Jones: Cowboys are not rebuilding – you don’t rebuild with Tony Romo

Jerry JonesThe Dallas Cowboys will have a new-look defense next season mostly because they lost so many players, but that doesn’t mean the team is rebuilding. Oh no. And Jerry Jones wants to make that clear.

In an interview from the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Jerruh emphasized that the team is revamping, not rebuilding. And his reason for saying that is pretty awesome.

“You don’t rebuild with (Tony) Romo,” Jones said via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The firepower we have on offense and where we are with our running backs, and our receivers — you don’t rebuild with an offense that’s got the capability we’ve got.

“We didn’t bring [Scott] Linehan in here to rebuild. We’re not rebuilding. We are, by necessity, having to revamp the defensive line.’’

The Cowboys decided to let DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher go because of financial constraints, but they did add former Bears DT Henry Melton. They also reassigned Monte Kiffin and brought in Linehan as DC, as Jerruh said. They will definitely have a new look on defense. But remember: you don’t rebuild when you have Tony Romo. You just go 8-8.

Jerry Jones hints DeMarcus Ware could be cut

DeMarcus WareDeMarcus Ware has been one of the top defensive players in football since entering the league in 2005, but he might end up as a free agent this offseason because of salary cap concerns.

Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones said on Monday that the team needs to determine whether Ware, who is 31 missed three games last season, will be worth the large salary he commands.

Dallas is nearly $20 million over the projected salary cap and Ware takes up $16 million of the cap. If the Cowboys were to cut the 4-time All-Pro passrusher, that would create around $7 million of space. That’s why the Cowboys are considering the possibility.

“We will address it,” Jones said of Ware’s contract status via ESPN. “We made a change in what he’s doing. We put his hand down [play defensive end], rather than stand him up [play outside linebacker]. That was a change and at the same time, he’s had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries, all of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted that for the future as well as where he is with his career and his age. Those are the ingredients in the stew and we have to stir it up and see where we’re going. It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses.”

The Cowboys could ask Ware to take a pay cut, or they could attempt to restructure his deal as alternatives to releasing him. Ware seemed to indicate at the end of last season that he might be willing to take a pay cut to help the team.

Ware is such a great player that I would want to bring him back for another season if I were them, even if it were at a high price. With an offseason to recover, he should come into 2014 more healthy. After that point I would be more serious about cutting him, but I think he still is good for another season.

Jerry Jones would like to see expanded playoffs in NFL

Jerry-Jones-Concussions-PresidentThe Dallas Cowboys have gone 8-8 in each of their past three seasons. They have missed the playoffs each year, suffering a number of heartbreaking losses that left them just short. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Jerry Jones would be in favor of the NFL adding more playoff teams.

“From the standpoint of looking at how exciting it is for a city or a community to be involved in the playoffs and the fact that you can have a team that might have literally operated at .500 or in that area … you can have that team win the Super Bowl,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday, via ESPNDallas.com. “That makes a big case for adding a couple of more cities or communities that have NFL teams to the playoffs.

“It just creates that much more excitement and that much more interest for people in those communities. So I fall on the side of the ledger that would increase the playoffs.”

The last thing we need is the NFL turning into the NBA and NHL. There are certain seasons where a team that probably deserves to be in the playoffs ends up on the outside looking in. Such was the case with the 10-6 Arizona Cardinals this year and the 11-5 New England Patriots in 2008, but that’s the beauty of sports. Adding four more teams would put some lousy teams in the playoffs.

As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk pointed out, the Cowboys wouldn’t have made the playoffs this season if the field was expanded by two teams in each conference. Jones may not have been saying it to serve his own team, but I still don’t agree with it.

Jerry Jones’ reaction to Kyle Orton’s game-losing interception (GIF)

Jerry Jones reactionOhhhh Jerruh. You guys nearly had them!

In the end, the Dallas Cowboys’ season ended the way it should have — on an interception. The only difference was it was Kyle Orton throwing the pick instead of Tony Romo. Different QB, same result.

Let’s all enjoy some schaudenfreude and watch the reaction of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to Orton’s interception to seal the loss for the Cowboys.

Let’s also enjoy this great quote from Jerruh during the week.

“We paid a lot of money several years ago for just this very circumstance,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD-FM Tuesday morning. “Should we be in a situation where a game or a possible intermittent time when Tony couldn’t play, we get the very best we can, and that’s why we signed Kyle Orton for over $10 million a few years ago, just for this very occasion. Kyle has a very strong arm, he’s very experienced. If required, he’ll be able to step in and do as good under the circumstances as you could expect.”

You called it, Jerruh.

Philadelphia billboard tells Jerry Jones to ‘start booking tee times’

Philly-billboard-taunts-Jerry-Jones

Whether they are willing to admit it or not, the Philadelphia Eagles have to be feeling very confident about their chances to beat the Cowboys in Dallas now that it appears Tony Romo is doubtful to play. Chip Kelly would never let his players say it, but local radio stations are not under any type of gag order.

On Thursday, 97.5 The Fanatic shared a photo of a billboard the station has paid for in Philadelphia that taunts Jerry Jones.

“Hey Jerry, start booking tee times!” the sign along the freeway reads.

The Eagles have looked good as of late, but they aren’t exactly the Seattle Seahawks. Kyle Orton has started plenty of games in the National Football League, and the Cowboys will be playing front of 100,000 rowdy fans who can smell the playoffs. Romo or no Romo, there’s no need for Jones to break out the golf clubs just yet. Maybe Orton won’t throw an interception that costs the Cowboys a shot at the postseason. I know — low blow.

H/T Eye on Football