There 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.
Jerry admitted Manziel was the highest-rated player on the Cowboys' draft board at No. 16. Just too much invested in Romo.
— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) May 10, 2014
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.