Continuing my 2012 Free Agent watch, I am well aware of the lack of depth on the Cowboys’ offensive line. Bernadeu is a big question mark being on the PUP list and with the injury to Kowalskis’ foot, I feel the Cowboys could use a solid vet in the rotation. In this article I will Profile Vincent Manuwai for the offensive guard position.
Vincent Manuwai OG
Atlanta Falcons/Jacksonville Jaguars
Exp 8 yrs
Manuwai is a native of Hawaii and attended Farrington High School, where he lettered 3 times each in football and track and field and once in basketball. In football, he earned All-Conference and All-State honors and in track and field, he was All-League in the shot put, and first team All-League and second team All-State in the discus throw. Manuwai graduated from Farrington High School in 1999.
Manuwai attended the University of Hawaii, where he played for the Hawaii Warriors. He was a three-year starter and played every position on the offensive line. He was ranked one of the best pass protectors in the country and didn’t allow a single sack in his last 35 games as a starter. He also had 60 knockdowns to his credit. Manuwais’ honors include: All-America first-team as selected by College Football News as a senior, All-WAC first-team as selected by the coaches and he received the Warrior Club Award as the team’s best player.
Manuwai was selected in the 3rd round of the 2003 NFL draft, 72nd overall, by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was one of the primary components in the Jaguars’ rushing attack. He was a day one starter and up until the end of 2007, he started all but one game. Manuwai was the most successful player on the offensive line. With him at guard, the Jaguars offense rushed for for 2,541 yards in 2006 and 2,391 in 2007, but unfortunately, in 2008 he sustained injuries to both his ACL and MCL and was placed on IR for the remainder of the season.
Manuwai returned in 2009 and spent the season recovering from his injury, but he struggled. So in 2010, he was replaced as the starter by Justin Smiley, but he got the starting job back when Smiley was injured in October. Once again he returned to form and became a major factor in the return of Jacksonville’s dominant running game. Manuwai was released by Jacksonville On July 29th, 2011.
In March of 2012 he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an insurance policy, but due to the emergence of younger players like Peter Konz ( Joe Hawley, Mike Johnson and Andrew Jackson also are in the mix), the amount of depth they have at the position, and the need for space at another position, he was released on July 29th.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys don’t have the luxury of so much depth at the guard position. With big question marks surrounding the health of Bernadeu and Kowalski, the lack of strength and development of Arkin, and the fact that Leary has never played a down in the NFL (combined with the risk of his knee giving out at any time), I feel it would be in the best interest of the Cowboys to bring a solid veteran.
He has 105 career starts, has been considered one of the best run-blocking guards in the NFL, and is also a solid pass protector. He would definitely be an improvement over the players the Cowboys currently have at their disposal.
The Cowboys biggest weakness on offense has been the running game. Especially on short yardage situations and in the red zone (Manuwais’ strong point, Nate Living’s weakness). I find it hard to believe that bringing him in on a 1 or 2 year deal while we develop a young guard is not going to help this team. The worst case scenario, we have a lower priced, but solid guard (an insurance policy) who can mentor the young guys. All I can say is:
“Bring Him In For A Look Jerry Jones”.