Last night NFL Draft Guru Mike Mayock released his annual Mock Draft. The biggest headline coming from this much-heralded mock draft curiously involved the Cowboys. Mike has long enjoyed using the Cowboys as a centerpiece for controversy, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the mammoth fan-following the Cowboys enjoy and the guaranteed ratings and page views he’s sure to receive in return.
You see, everyone loves to include the Cowboys in speculation. Whether it’s a players’ agent trying to “up” the market price, a writer trying to get page views, or an analyst wanting his name in the news. The Cowboys are media gold.
Valley Ranch happens to be fairly tight-lipped too. Rumors coming out of Dallas are often smokescreens. You can find someone to comment on the draft but often times the message is strategically misleading.
Thinking back – I did hear and report days before the 2012 draft that the Cowboys were trying to trade up for Morris Claiborne. But all of the mixed messages coming out earlier caused me to doubt my source.
Jerry Jones may be a terribly flawed man but he knows business strategy and the NFL Draft is as much about business strategy as it talent evaluation.
Mike Mayock has Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel falling to #16 and the Dallas Cowboys selecting him. That alone is absurd considering the Cowboys current QB has a brand new contract starting in 2014 and is guaran-freakin-teed $55M.
Cutting Romo is not a realistic possibility for the first 3 years of the deal because the Cowboys would owe the guaranteed amount. They do not and will not have the cap space to eat such an amount. Trading Romo wouldn’t be as costly but would still require the Cowboys to absorb more money than they can handle the first couple years.
Having both QBs on the roster would create a huge distraction to this team that would be nearly impossible to overcome. This is not remotely comparable to the Farve/Rodgers situation in Green Bay years back. Rodgers never had high expectations. Manziel does. Farve was a proven Super Bowl winner while Romo is…errr…Romo. Green Bay was already a playoff team and a legitimate contender. The Cowboys played .500 ball in the worst division in football.
The Green Bay example worked out in the end but it was a unique situation. Farve was never expected to stay so many years and was operating on a year-by-year basis. The Packers just covered themselves so Farve couldn’t hold them hostage every offseason as he threatened retirement.
The Mayock mock draft is even worse when considering the Cowboys pick Manziel with Anthony Barr, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Aaron Donald still on the board! Why is Hades would the Cowboys pass on Aaron Donald is completely beyond me. I have heard from multiple sources that Donald is so coveted he may even go in the Top 10.
Falling to 24 is an absurd thought.
A pick for Manziel would signify that the Cowboys are not interested in competing for the next 3 years. They would officially be saying Romo is not a QB they believe in which is a direct contradiction to their actions when they gave him that enormous contract.
It’s possible Manziel turns out to be the next Aaron Rodgers but the move just doesn’t work for the Cowboys. Jersey sales may rocket but the team will be in total disarray, Garrett will be a dead in the water, attendance will drop (until Manziel starts at QB), and Jerry will be admitting failure once again.
I happen to like Manziel, but Manziel is not going to Dallas at 16. It just can’t happen with Romo here and Romo is immovable with his contract. If Mayock is right, I will be sure to apologize wholeheartedly -right before I throw myself from the building.
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