I’m normally not one to jump to conclusions based off of preseason game. After all, well, it’s preseason. But after Johnny Manziel threw up the bird seen around the world on Monday, I am now more sure than ever that the Cowboys made the right decision on draft night by passing on the controversial quarterback.
Let’s get one thing straight: the Dallas Cowboys are a circus. They are the New York Knicks of the NFL and there will always be drama and controversy around them. Let’s just go through the list of things that have gone on during this training camp alone: the inappropriate Jerry Jones photographs, Stephen Jones and the NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino spotted on a Cowboys party bus together and of course Josh Brent attempting to make a come back with the team. We aren’t seeing teams like the Saints, the Seahawks or the Broncos having major issues like that. It’s football and business with them, and that’s part of the reasons they are Super Bowl contenders.
So add in Johnny Football to the circus that is the Cowboys and we’d get a situation that would probably break the Internet. I mean, this is a man that holds a stack of cash to his ear and pretends it’s a phone. EVERYTHING he does is a story and that would make the Cowboys an even bigger mess than they already are.
There are reports out there that Jerry and company came really close to picking Manziel over Zach Martin. Whatever the story might be, let’s all just be glad it didn’t happen not only because of the hype that comes with him, but also his antics. On Monday against the Browns, Manziel ran out of bounds to the Washington sideline. Of course, since he’s Johnny Manziel, he was met with some trash talk by some Washington players, which is frankly something he should expect. As he ran back to the huddle, Manziel did the most Manziel thing ever. He threw his middle finger up right at the Washington sideline.
This game was the last game before the Browns made their decision to start Brian Hoyer or Manziel. All Manziel had to do was play well and not do anything stupid, and the job was probably his. He did neither. Even with his bad play, I still think Manziel would have been named the starting quarterback. But then the finger happened, and I think that’s when Manziel lost any shot he had. Sure, Johnny will probably end up starting for Cleveland eventually, but when that day comes he better have a smarter head on his shoulders.
There were reports earlier this summer that the Browns were shocked with Manziel’s theatrics such as randomly going to Vegas and all of his controversial photographs. Combine that with sticking the middle finger at the opponent’s sideline, and is that the kind of guy a Cowboys fan really want on their team? Plus, he’d be sitting for three years behind Tony Romo. Let’s say Romo’s back is fine and he’s having a nice season, but even if he makes one little mistake, there will be “FREE JOHNNY” chants at AT&T Stadium. That isn’t the environment that a franchise quarterback needs to be putting up with.
I saw Manziel play in person during his Heisman year when he played Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. He was electrifying, but this is the NFL and he may end up being a huge bust. Maybe he’ll succeed, but only if he has his head on straight. Until then, all we have is a guy that week upon week will be saying “I should have been smarter.”
Thankfully, for once, the Cowboys were smart and passed on him.