Johnny Manziel To The Dallas Cowboys Will Happen

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2). Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2). Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Johnny Manziel is expected to be jettisoned by the Cleveland Browns, thus paving the way for the expected marriage to the Dallas Cowboys.

The dust has yet to settle on the 2015 NFL regular season and already there’s rampant speculation that former Texas A&M quarterback – and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner – Johnny Manziel wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

This is all well and good, but I’ve yet to read or hear anything that suggests that owner and general manager Jerry Jones is ready to take this highly unstable player on.

Okay, who am I kidding?

Only for the sake of avoiding tampering charges by Cleveland, Jones has remained tight-lipped about the most over-hyped quarterback in the NFL. The vocal owner has admitted to have been very close to selecting Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL draft, only to have been allegedly overridden by others within the Cowboys brass.

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Probably a good move.

Just a month ago I penned my thoughts regarding Johnny Manziel to the Cowboys. At the time, Johnny Football had just been busted for partying rather hard – exactly what he’s not supposed to be doing – in Austin, Texas, of all places.

I suppose the biggest liability with Johnny Manziel is his penchant for drinking and hanging out like a college kid. The problem is that he’s beyond those years and is now claiming responsibility for the fortunes of NFL franchises that are worth billions of dollars. Tall order for a twenty-something, but that’s the world we live in.

Now that both the Browns and the Cowboys have secured early first-round selections in the 2016 NFL Draft following horrible seasons, Johnny Manziel has apparently found his way out of Cleveland and we could hear any minute that a deal has been struck between the two franchises.

Good idea or not, why not find out?

Now, I was rather impressed with the performance of Kellen Moore during his two starts with the Cowboys to finish the season. While he wasn’t able to get a win, I don’t think that was the point. The Cowboys knew that Matt Cassel, their second attempt to relieve the loss of starting quarterback Tony Romo, wasn’t going to get it done. With Brandon Weeden now playoff-bound with the Houston Texans, there’s no reason to rehash that story.

Moore threw for 435 yards on 33-of-48 passing in Dallas’ season finale on Sunday. His second interception ended up killing what might have been a rather interesting rally against the NFC East champion Redskins. It was enough to make you wonder whether Moore might be a suitable backup for Romo in future seasons – this performance was far superior to anything Cassel or Weeden did, and Moore did it without wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Johnny Manziel to the Cowboys only makes sense from the standpoint that the highly controversial and immature quarterback sits the bench for a couple of seasons and waits on Romo to empty his tank. I can’t see anything in Manziel that would instantly push him ahead of Moore should the Cowboys have no real interest in drafting a quarterback, like the Browns certainly will at this point.

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In this scenario, Johnny Manziel couldn’t hurt too much. Further, the Cowboys could simply watch and wait to see how Manziel responds to not being the guy in the spotlight – except he will be from the moment he gets on a plane bound for Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport.

In other words, playing quarterback for the Cowboys is vastly different from doing the same thing with the Browns.

If things fly south early on, Jones can simply cut ties with Johnny Manziel at no cost to the franchise – how many times has Jones taken on a reclamation project with this kind of leverage in his corner? This is what billionaires are generally able to do.

Or, as unlikely as it may seem, maybe Manziel accepts the secondary role and gets smart enough to learn the game from a Pro Bowl quarterback like Romo, something that wasn’t even an option in Cleveland.

Yes, it’s possible that Jones is able to land the franchise’s next star quarterback at minimal cost and at very low risk. It’s not like Romo and Manziel are vastly different with respect to playing style, although there’s a mountain of difference between the two where physique, experience and virtually all other intangibles are concerned.

Above all else, Jones will need something to distract Cowboys Nation from the cloud hanging over Valley Ranch following an awful 4-12 campaign that greatly resembles what the Brows just went through (3-13). This was the worst season that Jones has turned in since his inaugural run as general manager in 1989, a 1-15 season that led to the drafting of a guy named Troy Aikman.

Following that up with adding Johnny Manziel probably isn’t the same, at least not on the field.

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From a marketing and publicity standpoint, it’s probably bigger – and Aikman was the first-overall selection in a draft that included 22 future Pro Bowl players and four Hall of Fame players in the first five selections.

Yes, it’s a match made in heaven, but what that means on the field probably won’t be known for a few years down the road.