The NFL scouting combine is underway in Indianapolis, but so far the biggest news from the Dallas Cowboys has been a typically vague Jason Garret press conference and the irrelevant interview of a polarizing quarterback.
Johnny Manziel is, and will remain, one of the most talked about names in football. The only question at this point is whether he’ll follow the Tim Tebow or Russell Wilson career trajectory when he makes the switch to Sundays.
Either way, it won’t be with the Cowboys. Dallas doesn’t need a quarterback that badly, and even if it did, Johnny Football will be off the board long before the ‘Boys come around.
Or will he? Dallas has shown a recent willingness to trade picks. They did so in 2012, moving up to snatch Morris Claiborne with the sixth choice. Then last year they traded again, this time down to get some extra picks as they ended up with Travis Frederick at No. 31.
I’m not sure the Cowboys will be as keen to swap this year. After all, Claiborne hasn’t really panned out and the jury’s still out on Frederick.
But I wouldn’t really be surprised if they traded down. I don’t think anyone would be. The truly shocking development would be if they traded down and then used that pick on Manziel.
Yes, Manziel has often mentioned his boyhood affinity for America’s Team, saying in interviews how much he’d like to one day play for them. He said being drafted by Dallas would “almost be a folktale in the correct direction.”
Manziel will find success in the NFL, hopefully more success than Tony Romo has. He’s a playmaker with a solid arm and legs that must be respected. People ho-hum about his height, but he’s taller than the quarterback who just won the Super Bowl.
So while I respect the guy, and as much as I’d like to sit here and invent scenarios in which Manziel magically becomes the Dallas starting quarterback, I just can’t seem to make it work. Romo’s contract is an immovable force.
Manziel won’t fall past Oakland. He’d be an exciting addition to a Raiders team that just needs something to believe in, and his brash style would fit in well among the spawn of Al Davis. Houston, Jacksonville and Cleveland are all perfectly logical destinations as well. The Cowboys don’t stand a chance.
So why are they wasting an interview? Each team only gets 60, which is a lot, but there are over 335 combine attendees. Logically, based on need and talent, through seven rounds each team could be seriously considering over 100 players for inclusion on its team, especially with late-round uncertainties. I hope the front office doesn’t regret its unused interview when faced with a tough choice in crucial moment.
Someday, it may well be that Tony Romo is no longer starting, Johnny Football’s first home didn’t pan out and the Cowboys will for some reason look to him rather than a new draftee to lead the way.
For now, I hope they enjoyed their 15-minute chat, because that’s all it was. I can just picture it now:
Cowboys: Do you have any advice on how to stop you when we play you next year?
Manziel: Well, I am terrified of snakes.
Cowboys: Perfect. Also, where should we eat next time we’re in College Station?
Manziel: I would say our Whataburger is pretty much on point.
Who knows? Maybe Johnny will miss Whataburger so much in Cleveland that he begs to be our backup. If that happens, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.