According to one noted draft analyst, Johnny Football is going to be playing his homes games in Jerry World.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network unveiled his final mock draft and he has former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel still on the board when the Dallas Cowboys’ top pick, the 16th of the first round, rolls around.
“If it's my pick, I'd upgrade this defense with [DT Aaron] Donald or [S Ha Ha] Clinton-Dix,” writes Mayock. “But this is Jerry's world. Tony Romo is 34 and coming off his second back surgery, and I think this team is further away from winning a championship than people think. Can Jerry Jones pass up on this kid? I don't believe so.”
The pick certainly would send the entire Internet into a tizzy as the marriage of Johnny Football and America’s Team would be a match made in click-magnet heaven. But there are more reasons to believe that it won’t happen than to think that it will happen.
Yes, Romo is 34 and his back may be deteriorating. But even if the Cowboys do want to move on from him there is the problem of golden handcuffs in the form of the six-year, $108 million extension that Romo signed last year. It would cost Dallas a cap hit of almost $30 million to release him next year and $10 million to let him go in 2015. Since only one QB can play at a time, Jason Garrett would face the choice of benching either his top draft pick or a player with a cap number in excess of $11 million.
To be sure, Jones did not rule out taking a quarterback when asked earlier this week.
“I’m not that gunned up over what a rookie quarterback could do for us this year,” Jones said Tuesday. “That takes time. This is not rebuilding time.”
Manziel in Dallas seems unlikely but since you never really know what Jones is going to do we’ll put it in the “never say never” category. And if Johnny Football is still on the board when the Cowboys are on the clock it certainly will be a very exciting 10 minutes.
From the Redskins’ perspective, this is a development they should welcome. As the old saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks you have no quarterback and the Cowboys would be in a constant state of QB controversy from the moment of Romo’s first preseason incomplete pass. Plus Manziel is far from a sure thing to be a successful NFL quarterback.
Perhaps most importantly, if the Cowboys take Manziel they would be bypassing a chance to really improve the team with a player like Donald or Clinton-Dix. A high-profile pick like Manziel could well keep the team in their state of perpetual mediocrity rather than becoming the powerhouse that their fans—and Jerry—think that they are.