When the Dallas Cowboys pick came up in the 2014 NFL Draft and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was still on the board, some thought cowboys owner Jerry Jones wouldn’t be able to resist. The Cowboys ultimately made a smart move drafting offensive guard Zack Martin.
But it looks like it went down behind closed doors exactly as we expected. Jerry wanting to draft Manziel and the rest of the Cowboys brass holding him down preventing him from doing so.
“I could just see Jones grabbing Manziel with the 16th choice of the first round,” author Jim Dent writes in a new book, “Manziel Mania,” via the Dallas Morning News. “I wrote a book about Jerry Jones in 1995 titled ‘King of the Cowboys.’ I know the Boss Hog. I knew that Jones’ hands were shaking when the Cowboys went on the clock with Manziel still on the board. I could envision Jones scribbling the name of Johnny Manziel on the draft card. Indeed, all of these things happened.
“As it turned out, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had snatched the Manziel card straight out of his dad’s hand. Otherwise, Jerry would have drafted him and JFF would have sat for at least three years behind Tony Romo.”
Manziel ended up being drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick in the first-round. Jerry Jones did say earlier that he nearly drafted Manziel.
“I want you to know … it was that close to put that Manziel card in,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “And I looked over at my son Stephen and I said, ‘I took the right pick.’
“They talk about following your board. I’m criticized, ‘He doesn’t listen to his scouts. He doesn’t listen to his coaches.’ Well, he was the top player by three [slots] on our board at the time. The question was, ‘Could we make it work with Tony Romo?’ And by the way, my expectations are that Tony will be our quarterback for several years to come, but Manziel’s special. I know him personally. I know that he’s going to be a success in the NFL.
“And it was a hard decision. It’s one that I will probably, for the rest of my career, think about.”