Jerry Jones Was Wise To Pass on Johnny Manziel

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    Updated: May 9, 2014
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    Now that sure was an exciting first round of the NFL draft for us Cowboys fans wasn’t it? Well actually, it was an exciting first round of the draft for all football fans.

    But a lot of people were waiting for the 16th pick on the board to come up, the one owned by the Dallas Cowboys.

    I thought it was fate that team after team passed up on Johnny Manziel in the first round. Because for 3 weeks I was hearing whispers of how enamored Jurrah was with the Heisman winning quarterback out of Texas A&M.

    I kept hearing that if by some strange twist of fate Manziel makes it all the way to the Cowboys, he was as good as signed. Just when I thought Jerry Jones, the worst GM in professional sports, was going to send the franchise into Armageddon for kicks, he threw all of us a curve ball.

    Jerry Jones passed up on the box office attraction Johnny Football for offensive lineman Zack Martin from Notre Dame?

    Yes…yes he did. And I couldn’t have been happier with his decision. I also felt there could have been different options for that pick that were just as good. But as long as none of them were Johnny Manziel, life was good for the Cowboys.


    Passing On Manziel Was Necessary 

    There are so many reasons for not drafting Manziel that this could be a piece on that alone.

    When Dallas were on the clock and Manziel was still available, all I could picture was the Dallas war room having Jerry Jones and former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in there with him. With the rapper Drake’s music playing in the background.

    No Jason Garrett, no Monte Kiffin, no Stephen Jones, none of them. Just Jurrah and two presidents ready to push the button to summon Manziel. But Jerry was sensible with the pick and he had plenty of reasons to be. 

    For starters, Jerry just paid Tony Romo millions of dollars to be the franchise quarterback for years to come.

    Drafting a noise attracting quarterback like Manziel to rattle Romo would have been disastrous.

    That situation would have been like Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow just far worse.

    Manziel would have been on the Dallas stage in his home state playing behind a quarterback that has the knack to throw late game interceptions and cause a media storm.

    When Romo throws a late game interception now, people just laugh at him and he goes back in.

    No one calls for Kyle Orton to replace him. That would change the second one of those situations happen with Manziel behind him and that’s not good for anyone. The last thing the Cowboys need is Romo having to constantly look over his shoulder at the rookie Manziel waiting to get on the field and pull one of these while Romo is on the side line: 

    Courtesy of SBnation

    If that happens then all hell breaks loose in Dallas. A quarterback controversy in Dallas is front-page news on every newspaper, and on the radio and television waves for weeks. Meaning more publicity for the Cowboys, and more chaos at Valley Ranch.

    There was no reason to bring that much drama around the Cowboys, and Jerry made the best decision.

    Jerry picked a low-key leader for a team that needs to change its culture and focus on winning. I love Johnny Manziel, and I hope he does great in the NFL. I just didn’t love him for Dallas and neither did Jerry. Luckily for Cowboys nation.


    Never Too Many Good Offensive Linemen 

    I know nothing about the lineman the Cowboys picked, but there have been many people on the television and radio the last 24 hours that have nothing but great things about the young man.

    Mike Golic from ESPN who is a Notre Dame Alum and follows that team as close as anyone said the Cowboys not only picked up a team leader (Martin was a team captain for two seasons) but also a versatile lineman.

    Golic also emphasized that Martin was not a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, but on the contrary. Once the Cowboys find the right fit for him on the offensive line, possibly at right guard, he is going to excel there for years.

    Think about what Jerry has managed to pull off. That’s three first rounders protecting Tony Romo.

    Romo is 34 years old and coming off back surgery. He is used to making plays with his legs but his back and age won’t allow him to be the Romo that we’ve become accustomed to running for his life and making plays with his legs and great arm.

    Jerry needs to protect his $100 million investment and there is no better way than to make sure he is always standing up right in the pocket.

    Last season Romo was sacked 35 times. Take that into comparison with another quarterback that has been through his share of surgeries and can’t take hits. Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos was sacked only 18 times last season.

    After four neck surgeries, it was important that head coach John Fox and president John Elway made sure their MVP quarterback would not take vicious hits.

    And their linemen were the roots of that success. Jerry Jones is trying to build that same fortress around Romo and Jerry has to be given his praise for that.

    As much as I rip Jerry for make dumb decision when it comes to everything the Cowboys do, he now has Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin protecting Romo. Not bad Jerry, not bad at all.


    Drafting Someone One On Defense Would Also Have Been Nice 

    I love the Zach Martin pick, and there are no complaints from me.

    But there was an opportunity to draft two really good defensive backs in the first round, and only time will tell if Jerry made the right pick.

    Ha-Ha Clinton Dix and Darqueze Dennard were still on the board when the Cowboys drafted Martin.

    The Cowboys drafted Morris Claiborne two seasons ago out of LSU and he has not lived up to expectations at all. He’s a talented corner but Claiborne is injury prone and his playmaking ability is predicated on confidence.

    Once his confidence is shot, healthy or not, he plays terribly.

    That is not good especially with how bad the rest of the Cowboys defense is.

    Dennard would have been an excellent pick to give Claiborne competition and let Claiborne know he will be relegated to the slot receiver during games. Dennard is not a big corner but he’s a heavy hitter and he has amazing game awareness.

    Dennard on the other side of Brandon Carr would be the start of a great partnership. As far as Ha-Ha Dix, SEC safeties always do well in the NFL and the Cowboys could have used a ball hawk like him roaming around the secondary. 

    Clinton-Dix can sniff out plays, he’s good with the ball in the air and similar to Dennard, he is not scared to lay the hit on opposing receivers and tight ends.

    Both players look like they’re gong to be really good players in this league for a long time, and with the sad state of the Cowboys defense they would have been a remarkable upgrade.  

    Overall I liked the pick the Cowboys made a lot, and Jerry seems to be concerned with less spectacles and more winning.

    It’s been a long time since I felt great moving forward with the Cowboys but the last two drafts have garnered some very good young players.

    Jerry needs to continue hitting homeruns with the remaining picks and if he does, the Cowboys will have a lot of young talent on the rise. Keep it up Jerry. 

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