The flood gates have opened. There’s no use trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Some Dallas Cowboys fans have already jumped into the deep waters of the Johnny Manziel to Dallas rumors with both feet. As proof, I submit the photo above. And I have to admit, I’m one of them. Although, unlike the fan above, I’m not sure I’m quite yet ready to buy a jersey that could become nothing more than a novelty item in less than a week. But you do have to admire his commitment.
Think about it. We could be less than six days away from a Dallas selection in the NFL draft that would both rock the sporting world and captive the national media: Could the Dallas Cowboys actually select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with their top pick?
The ramifications of such a selection would be immediate. Instantly, the spotlight of every media outlet with initials in their name would be focused on three men: Manziel, Jerry Jones, and Tony Romo. The team and it’s players would be the media darlings of the offseason…just how their owner and general manager, Jones, wants it. And let’s not kid ourselves. We would love the Cowboys to be the lead story on Sportscenter every night instead of some team from New York or Los Angeles.
Almost instantly, Romo should feel more pressure than he’s ever felt in Dallas. Not once in his last eight years as the Cowboys starting quarterback has Romo had any sort of competition for his job. How will he react to it? Will it raise his game? Will he take the young Manziel under his wing? How much longer will Romo play in the NFL? Can he finally break his postseason curse? Can his back survive the season? (Regardless of the draft results, we’ll all be asking that last question.)
For some Cowboys fans, the day we drafted Manziel would be a one of rejoicing. For others, nothing but weeping and the gnashing of teeth. The backlash from those fans would also be instantaneous. And who could blame them? Spending a top draft pick on a position already held by a Pro Bowler is ridiculous. Remember the bewilderment, confusion and anger you felt last year when Dallas selected San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar in the second round. Now, multiply those feelings 100 times. That’s how some fans would feel about choosing Manziel, about his chances of being successful in the NFL and the team’s lack of discipline to focus on the real problem.
Obviously, the Cowboys have huge holes to fill along their defensive line. And when you consider that each of the currently slated starters on that line are all on what is essentially one-year contracts, it’s even more dire. Luckily, for all fans, this draft is deep. So deep, in fact, I believe the Cowboys could take a flier with their top pick and still find starting talent to fill most, if not all, of their needs.
Let’s not forget that in Rod Marinelli 4-3 defense, it isn’t as much about talent as it is about finding the right “fit”. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones warned us about this earlier in the offseason when he said the following:
“We think, in our system, we can find nose tackles later in the draft that do a good job.”
Even back in February, the Cowboys knew there were prospects perfectly suited for their system in the later rounds. If Dallas concentrated the bulk of the rest of their draft to the defensive side of the ball, I think the anger stirred by Manziel’s selection would most likely subside. For instance, if Dallas was able to land a combination of defensive lineman like Will Sutton, Demarcus Lawrence, Dominique Easley, Ra’Shede Hageman, Scott Crichton, Kony Ealy, and/or Timmy Jernigan after taking a quarterback in the first round, I’m fairly certain most fans would be satisfied.
There are also perceived needs along the offensive line and safety positions, but I think Dallas feels fairly secure at both. What this team need desperately right now is edge rushers. And the Cowboys should be able to find them in rounds two, three four and five. That is unless Dallas has to use one of these picks to move up to draft Manziel. But that’s another story.
In summation, the Cowboys franchise could make the biggest splash in NFL Draft history on Wednesday by bringing Johnny Football back home to play in Texas. If you believe the hype, you can get your custom made Manziel jersey’s at NFLshop.com today. For everyone else, there will be absolutely no rush to grab those Zack Martin jerseys. In fact, if you wait a couple months, you might catch them on the clearance rack. I kid. I kid.