The Dallas Cowboys made their choice in the 2014 NFL Draft. Saddled with the 16th overall pick, America’s Team had a chance to draft Texas A&M quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Miraculously, Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones allowed his war room full of experts to override his heart and the team drafted Notre Dame offensive guard Zack Martin instead.
And the Martin selection has certainly been the right call and a Godsend in Dallas as the rookie lineman has helped this Cowboys team to a 7-3 record through Week Eleven. Meanwhile, Manziel, who dropped eight more spots in the first round of the draft, has been forced to watch Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer cement himself as that organizations’ savior this season. With Hoyer on track to receive a long term deal in the offseason, most experts seem to believe Manziel will be moved.
If that is the case, Manziel landing in Dallas next season still makes a lot of sense. And that sentiment was echoed by longtime sports columnist Tim Cowlishaw during a Q&A chat on Thursday for the Dallas Morning News. Here’s Cowlishaw’s response to a disgruntled Cowboys’ fan who baulked at the idea of Johnny Football coming to Big D.
“No, actually, I think you are missing the point. I don’t know how much ‘pot stirring’ is going on but there is an obvious need for a better backup quarterback here, correct? Romo will be 35 next year. The Cowboys can’t go on without a replacement forever. Now Manziel is not playing in Cleveland and the Browns just may extend Hoyer in the off-season. In order to do that, they probably need to move their asset. Who has shown the most interest in him? That would be Jerry Jones on any number of occasions. So this isn’t about the media creating a story that isn’t there. It might be something that makes a great deal of sense for both teams in the off-season.”
I think Cowlishaw hit the nail on the head. The Cowboys have a need for a better back-up quarterback. After the Brandon Weeden debacle in Week Nine against the Arizona Cardinals (18-33, 183 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions), it’s clear Weeden is not the future for Dallas. And the fact the coaches prefer his poor play over undrafted rookie Dustin Vaughan should tell you everything you need to know about his progress. With Romo’s age and back condition, the writing is on the wall for the longtime starter.