Jerry Passes on Manziel – Protecting Romo & Cowboys?
Anyone familiar with Dallas Cowboys’ history knows that Jerry Jones has never shied away from controversy. In fact, his tenure as Owner began with the controversy of firing living legend Tom Landry with the grace of a midnight polecat, a move he has yet to receive forgiveness for from longtime fans. Add to that the enigma of controversy he entered for presenting Jimmy Johnson, after earning consecutive Lombardi trophies, a pink slip good for permanent exile from Valley Ranch, and it’s easy for many to begin to conclude that Jerry Jones’ Psych profile could prove to be a much more interesting read than first thought. This pattern of activity by Jones as well as the raised eyebrows of interested bystanders continues till this day.
The latest addition to the dossier of the General Manager of the Cowboys came in the glare of the international, prime-time spotlight of the 1st round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, May 8, 2014. In a move that was vintage Jones, he passed on Johnny Manziel, a player he admitted “was probably the highest player on our board,” and instead, drafted Zack Martin, an offensive lineman from Notre Dame. While Martin is expected to start the 2014 season at left guard next to Tyron Smith, the reasons given by Jones for passing on the most talked about player since Tim Tebow ring rather hollow.
In this article by Rowan Kavner of DallasCowboys.com, Jerry states “I said last night, it was all about Tony Romo,” Jones said. “I was just looking at it today and thought, ‘You put that with the Dallas Cowboys and you put that with the quarterback controversy over Romo, and you’ve got an explosion.’…..”
Jerry goes on to say,
“(Manziel)’s got a chance to knock it out of the park, and we all know that, but with what Romo’s got, his knowledge of the game, and his experience, then frankly, Romo’s arm is quicker and stronger,” Jones said. “So with all of that, he’s not going to beat Romo out. The only thing this thing does is all of a sudden Romo has a shorter career than we might have anticipated, and then you’re sitting here for several years.”
“I just think that it needs to be put in the equation as what you’re going to be dealing with, what you’re going to be living with,” Jones said. “The one sure thing was that if he were a Cowboy this morning, it was going to absolutely be not only everything and what he is in the NFL and what have you, but there was no question it was going to be Romo and him, in some form or fashion in every conversation with that. There’s no way it couldn’t have been that.
“At the end of the day, where we are is that there’s no way we’re not going to be without Romo for the next four, five, six – whatever you want to say – years. It was too significant for him to be an insurance policy…It’s not the usual development guy behind an accomplished quarterback.
As I stated before, Wow!
So, we are supposed to believe that the most popular team in the NFL suddenly can’t handle the spotlight? Are we also supposed to believe that Romo will wither with added competition at the quarterback position? Are we supposed to believe that Jerry has to protect Romo so he can remain on the job for several more years?
On the other hand, Jerry stated that Manziel would definitely not be able to come in and immediately win the starting job from Romo, yet drafting him would somehow completely change the direction and philosophy of the Cowboys? (As an aside, is anyone able to identify the direction and philosophy of the Cowboys?) And while not being able to immediately oust Romo if drafted, this would not be the usual case of a future quarterback developing his skills in order to take the helm at some point in the future.
Need we remind Jerry of his oft stated desire to never again be caught in the situation of not having a viable backup quarterback to step in and take the reins in the case of an injury prematurely ending the career of your starter that the Cowboys suffered with Troy Aikman? He has the perfect opportunity to prevent such a scenario from happening with an aging Romo’s two back surgeries in two consecutive off-seasons and refuses to pull the trigger? Simply because of the controversy that will inevitably surround and follow the move?
Bring on the Psych profile!