On Johnny Manziel: We Know What Jerry Wanted, But What About Jason Garrett?
Twenty years from now, when hindsight is a welcome relief to what will likely be a brutal Valley Ranch scene (yes, you can just bet that Jerry will still be with us) it should be an interesting, and revealing, documentary by NFL Films on the 2014 draft. Not only because of what Jerry said and did, but for what his head coach Jason Garrett truly desired on that night.
Did Garrett want the Cowboys to draft the highest rated player on their board at No. 16? Did he actually, despite what his boss tells us, want Johnny Manziel in a Cowboy uniform?
It is a vital question as we look now toward a late July training camp out west in Oxnard. Not because of the ever delectable topic of Johnny & Jerry, but because it will reveal a little more of the coach Garrett is at this date.
Since the time he replaced Wade Phillips as the Cowboys’ head coach in November of 2010, Garrett has been a coach who preaches the value of competition at every position. He hammers it home to his players in team and position meetings during the week, and then on the practice field as well. It’s something he believes in as adamantly as Lombardi did the power sweep.
However, it goes without saying that Garrett’s next-man-up philosophy was affronted when Jerry did his very best to avoid sparking what he thought would be a wild quarterback controversy with Johnny Football and Tony Romo on the same roster.
On a night when a Heisman trophy winning quarterback was there for the picking, Jerry opted instead for Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, as much to shirk a controversy as a wasted pick. From Jerry’s perspective, nothing and nobody could beat out Romo. Not this year, not even in 2018. Jones has said more than once during the last month that Romo will be the starting quarterback in Dallas for the next five years, or longer.
It should be noted that Garrett has promised nothing of the sort for Romo. How could he? Garrett knows better than anyone else the thin line that each career is hanging by, and is well aware of the diminishing skills that threaten each player older than 30.
So when push came to shove, which rookie did Garrett want? Martin or Manziel?
The answer won’t change which one the Cowboys ultimately selected, but could enlighten the public on just how lame of a duck Garrett really is.