The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones always seem to find themselves in the middle of controversial rumors, so it is no surprise that they are now being linked to former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. While current Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is likely to be healthy again next season, the 35-year-old is getting up there in age and appears to be more susceptible to serious injuries than ever before.
If healthy, Romo will be the unquestioned starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for the 2016 NFL season. Since Johnny Manziel is still young, fans and analysts view him as the possible heir apparent to Romo. Being from Texas, Manziel already has ties to the Cowboys, and reportedly wants to play for them. After the Browns decided that Manziel would not be back with them next year, Peter King of Sports Illustrated confirmed that he wants to be a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
JFF3: … Browns are so done with the guy. I will be stunned if he ever plays another snap for Cleveland. He wants to go to Dallas.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 4, 2016
While Manziel wanting to go to Dallas is the first step, he still needs support from the fans, and more importantly, the Cowboys ownership and front office. In order to get the message out there about their love and support for Manziel, Cowboys fans have established BringJohnny2Dallas.com in order to spread awareness and get their message out there. While the idea of the website sounds silly, it already has nearly 1,600 signatures.
In addition to collecting signatures in order to attempt to woo Manziel, they are also selling shirts for $15. While fans would rather spend their money on an actual Johnny Manziel Cowboys jersey, they will have to settle for a petition shirt for the time being. While this petition is going viral and has been featured on websites such as Fox Sports, the decision to bring him in ultimately comes down to the team.
Fortunately for Manziel, Jerry Jones has admitted in the past that he is a huge fan. According to ProFootballTalk, Jones originally wanted to draft Manziel in 2014 when they had the 16th pick in the draft. After an electrifying college career, Manziel was expected to go as high as a top 10 pick in the draft. Problems off of the field hurt his draft stock, and he ended up falling to the Browns at pick 22.
After not drafting Manziel, analysts believed that Jones may have changed his philosophy of taking a chance on risky players. In prior years, Jones had shown that he would take a risk on problem players in order to make the Cowboys a better football team and to sell tickets. While problem players such as wide receiver Terrell Owens did not work out in the end for the Cowboys, he did help them win a lot of games for the few years that he was there.
After the draft, Jones told ESPN that Manziel was going to be the pick, but he was the only one in the draft room that wanted him.
“When we were on the clock, I said, if we pick the other guy — any other guy — it would be a ticket to parity, more 8-8 seasons. The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team. That’s why I wanted Manziel, but I was the only guy who wanted him. I listened to everybody… and I’m… not… happy…”
According to Jones, Tony Romo would not have had any issues with drafting Manziel.
“And what is amazing. If there’s anybody on this planet that could’ve handled Manziel competin’ with him…This guy could handle any damn thing — this is your fighter pilot. This is your fighter pilot. This is the guy you want goin’ in, droppin’ and winkin’ at ’em, and comin’ out, and drinkin’ beer. This is him.”
While those around Jerry Jones are still probably cautioning him against Johnny Manziel, the rumors are going to continue until he actually signs with a team. In Cleveland, Manziel was under an extremely tight microscope by the coach and management, and the media still appears to be following him closely.
According to the Star-Telegram, Manziel was spotted at a liquor store in north Texas. Considering this is his home state, it probably does not mean anything in itself. The problem is, Johnny Manziel brings a media circus with him everywhere he goes and it would only increase if he signed with the Dallas Cowboys. While Manziel may still end up with the Cowboys, Jones is going to have to decide how much he wants a guaranteed distraction around his football team.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]