NFL training camps are opening around the league, and that brings on another late-summer tradition: the latest batch of NFL rumors. The current talk indicates that the Dallas Cowboys, Johnny Manziel, and an NFL contract may all be brought together soon.
According to the Daily Caller, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is considering signing Johnny Manziel. The plan would be to have Manziel act as Tony Romo’s backup, so there would not be immediate pressure on the former Heisman Trophy winner to play right away.
The rumored deal would be for one year, which would give both Manziel and the Cowboys a chance to see if a long-term marriage between the two might be possible. Jerry Jones has always been enamored by talent, even if that talent comes with a lot of baggage — and this instance is no different. However, adding to Jones’ interest in Manziel is the fact that none of the backup quarterbacks currently on Dallas’ roster (Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, or Jamiell Showers) possess the skill level the team will need if starting quarterback Tony Romo goes down with another injury.
Johnny Manziel’s troubles with substance abuse have been well-documented, and he recently declared that he was going sober after several failed attempts to do so in the past. Clearly, Manziel will have to get his partying ways under control if he is to return to the NFL, but Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have a history of giving second chances to “bad boy” players, so the team has certainly set a precedent when it comes to taking a chance on talented players who have had off-the-field issues.
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If he is signed by an NFL team, Manziel would have to serve a four-game suspension the league handed down to him for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, per Blasting News. If the Cowboys and Johnny Manziel come together on a contract, the suspension would not be a significant issue since the former Texas A&M star would not be expected to play during the early part of the season as he learned the team’s offense and watched Tony Romo take all the snaps.
Manziel has stated publicly that he would like to play for the Cowboys. Not only does the team have a reputation for embracing “troubled” players, but Johnny Manziel is from nearby Tyler, Texas, and played his college football in the state as well. If Johnny Manziel is to get his life and football career back on track, Dallas would seem to be the right place to make that happen.
Johnny Manziel was on top of the world just a few short years ago. He was a superstar quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies and won the coveted Heisman Trophy as a freshman in 2012. Manziel returned to school for one more spectacular season before declaring for the NFL Draft. Manziel was a sensation in college, but NFL teams were split on whether Manziel would continue his stardom in professional football.
Aside from questions about his off-the-field habits, Manziel is small for an NFL quarterback, and his improvisational style of play was not thought to be an ideal fit for most NFL franchises. The Cleveland Browns were one of the teams who believed in Manziel’s talent, so they made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to move up in the first round to draft Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns, that was the just the beginning of a nightmare that continues to rage on for Manziel as he tries to resurrect his once-promising career in the NFL. Now, according to current NFL rumors, the Dallas Cowboys may represent Johnny Manziel’s last shot at redemption at the tender age of 23.
[Photo by Rick Osentoski/AP Images]