The Dallas Cowboys are not going to draft Johnny Manziel to take over for Tony Romo. Period. The Cowboys have too many holes on their roster to splurge on Manziel. Especially on the defensive line. The Cowboys’ defense was a historically bad unit in 2013 that needs an infusion of talent soon.
With the 2014 NFL draft coming up Thursday, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones will be looking for as much help as they can get on the defensive side of the ball. That is because they gave up 6,645 yards last season, third worst in NFL history, and lost one of their best players in defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who signed as a free-agent with the Denver Broncos this off-season.
Despite all of this Dallas still finished with an 8-8 record and just missed going to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. With any sort of defensive help at all Jones’ team could make a run in the playoffs. The offense, with Romo at the helm is good enough to take this team places, if Jones can piece together a defense.
Johnny Manziel Will Not Replace Romo – The idea of Jones drafting Manziel or trading up to get him and replace Romo is a fun idea, and not without some merit, given Jerry Jones history. It just will not happen because if the Cowboys were to trade or cut Romo they would take a $32 million salary cap hit. Not even Jerry Jones would do that. It is plausible to draft Manziel and start grooming him to be the next starting quarterback behind Romo, but that would passing on a player in the first round that can help a team win now. As improved as the Cowboys would be with a serviceable defense it is hard to imagine Jones letting a high draft pick on the defensive side of the ball slide by, as Romo’s window to win begins to close. Jones loves Tony Romo. Jerry Jones believes in Tony Romo. Jerry Jones will do whatever he can to help Tony Romo win before it is too late. That means no Johnny Football.
The Cowboys Will Draft A Lot of Defensive Players – They have to. Jones has long stood by Romo and the Cowboys quarterback has done his job for the most part. He can be prone to the boneheaded play occasionally, but Romo has made the Cowboys competitive for a long time. He did that with not much help on the defensive side of the ball either and that falls on the shoulders of Jones.
So Jerry Jones, owner and general manager will be drafting defensive players, especially on the defensive line. Losing Ware will hurt but likely not as much as some think. He is a player in decline, a good gamble for the Denver Broncos, but for the Dallas Cowboys the idea should be to rebuild this defense with as much youth and athleticism as possible. Letting Ware go at the salary he commanded was a no-brainer.
The question now for the Cowboys as the NFL draft approaches then is which players do they take?. For now however, rest assured, Johnny Manziel is not replacing Tony Romo.
Commentary by Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Dallas Cowboys
Ft. Worth Star Telegram