Jerry Jones says Cowboys were ‘that close’ to drafting Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel
Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel watches passing drills during training camp in Berea, Ohio.
(Mark Duncan / Associated Press)

Jerry Jones nearly drafted Johnny Manziel back in May.

We already knew the Dallas Cowboys owner was interested in the former Texas A&M quarterback in the weeks leading up to the draft.

But Jones told the NFL Network on Sunday that Johnny Football was oh-so close to wearing a giant star on the side of his helmet (which actually would have been pretty appropriate).

Jones said he actually had Manziel’s name written on a draft card but ended up turning in the one with Notre Dame guard Zack Martin’s name on it instead.


“I want you to know that almost as I was handing in the card, it was that close to putting that Manziel card in,” Jones said. “It was that close.”

Yes, Cowboys fans, you were that close to having a potential star player waiting in the wings in case Tony Romo struggles in returning from his second back surgery in less than a year.

You were also that close to having to deal with all distractions the Cleveland Browns are having to deal with surrounding Manziel. Would have been interesting to see how Jones and Cowboys fans would have reacted to the hard-partying, jet-setting quarterback, compared with the mainly hands-off approach the Browns seem to be taking.

But it doesn’t sound like Jones was thinking about any of that on draft day.


“The question was, ‘Could we make it work with Tony Romo during the period of time that we are going to have Tony?’ ” Jones said. “And by the way, my expectations are that Tony will be our quarterback several years to come as we move along.”

He added: “But Manziel is special. I know him personally. I know that he is going to be a success in the National Football League, and it was a hard decision. And it is one that I will probably have for the rest of my career think about.”

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