IRVING, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones didn’t pass on Johnny Manziel because he thinks the flashy former Heisman Trophy winner will be a bust in the NFL.
Quite the opposite.
“He’s got a chance to knock it out of the park and we all know that,” Jones said of Manziel, who ended up going 22nd overall to Cleveland — six spots after the Cowboys took an offensive lineman in the first round for the third time in four years.
Even with that high praise, Jones reiterated that he didn’t think Manziel could beat out Tony Romo.
But he sees Johnny Football on equal footing with the guy who dated Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood in his early days as the Dallas starter before settling down with a wife and two kids.
“He’s Elvis Presley,” Jones said of the former Texas A&M star.
And the Dallas owner basically said there’s no room for two celebrities under center for the Cowboys.
Jones had no concerns about the 34-year-old Romo accepting Manziel and bringing the young quarterback along. The marketing-savvy businessman also was well aware of what kind of circus would have come to town — and probably stayed for at least three years.
“There’s just too much dynamic here for him, for the franchise, for everybody,” Jones said. “That’s just too much for insurance, and it’s not the usual development guy behind an accomplished quarterback.”
Jones said he wasn’t tempted to take Manziel at No. 16, where the Cowboys grabbed Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.
That’s not to say Jones wasn’t intrigued by Manziel.
“Now he’s the kind of guy who will change your plans and change your direction in my mind,” Jones said. “He is that good, and can make that kind of difference. I’m anxious to see how and what he does in the NFL.”
That leaves just one other question. If Manziel is Elvis, who is Romo?
“George Strait,” Jones says, flashing a wide grin.
Ever the salesman, of course. The country music star is set for a farewell concert at Jones’ $1.2 billion stadium on June 7.
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