Thankfully, mercifully, all the pre-draft conjecture is over. The proceedings officially get under way 8 p.m. ET when commissioner Roger Goodell will announce that the Texans (for now, anyway) are on the clock.
As it stands, the Cowboys hold the No. 16 pick, and conventional wisdom is that owner and general manager Jerry Jones will bolster a defense that was 30th in the league last year, according to Football Outsiders.
In the final CBSSports.com mock drafts, four of five experts have Dallas taking a defender (defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Darqueze Dennard get name checks). The other expert pick? Wait for it ... Johnny Manziel.
It seems absurd on several levels; in addition to their defensive needs, the Cowboys signed Tony Romo to an $108 million extension last offseason. Of course, Jones is the ultimate wild card: He's the same man who once admitted that he paid some players he shouldn't have, and had previously said that he would never relinquish his GM duties.
So is Manziel a legit possibility, assuming he slips to the middle of the first round?
NFL Network draft maven Mike Mayock thinks so.
“It's Jerry's world. Can Jerry Jones, and that whole Barnum & Bailey thing, pass this up? I don't believe so," Mayock said Thursday night (via PFT). ... “I don't think Jerry can help himself. That simple.”
It's hard to argue with that logic.
Manziel, meanwhile, spoke with PFT Thursday afternoon and the Cowboys came up (of course they did).
“I mean anything is possible,” Manziel said. “I think all 32 teams are in play, you never know. Some of these teams, they've done way wackier things than that. For me it would really, really cool to go there, but not something I have stuck in my head. Jerry Jones has been extremely nice to me. He's treated me very, very well and we've developed a little bit of a friendship over the past year and a half, just going to games or whatever it be.”
A lot has to happen for a Manziel-Cowboys marriage, and we're still convinced that, if faced with the choice, Jones will take a defensive player.
Either way, we'll know his fate by the end of the night.