Troy Aikman: 'I believe either Manziel or RG3 will be in Dallas' in 2016
We can't envision a situation where either Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III play with their current teams next season. The Cowboys, however, are another story.
We can't envision a situation where either Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III play with their current teams -- the Browns and Redskins, respectively -- in 2016. This isn't news; Manziel's off-field actions seem aimed at getting him out of Cleveland, and RG3 was benched before the 2015 season and remained there for the next four months.
Both players are young (Manziel's 23, Griffin's 25), former Heisman Trophy winners and former first-round picks, and they have shown flashes of franchise-level skills. So they're certain to generate interest from quarterback-needy teams this offseason, a conversation which will invariably include the Cowboys.
Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones has made no secret of the fact that he's been a huge Manziel fan for some time. He's also admitted what everyone already knew from watching the Cowboys this season: The team's backup quarterback situation was a disaster, whether you're talking about Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel or Kellen Moore.
The good news: 35-year-old Tony Romo expects to be completely healthy in time for OTAs, but the Cowboys don't want to go into another season as contenders only to have it blow up in their faces should Romo get hurt. Which is why no one would be surprised if Manziel or Griffin, who both played collegiately in Texas, end up in Dallas at some point in the coming months.
In fact, FOX Sports NFL analyst Troy Aikman, a Cowboys legend and Hall of Famer, wouldn't be shocked at all if one of those two scenarios played out.
"I believe as I sit here today that either Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III will be in Dallas as a backup (next year)," Aikman told SI.com's Maggie Gray.
Aikman was asked to rate how shocked he'd be by the move on a scale of 1-10 ("1" being not at all, and "10" very much so): "Four and maybe a 1."
Put another way: Aikman -- and just about everybody else -- would be more surprised if Manziel or Griffin don't end up in Dallas, probably because of quotes from Jones like his response to a question about "young backup quarterbacks available this offseason who come with some risk":
"Let's just put it like this: We all would be aware that to bet on [Kellen] Moore for our backup quarterback has elements of risk to it," Jones said earlier this month during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan, a CBS Sports Radio station. "I'm not so sure that that's any riskier than anything you would do with a decision in the future. On the other hand, what would enhance me taking risk is a big, bigger upside. If that upside is there, that ol' risk-reward situation, then yeah. This is as far as we're going to go here now with this, because I don't want to get involved in any type of tampering situation. We'd take some risk."
In May 2014, weeks after passing on Manziel, Jones said, "If we had picked Manziel, he'd guarantee our relevance for 10 years." By October of that year, Jones told reporters that he'd been instructed to quit talking about Manziel.
But that could change, even though Manziel doesn't seem particularly interested in taking football seriously. Last month, Jones said he deserved an F for the Cowboys' backup quarterback situation, and circled back to -- you guessed it -- Manziel.
"Do you remember two years ago when we sat there right to the last second on the clock with Manziel? My whole point is, there you are," Jones said at the time. "That was the whole purpose of doing that. At that particular time, for a first-round pick, I thought that Romo had more time. And if we sat there and worked with Manziel for four or five years, now we all know what's happened. We know the off-the-field issues. But on our board, one of our top five or six picks dropped down to us and it was at the quarterback position, and I absolutely was a vote of one in that room to basically go there. And I understood why.
"I understood the risk that was involved," Jones continued. "And we got a great player instead (offensive lineman Zack Martin). But those are the circumstances that come up when you're thinking for the future. I was at that particular time, debating the value of him for the future as well as debating a backup."
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