The rumor that Johnny Manziel could go to the Dallas Cowboys is gaining steam.
As with any NFL Draft rumor, you should take this with a grain of salt. But there's actually a variety of factors at work here that make this story plausible.
First of all, the Cowboys are reportedly in love with Johnny Football.
ESPN's Todd McShay reports that they think he's the best player in the draft.
"I'm told by two different people that he is the No. 1 player on their board," he said on SportsCenter. If Manziel is there when the Cowboys draft at No. 16, they'll pick him, according to McShay's logic. And even if he isn't, Jerry Jones has a documented history of trading up in the draft to pick a guy he likes.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock, who's one of the most respected draft analysts in the business, is also on the Manziel-to-Dallas train. He has the Cowboys picking Manziel in his final mock draft, writing:
"If it's my pick, I'd upgrade this defense with Donald or Clinton-Dix. But this is Jerry's world. Tony Romo is 34 and coming off his second back surgery, and I think this team is further away from winning a championship than people think. Can Jerry Jones pass up on this kid? I don't believe so."
If we assume the Cowboys want to pick Manziel at No. 16, a bunch of QB-starved teams before them would have to pass on Manziel.
It's not unrealistic that this could happen.
It's widely assumed that the Texans will pick Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1 if they can't trade out of it. The Rams already have a quarterback at No. 2, and their initial interest in Manziel was reportedly all for show. The Jaguars have a defensive-minded coach who might not be able to pass up Khalil Mack, who's considered the second-best player in the draft. Fox's Jay Glazer reported that the Browns won't draft Manziel at No. 4.
If the Buccaneers and Vikings pass on Manziel after that, it's plausible that he could fall all the way to No. 16. Maybe not likely, but certainly plausible. Geno Smith was supposed to go top-10 last year and he fell all the way to the second round.
Narrative-wise, we can't think of a more perfect fit than Johnny Football in Dallas. It'd create all sorts of complications with Tony Romo and his massive contract, but it'd be fascinating.
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