NFL executive: Cowboys might be able to land Johnny Manziel for conditional 4th-round pick

By Jesse Reed
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret Jerry Jones loves Johnny Manziel, and at one NFL executive thinks the Dallas Cowboys might be able land him on the cheap.

Manziel is going to get four games to make his case as an NFL starter, barring another off-field faux pas. However, he’s not just auditioning for the Cleveland Browns, according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com.

A “prominent” NFL executive thinks it will be darn near impossible for Manziel to make a strong case as the future quarterback of the Browns in these final four games, given the level of talent he’s playing with.

However, the same man, under the condition of anonymity, thinks Cleveland could “entice” the Dallas Cowboys to offer up a conditional fourth-round pick to land the quarterback next year. The crazy part about this is that this might be possible “even with the knowledge that the former Texas A&M quarterback was the top-rated player on the Cowboys’ board in 2014,” per Schefter and Mortensen.

Manziel has shown an ability to make big plays at the NFL level, just as he did in college. He has a knack for connecting downfield with his big-play receiver in Cleveland, Travis Benjamin, who, with all due respect, isn’t a top-level pass-catcher. One has to imagine Manziel would be even more adept at making the big play a regular occurrence playing with a guy like Dez Bryant.

So far, in limited action during his first two seasons, Manziel has completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 1,108 yards with 5 touchdowns and four interceptions, adding 119 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In five starts he has gone 1-4, but this year he has one of the two wins accumulated by the Browns, which is no small accomplishment.

No doubt he’d be able to do more with more talent around him, and it’s quite intriguing to think about what Manziel would be like quarterbacking the Cowboys when Tony Romo’s career is finally finished. If he were traded to Dallas, he’d be able to sit behind Romo — one of the best in the game — and learn from a master while honing his own skills until it was his time to shine.