IRVING, Texas -- Johnny Football playing for the Dallas Cowboys would be among Jerry Jones’ worst ideas.
We’re talking about a player who has passed for more than 200 yards once in 12 games, five starts, while completing just 57.7 percent of his passes.
If the Cleveland Browns get rid of Manziel this offseason, the former first-round pick is a bad fit for any team unless it builds an offense around him the way the Carolina Panthers have built their offense around Cam Newton. Or the way the Washington Redskins built their offense around Robert Griffin III his rookie season under coach Mike Shanahan.
No team builds its offense around a backup quarterback that every coach hopes to see on the sideline with a baseball cap and clipboard all season.
The transition from the starter to the backup is supposed to be smooth. Well, that’s not going to happen if every offensive player must adjust for the backup.
The reality is there couldn’t be a worse city in America for Manziel to play unless, maybe, it was in Houston.
Part of the reason Manziel currently resides in purgatory is that he hasn't shown the discipline to be an NFL quarterback.
The quarterback must be the most trusted and reliable player in an organization because the game revolves around their skill set. Name a good team with a bad quarterback? You can’t. They don’t exist.
Two weeks ago, the Browns named Manziel their starter for the rest of the season. They reportedly asked him not to attract any negative attention during the bye week, and he promised to comply.
He didn’t. Videos surfaced of him partying in Austin, Texas. Then he reportedly lied about the incident when the Browns inquired about it. Worse, he reportedly asked his friends to lie about the situation if the Browns asked them about it.
The Browns verified the videos and made Manziel their third-string quarterback until further notice.
The Cowboys are willing to put up with distractions from players such as Greg Hardy who have the potential to be among the league’s best. They're not willing to do it for fringe NFL players.
Besides, can you imagine the drama Manziel’s presence would create every time Romo threw an interception or had a bad game? The Romo haters would be in full effect calling for Manziel to start.
Social media would be on fire with thoughts about Romo’s future and Manziel’s potential, and the topic would provide daily segments for sports talk radio.
All of that for a player who has 1,108 passing yards and five touchdowns in his career. The Cowboys use a timing-based offense that’s based on precision; Manziel is a player who operates best when he’s freelancing.
Any way you examine it, Manziel is a poor fit in Dallas. It doesn’t matter if the Cowboys had him ranked as one of the top players in the 2013 draft because everyone can see he’s not.
It doesn’t matter that Jones covets him, the excitement he would create, and the ticket sales he would generate for fans who are convinced that all he needs is an opportunity to be a great player.
Jones wanted the Cowboys to draft him, and the club’s other power brokers -- head coach Jason Garrett, vice president Stephen Jones and scouting director Will McClay -- talked him out of it.
They’ll do it again, as they should.