Troy Aikman told SI Now’s Maggie Gray on Tuesday (yesterday) that he thinks Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III will be Tony Romo‘s backup for the 2016 NFL season.
Although it may seem early to start discussing this, the need for a reliable (or future) quarterback is glaring. This was the first season since 1989 that the Dallas Cowboys finished with fewer than five victories.
But the four-win season places Dallas in a prime spot to land a quarterback in Round 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft, if owner Jerry Jones so chooses.Embed from Getty Images
So, will Dallas add Manziel or RG3 to the roster, or will the team invest in a quarterback from the draft as the potential heir to the throne?
Johnny Manziel and the Dallas Cowboys
In the summer of 2014, Jones talked about how much he liked Manziel even though he passed on him.
“But Manziel is special. I know him personally,” stated Jones. “I know that he is going to be a success in the National Football League. And it was a hard decision. And it is one that I will probably for the rest of my career think about.”
With the new regime in Cleveland, Jones may not have to agonize over the decision too much longer…
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, new head coach Hue Jackson seemed to rule out Manziel when he was describing who he wanted as a starting quarterback.Embed from Getty Images
“Outside of all of the physical characteristics that we look for in a quarterback, the thing I’m looking for is a guy that’s going to be the face of the franchise, somebody that our players can rally behind, somebody that our fans can rally behind, that they believe that this guy has a chance to go out week in and week out and win games, a guy that can help elevate this football team, not anybody that’s going to tear it down because I think it’s too hard in the National Football League to have a guy like that.”
Manziel won’t be a free agent until 2019, but the Cleveland Browns could still decide to move on. The team has one of the top picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, so the brass could spend yet another early pick on a quarterback.
Jones obviously has a soft spot for Johnny Football. But obviously, it depends what the Browns decide to do with the 23-year old quarterback before Jerry could stake his claim.
RG3 and the Dallas Cowboys
With all the drama that surrounded him in Washington, it’s sometimes hard to remember that RG3 is still just 25 years old.
“Character concerns” have followed him from his days in college to now, but it’s also fair to say that he wasn’t in the most stable situation in Washington.
RG3 appeared to know that the writing was on the wall, and he decided to leave a little message of his own.
RG3 cleared out his locker today, save for this note. pic.twitter.com/rjcKheHHSN
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) January 11, 2016
Now, he can be cut the Monday after the Super Bowl, but general manager Scot McCloughan told The Washington Post that the organization would not rush to make a decision.
I’m still kicking myself for drafting Kyle Rudolph instead of Griffin III in Round 9 of my 2012 Fantasy Football league, and I’d be very interested to see what the young quarterback could do in a new situation.
Since he was healthy for most of 2012, RG3 finished the year as a top-five quarterback in Fantasy Football.
You can say what you want about RG3, but the bar isn’t set very high when Matt Cassel was one of the best options in Dallas after Romo was hurt. RG3 is an instant upgrade for the backup position.The Dallas Cowboys and the 2016 NFL DraftBuffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley believes that the quarterback class entering the 2016 NFL Draft is talented, but he doesn’t see any quarterback being able to handle a starting role right away.Embed from Getty Images
Unless Dallas moves back in the draft, Jones will have the fourth-overall pick. But Jones doesn’t seem like he would have the patience to wait a few seasons to see how his first pick would unfold.
That makes Manziel and RG3 and much more appealing option.
Jones may ultimately decide that there isn’t a quarterback in this draft class he wants to build the team around, and he’s comfortable waiting for another year. He may also believe that Manziel or RG3 could eventually lead the team.
But regardless of what he decides, Romo is a 35-year old quarterback who has suffered multiple injuries over the years.
The clock is ticking on finding his replacement. Manziel or RG3 could get a fresh start in Dallas in 2016. But remember, Romo is still the starter as long as he is still healthy.