Troy Aikman thought there was a "real good chance" the Dallas Cowboys were going to select Johnny Manziel if he fell to them in the NFL draft, and the former Dallas quarterback was surprised when they didn't, he told the Star-Telegram.
Aikman said he understood why general manager Jerry Jones passed on Manziel since the team had more pressing needs, but that it "had to have been a difficult decision for Jerry."
Dallas had the sixteenth pick in the draft and while there was talk of Texas native Manziel possibly being a Top 5 selection, he indeed fell to the Cowboys, who opted to take Notre Dame OT Zack Martin instead. Manziel was eventually chosen by the Cleveland Browns at No. 22.
Manziel has drawn criticism from the likes of former Browns QB Brady Quinn for some of his offseason decisions, but Aikman said he thinks the former Heisman winner can have a successful career if he stays focused and commits himself.
“I think when the time comes for him to get serious about football and put in the time, I’m confident he’ll do that,” Aikman said. “He’s going to have to do that if he’s going to be successful. There’s no shortcuts in this league to becoming a great player. Cleveland has invested a lot in him and expects a lot from him, and I’m sure he recognizes that.”
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- Molly Geary