(CBS) How close was Johnny Manziel to being a member of the Dallas Cowboys? Really, really close.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was so dead set on taking Manziel in last May’s NFL Draft that he had to be physically restrained by his son, Stephen, from handing in the draft card of the former Texas A&M quarterback, author Jim Dent’s new book Manziel Mania revealed. Stephen is the team’s executive vice president.
Here’s the excerpt, courtesy the Dallas Morning News, in Dent’s words:
I could just see Jones grabbing Manziel with the 16th choice of the first round,” Dent writes. “I wrote a book about Jerry Jones in 1995 titled ‘King of the Cowboys.’ I know the Boss Hog. I knew that Jones’ hands were shaking when the Cowboys went on the clock with Manziel still on the board. I could envision Jones scribbling the name of Johnny Manziel on the draft card. Indeed, all of these things happened.
As it turned out, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had snatched the Manziel card straight out of his dad’s hand. Otherwise, Jerry would have drafted him and JFF would have sat for at least three years behind Tony Romo.
Jerry Jones didn’t deny the sequence of events in an interview on 105.3 FM in Dallas, either.
“Figuratively speaking, it got close to that,” Jones said. “It certainly was a big debate going on, if no place else other than my mind.”
The Cowboys instead drafted Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin with their pick, and he’s expected to start this season. Manziel went six picks later to Cleveland, where he’s competing for a starting job.