Cowboys News And Notes: Johnny Football Just Won't Go Away, And A Big Board That Matters

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

More proof that the draft cannot get here soon enough.

If you need any more reasons to be angry with the NFL for delaying the 2014 NFL Draft two weeks, then how about this: No matter how hard anyone tries to make them go away, the rumors linking Johnny Manziel to the Dallas Cowboys refuse to die. They just get a new hockey mask and chainsaw and keep on coming.

Report: 'Cowboys will figure out a way to get Manziel' | FOX Sports on MSN

Jim Nantz gets credit (if you want to call it that) for the latest round of claims that Jerry Jones has a huge mancrush . . . uh, that the Cowboys hope to get Manziel in the draft. His comments, which basically just amount to him saying he's "heard" about the team's interest, sparked a round of other takes.

Cowboys need to pass on Johnny Manziel - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas

Calvin Watkins makes some salient points about JFF.

Manziel is a Top 10 pick, without question. 

He's not perfect, but under the right system has a chance to be a good quarterback. 

Just not for the Cowboys.

However, he also says this is all part of a "replace Romo with Manziel" move, which I don't think is even in the conversation. Manziel would probably benefit from a year or two learning the NFL game and finding a way to make his skills fit, instead of forcing the game to fit him the way he often did in college. However, that still does not make him a good option for Dallas.

Roger Staubach: Johnny Manziel not a fit for Cowboys - ESPN Dallas

The greatest Cowboy to ever wear the Star (the preceding opinion is my own and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of other members of the Blogging the Boys staff) feels much the same as Watkins, and bases that on his own history.

"I think Manziel has got great instincts. I think he'll be a fine player, but I don't think you want a Manziel when you have a franchise quarterback. Jerry has paid (Romo) as a franchise. I think Tony is that. He's not the reason we're 8-8.That's my feeling." 

To Staubach, a quarterback controversy is the quickest way to hurt a team. 

In 1971, coach Tom Landry had Staubach and Craig Morton alternating series before settling on Staubach, and the Cowboys went on to win their first Super Bowl.

For a dissenting opinion, we have this from a man several people (I most definitely am not included in that group) thought might be a good replacement for Jason Garrett.

Now, on to some other news.

Broaddus Big Board: Ranking The Top 50 Prospects

This is one board that everyone should look at, because Bryan Broaddus at least tries to find out as much as he can about what the Cowboys staff actually think about draft prospects. And he talks to some of them just about every day at Valley Ranch. Of interest, he has Blake Bortles as the 16th best player on his board, and JFF at 18. That seems to contradict a lot of other facts data informed speculation wild rumors swirling around the team.

NFC East: Weighing The Eagles & Giants’ First Round Options

We are very focused on what the Cowboys are doing in the draft, but out division rivals are also working on who they want to pick. Unfortunately, they may be looking at many of the same players Dallas is.

So, to recap: the Giants and Eagles are dealing with a dearth of pass rushers, shaky secondaries and depth issues for the offensive line and receiver corps.

These all sound like similar talking points to what we've been discussing in Dallas, do they not?

It always seems odd to see an article about our NFC East opponents that omits the Washington Redskins. But to be mentioned in this article, you have to have a first round draft pick. It seems they gave theirs up for something a couple of season ago. Fortunately, it would only have entitled them to the second pick overall . . .

Wonder how that is working out for them?

AJ McCarron told he'll be drafted as high as No. 16 in first round - NFL.com

The former Alabama quarterback is being told nice things by the teams he talks to. Who, of course, would never, ever speak anything but the purest truth to him.

"They felt like I could go anywhere from 16-35," McCarron told the Paul Finebaum radio show. "I believe that, too. At the same time, I don't have my hopes set on anything. Whatever happens, happens. It's a blessing for me to even be in this situation."

McCarron being drafted as high as the No. 16 overall pick, which belongs to the Dallas Cowboys, would certainly raise eyebrows among draft experts.

Beyond the first round: Wide receivers - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

A quick look at players who might be the best receiver in each of rounds after the first. Keep an eye on this one:

Fourth round -- Josh Huff (Oregon): Like Matthews, he can play inside and out. The Cowboys have been linked to him since the Senior Bowl where he displayed terrific body control in making some difficult catches. He is strong after the catch and will not shy away from contact. He caught 62 passes for 1,140 yards and 12 scores.

Draft Breakdown: Few Certainties At RB Behind Murray

Running back has gotten almost zero attention during draft discussions, but the Cowboys could well want to look for another backup for DeMarco Murray, since Joseph Randle is still a bit untested, and Lance Dunbar is not going to be an every down player.

Washington's Bishop Sankey could be a versatile, quick, shifty option for the Cowboys in the early rounds if they can get past his height at 5-9 and focus more on his dominant NFL Combine and college career. For a back with more size, the Cowboys could grab 6-1, 233-pound former LSU running back Jeremy Hill.

Former Dallas Cowboys QB Roger Staubach: ‘If Kyle [Orton] wants to be with the Cowboys, he should be’ at Valley Ranch working out with his teammates | Dallas Morning News

One of the finest human beings ever to play in the NFL (again, my personal opinion, and not reflective of anyone else at BTB or SB Nation as a whole) also had some things to say about Kyle Orton, a quarterback already on the team, but not necessarily with it.

"I don't know what's going on there," Staubach said after attending the annual luncheon for Jonathan's Place at Brook Hollow Golf Club. "If Kyle wants to be with the Cowboys, he should be there. Anything can happen. Tony could get hurt again, and in the last game of the year Kyle did a good job. He should be looking at, ‘Hey, I might need to step in there if Tony's back gets hurt early in the year.' You need a backup quarterback who you can count on."

Dallas Cowboys' Stephen Jones expects Kyle Orton to return - ESPN Dallas

Jones is taking a "nothing to see here" approach to the situation. I really don't know why I remain so skeptical about this.

"I have not talked to him, but I know Jason (Garrett) and our coaches have," Jones said on 105.3 Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday. "That's just a situation that we'll work through. We expect Kyle, when mandatory practice starts and mandatory things begin, we fully expect Kyle to be there."

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo: 'I'm feeling good' - ESPN Dallas

Which is about the entire content of the "interview" with him, conducted while he was jinxing watching the NBA Playoff game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs.

Jason Witten says Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is throwing passes with ‘same zip’ as they’ve always had | Dallas Morning News

The long time security blanket for Romo has more to say on the topic.

"This year is different than last year," Witten said. "You didn't see him do much last year. I don't know if it's because [the surgery] happened later or what. But he's been running and working out with us and doing the normal stuff. I think he is excited and I know he is embracing this challenge of people watching and thinking, ‘Is he going to be able to come back from this?'"

Despite high number of injuries, Dallas Cowboys not changing training routine | Dallas Morning News

Stephen Jones also says that the Cowboys are concerned about injuries and the impact their offseaon training program has on them - but doesn't see any major changes coming.

"No," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "We looked long and hard at it, don't get me wrong. I think one of the things that we have to look at it, and I think it's well-documented, with our new labor agreement, obviously the players aren't required to be here. I would submit to you, and I think players would be the first to say it, if you're not in a competitive workout situation, then it's probably not as intense and not quite what it should be.

Former Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware was back in town Tuesday to be recognized by Jonathan’s Place | Dallas Morning News

The likely Hall of Fame player and former Cowboy may have a new team, but DeMarcus Ware still has some serious connections to Dallas. The charity that helped him and his wife adopt their first child is one of them.

"I'm a big advocate of giving people a second chance because of my little daughter," Ware said. "I adopted her from birth and she's been a big blessing to me from a lot of the devastating things that have happened to me with pregnancies that happened to my ex-wife. It's all about giving people second chances and giving them opportunities they never had.

"At Jonathan's Place, they shelter, they mentor and they get kids from newborn all the way to 17 years old back to the stage where they can go back into society and feel comfortable, so that's the reason why I'm a big advocate of what they're doing and I've seen how they've progressed through the years and it's been great."

Football Outsiders: 2013 Broken Tackles: Defense

For you analytics fans out there, here is another one of FO's look at the details of the game. Here, they evaluate the rate of broken tackles for defensive players. As a team, Dallas ranks close to the middle with the 17th worst rate in the league, with two Cowboys showing up at opposite ends. Brandon Carr tied for 13th most broken tackles among defensive backs, while Sean Lee has the fourth lowest percentage of broken tackles among all linebackers.

Finally, you may be aware that the NBA is having a little issue regarding some incredibly prejudiced comments made by one of their owners. Maybe more of us should feel like this:

Finally, I'll let Clarence Hill have the last word, with something I think we can all empathize with.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB
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