I was there. Watching, waiting, and hoping that Jerry would go ahead and do what he knew needed to be done for this team.
With the 15th selection taken and Johnny Manziel available, would Jerry do it? Would Jerry improve the franchise or would he listen to the same people that insisted he take Greg Ellis and pass on 1st Ballot Hall of Famer Randy Moss? Those same people told him to cut ties with Terrell Owens, while he wanted to keep the magnificent receiving threat on this team.
Play it safe, Jerry. No distractions or loud mouths, even if they're future Hall of Famers. Play it safe!
This team. His team. The same team that has finished 8-8 3 years in a row and all in surmounting disastrous fashion. Win and in, lose and go home… each time this team has fallen to a lesser NFC East foe.
Because each time, this team entered the final 2 games having the lead in the division. Each time this team choked, failing to step into their playoff destiny. No matter who the QB was. No matter if DeMarcus was healthy or not. No matter, these ‘Boys could not seal the deal.
Jerry had to know that by writing Manziel’s name on that card and turning it in, he would not just be choosing an ordinary 1st round pick. A safe pick as Martin has been described by pundits, certainly wouldn’t be the term used to define Manziel. And that is why the pick should have been, needed to be, had to be Manziel.
You don’t get rich by playing it safe! You can stay rich if you already are by playing it safe, but you don’t get rich that way. The ‘Boys are not a rich football team in terms of winning. There is tons of evidence to support this fact: 1 playoff win in 18 years; no playoff berths in 4; no Pro Bowl QB in the last 4 years (history says you often have to him those in order to get to the playoffs and beyond); historically putrid defense last year.
Safe keeps you where you are. It keeps this team where it has been. It keeps Romo comfortable at QB. Let me try that again, it keeps Romo complacent at QB. It keeps allowing him to talk about how well he played… well, except for that 1 lil’ throw, after the games.
Safe keeps the combination of Romo and Garrett firmly entrenched as BFFs. If there is only one girl in your neighborhood, she doesn’t have to be cute to get attention. She just has to show up. And showing up and only showing up has been the calling card of this ‘Boys team. Show up and play conservative on all 3 phrases of the game. Why? Because we showed up and isn’t that enough? Isn’t that enough for all you fans of this ‘Boys team?
A Manziel among the ‘Boys changes that… and changes that before he even walks across the stage! No more safe. No more comfortable… wasn’t that what Jerry was going for just last off-season? Yes, why it was! He was tired of people at Valley Ranch that he was paying (and he pays all of em) being comfortable.
Manziel takes the pillow away from Romo and Garrett . It cuts the ties that bind them. Now Romo has to stand on his own as a QB and Garrett has to stand on his own as a head coach. Because now there would have been a Manziel amongst the ‘Boys. Now the thought of throwing that last second, game-losing interception isn’t met with just boos. It is now meet with a "We Want Johnny" chant.
This ‘Boys team needed Manziel more than he needed them. Whether or not he beats out Romo to start the season-opener doesn’t matter. What matters is that Romo has to beat out someone… and not just anyone. Not some guy that was brought in to be a back-up with no pedigree of his own. Nope, Romo has to beat out a former Heisman trophy winner that was just selected in the 1st round by this ‘Boys team. And that is not all. He doesn’t just have to beat him out… he doesn’t just have to play well on Sundays, either. Something has changed. No more safe, no more comfortable. He has to win games.
Romo often says that, right? It’s all about how many games a QB wins. But now it will be true. And if he doesn’t, his relationship with Jason can’t save him. His relationship with Stephen can’t save him. His contract can’t save him. Because none of those things can stop the Manziel chants if the ‘Boys don’t win. Alas, Romo is not safe.
This has to be what you want if you’re Jerry. You have to want everyone and I mean everyone with an urgent desire to win… not just play well or not get injured during the game. This is a man’s game and it is time for everyone on this team to start acting like men.
Jerry should not have to reassure a 34 year old QB with over $50 million guaranteed about rumors about a 20 year old Redshirt Sophomore QB. That's not what men do. Not in this business. Something deep in my heart feels as if Jerry knows this too. Just like he knew Randy Moss would be great. Just like he knew T.O. needed to stay and only the 'Boys on the coaching staff and front office thought otherwise.
I wanted Manziel. Jerry wanted Manziel. More importantly, the 'Boys needed Manziel to usher in a whole new era. An era defined by wins and not process. Poor Jerry... surrounded by all these 'Boys.