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News: Cowboys, NFL Brace For Glut Of Johnny Football Coverage

The most talked about college player in forever declared for the NFL draft. Get used to reading more about him. Oh, and there is Cowboys news, too.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Manziel Declares For NFL Draft " - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
You knew it was coming. Johnny Football will be in New York for the NFL draft and will once again be subjected to media coverage far greater than can possibly be justified. Be prepared for articles making wildly improbable links between Manziel and the Dallas Cowboys. Oh, wait. They're here.

What if Johnny Manziel slipped in draft? - Dallas Cowboys Blog/ESPN

This year the Cowboys will pick either No. 16 or 17 in the draft, depending on a coin flip with the Baltimore Ravens.

Manziel figures to be gone by then, but what if teams are scared off by Manziel and he slips in the same way Bryant slipped? Does Jones make the move? Does he bring in the star of the draft?

More importantly, how would they keep him out of the cheerleaders' locker room?

It is just the beginning, folks. We now return you to our regularly scheduled Cowboys news.

Dallas Hot Button Topic of the week: Eberflus Vs. Marinelli - ESPN Dallas
The assumption is that Monte Kiffin is gone as defensive coordinator. And most people, like Calvin Watkins does in this point/counterpoint type presentation, also assume that Rod Marinelli is the heir apparent. But Todd Archer makes an argument that a better choice, and also someone already with the team, is Matt Eberflus.

Eberflus' experience in a 4-3 defense predates his time with the Cowboys. While at Missouri, he spent time with Lovie Smith when Smith was with the St. Louis Rams. He had to learn a lot from Kiffin and Marinelli as well in 2013. With Ryan, he learned the 3-4 scheme and different packages.

If Ryan went too far with the amount of things he tried to implement and Kiffin did not go far enough, then Eberflus can bring that balance.

Final Exam: Sit back in free agency - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN
A look at strategies for dealing with the salary cap and free agencies. I like this idea.

The Cowboys will be able to get under the salary cap without an issue. They could even get far enough under the cap to be big spenders if they choose.

Here's a word to the wise: don't choose.

Travis Frederick, Terrance Williams earn Mel Kiper honors - ESPN
Mel Kiper put out his list of the top 30 rookies for 2013, and Travis Frederick comes in at 11, with Terrance Williams at 28. Not bad for the two picks the team got from the trade with San Francisco last year. And Kiper is eating his words.

In his post-draft grades last April, Kiper wrote, "I was a little critical of the first-round pick, just because the Cowboys drafted a player I thought they could have taken at least 30 spots later. Travis Frederick was my 87th-ranked player. And yet they should get credit because he'll be a starter at a position where they were a total mess in 2013."

Props to the man for correcting his error.

Cowboys Hidden Gems: Mackenzy Bernadeau - ESPN
It was a bit under the radar, but the development of Mackenzy Bernadeau this season is one of the pleasant surprises from 2013. And one of the rare (for Dallas) cases of a player coming back successfully from health problems.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to Bernadeau's growth will be his health. He has been unable to take any offseason snaps in his first two years with the Cowboys because of surgeries. In 2012, he had operations on his hip and knee. Last year, he had shoulder surgery and had to open camp briefly on the physically unable to perform list.

It will be interesting to see how he does with a full offseason of work.

Expanded NFL Playoffs? This Isn’t Just A ‘Cowboys Thing’ " - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
The media coverage has been portraying this as another Jerry Jones boondoggle. Not so fast.

But in fact, it is myopic and naïve to think this is a Cowboys project. It's driven by commissioner Roger Goodell, it's been discussed in league circles for the last year, and while it's not yet officially on the agenda for the March owners meetings, it likely will be.

And the financial bonanza being what it is, the NFL will quite likely be adding a seventh seed to the playoff field in each conference beginning in 2015.

Money, as they say, talks.

Tony Romo's back may explain quite a bit - FOX Sports on MSN
To a lot of people, including just about all the writers here at BTB, something was just not right with Tony Romo for most of the 2013 season. Bob Sturm gives a detailed discussion of why we were probably correct in that assessment, and what it may mean for him and the team.

Too many times in 2013 (with the exception of the outlier against Denver where he seemed to step on the field and insist on doing everything to win that game even if it meant risking injury and health) it seems that Romo has changed his game to protect himself. Now, that is not a bad thing sometimes. Coaches demand that their QB be smart about their health because the team's success in a salary-capped world is linked the QB's health. However, if your value is someone gained by your ability to keep plays alive and "defy the Xs and Os", then check downs and conservatism seems to be the enemy of that.

Tony Romo's back has Jordan Spieth eyeing new partner - ESPN
Of course, at some point, Tony Romo's golf game was bound to come up. The back surgery means that we probably won't be seeing him on the course this year. He'll have to leave that to the other quarterbacks who aren't serious about football, like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and the like.

The player Romo partnered with at last year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am probably wishes he could have the Cowboy play with him again.

That kick-started Spieth's tremendous debut season in which he made $3.8 million, was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and became the youngest winner on the tour since 1931 when he took home the John Deere Classic.

Scout's Eye: Scheme Change Only Part Of CBs 2013 Problems -
This takes a look at how players like Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and B.W. Webb struggled for the Cowboys. It also gives deserved praise to Orlando Scandrick, who showed he has the brains to match his physical talent. And there is a bit of (deserved) criticism for the staff on missing the call early on about one player.

Sterling Moore will get another chance in training camp and he deserves that. I was surprised that he did not make the team in the first place because he was one of my Top 10 Players coming out of camp in Oxnard. There is nothing flashy about the way Moore plays but there is some consistency to his game that any secondary can use. Once he was back on the roster, it allowed the coaches to have another option when they went to their nickel and dime packages, instead of having to go with a rookie at that spot.

NFC East Blog -
DeSean Jackson is complaining that the Philadelphia Eagles need to pay him more money. This may have an impact on the Cowboys as they try to work out a deal with their star receiver, Dez Bryant.

In the last two seasons alone, Dez has tallied 185 catches for 2,615 yards and a whopping 25 touchdowns. And, it's worth pointing out, he's done this for a middling NFL team.

That's 58 more catches, 583 more yards and 14 more touchdowns than Jackson has produced in the same timespan.

In fact, look at the past two years of production by any of the league's highest-paid receiver, and Dez's numbers stack up favorably.

Miami Dolphins In Depth
The Miami Dolphins have parted ways with GM Jeff Ireland, who is infamous for asking Dez Bryant about his mother being a prostitute. Not too many around these parts are going to shed a tear for him.

But it is instructive to read through how and why it happened. It may change your attitude about how dysfunctional the management in Dallas is. It tells how Ireland wound up getting crossways with Dawn Aponte, one of the higher-ranking female executives in the NFL, and current Executive VP of football administration for the Dolphins. The article gives her credit for engineering Ireland's downfall. A Bill Parcells hire, Aponte never seemed to get along with Ireland. After Parcells left the organization, she "ingratiated" herself with owner Stephen Ross and also forged an alliance with head coach Joe Philbin. She won, Ireland lost - and the long term results for the team may not be good.

The bottom line is now Philbin and Aponte -- fresh off a victory over the last general manager -- want to make sure the next general manager is not truly empowered. The last thing they want is for Ross to hire a guy who will have the power to hire and perhaps fire Philbin and or Aponte.

They want a puppet person that will merely evaluate talent and handle the draft and keep his mouth shut and business to himself.

There may be worse things than Jerry Jones as your GM, folks.

Finally, a former Cowboy is getting another chance with a divisional foe.

Good luck, Killer K. But not too much.

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