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Johnny Manziel 'a better version' of NFL great Fran Tarkenton

Former Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel was called "a better version of Fran Tarkenton" by NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt.


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Brandt has made Tarkenton comparisons before with Manziel, and the latest proclamation was in Peter King's "MMQB" column.

Tarkenton, who was roughly the same size as Manziel during his career, played 18 seasons in the NFL. He led Minnesota to three Super Bowls in the 1970s and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He finished his career in 1978 with 47,003 passing yards and 342 touchdown passes.

Tarkenton retired as the NFL's leader in passing yards and TD passes. He still ranks eighth on the league's career yardage list and sixth on the TD list. If Manziel truly is a "better version" of Tarkenton, some team is going to be mighty happy.

"I do have a tremendous belief in him," Brandt told King. "You are going to get 110 percent out of this guy every day of his life, every play of his life. If you don't have a quarterback and you want one, I believe this guy has a great chance to be good for a long time."

Manziel's off-field exploits have drawn a lot of attention, but Brandt said "I just don't believe it's going to hold him back from being really good."

Brandt, a longtime Dallas Cowboys executive, concluded his scouting report with this: "The one thing coach [Tom] Landry told me a long time ago is you look for the good, not for the bad."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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