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Troy Aikman: Johnny Manziel can 'really have a special career'

Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman says he is a Johnny Manziel fan and that he thinks Manziel has "an opportunity to really have a special career." But that doesn't mean he thinks the Dallas Cowboys, his former team, will draft Manziel.

Dallas needs to improve its defense, Aikman said. The Cowboys were last in the NFL in total defense in 2013.

"I think you look at the Cowboys right now and some of the struggles, specifically from last year, defense clearly was an area of concern and disappointment," Aikman told dallascowboys.com. "A lot of that was because of the injuries, so I'm sure there will be a focus on that."

Aikman also said he doesn't think the Cowboys will draft a quarterback at all.

"I think Brandon Weeden obviously has some talent, and Kyle Orton -- I'm assuming he's back; I've always been a big Kyle Orton fan -- I think he's fully capable, and I think he proved that in the last game of the season," Aikman said. "It doesn't sound like they'll be drafting anybody (at quarterback). But if they can find a free agent to come out and at some point down the road play like Tony (Romo) has played, that's a pretty good way to go."

Aikman said he finally met Manziel at the Final Four earlier this month in Dallas and that he had watched some of his pro day workout on TV.

"I'm a fan of his, and I'm really pulling for him," Aikman said.

Previously, Aikman had expressed concerns about Manziel's size (he measured 5-foot-11¾ and 207 pounds at February's NFL Scouting Combine) and whether he could take an NFL pounding.

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

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