Aikman: Manziel or RGIII will be Cowboys backup QB

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Troy Aikman knows what it takes to be a quarterback in Dallas. So we'll take his word for it when he speculates about the Cowboys' future at the position.

"I believe, as I sit here today, either Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III will be in Dallas as the backup," Aikman recently told SI.com.

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Both Manziel and RGIII have been rumored to move to Dallas in the offseason after their unceremonious public breakups with the Browns and Redskins, respectively, in 2015. Manziel's off-field antics finally caught up to him, while Redskins coach Jay Gruden finally pulled the trigger on benching Griffin in favor of Kirk Cousins, a move that paid immediate dividends.

After Tony Romo went down with two separate clavicle injuries in the same season, Dallas' rotating quarterback circus featured the likes of Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore and produced just one win.

"I think the real concern (with Romo) is this has been an outstanding offensive line the last two years in protecting him," Aikman told NFL Network's NFL HQ on Wednesday. "He has not taken a lot of hits and this year he broke it twice and he wasn't hit very much, so he has missed some time. As a guy who continues to get older, I certainly know as a quarterback that it's harder to come back. It's harder to play week in and week out as you get older. So what they do this year, the backup position, I think is going to be really, really important."

In that context, Manziel and Griffin are more than serviceable and even attractive options at quarterback. Their elusiveness on the field and star power off are sure to tickle Jerry Jones pink.

Manziel has two years left on his deal with the Browns, who are primed to pick a quarterback with the second pick in the 2016 draft. Griffin is owed upward of $16.2 million in the final year of his contract with Washington in 2016, but is a prime cut candidate in the coming weeks.

If the Cowboys want either of these flawed Texas-bred gunslingers to back up Romo, they should be available for the taking. Or Dallas can use the fourth overall pick to hand-select its next franchise quarterback and avoid the media mess that comes with Manziel and RGIII.

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