The NFL draft hasn't been the way the Dallas Cowboys have stocked the quarterback position for a long time -- the club has drafted just two of them since 1992 -- but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might be ready to buck that trend given the team's struggles in the absence of the injured Tony Romo this season.
"Consequently, I think we have made a 'D', if you want to give it that, make it an 'F', relative to how we have approached this situation if Romo should get hurt," Jones said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
While it would have required a first-round pick to acquire Manziel in the 2014 draft, Jones was non-committal about making a first-round investment in the position in 2016.
"I don't know about first round necessarily, at all, but ... Weeden was an opportunity to develop the future. Again, he hadn't played much football, and he had some age on him because he played baseball, but still it was an opportunity for us to develop for the future. It did not work. There's your first-round pick. Half of the first-round picks that are made don't work. That's not negative, they just don't work. So we've got to keep that in mind."
Manziel hasn't worked out for the Cleveland Browns, largely due to off-field problems that resulted in a rehab facility stay and, most recently, a benching for Monday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Instead of drafting Manziel at No. 16 overall, the Cowboys chose Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, who has been outstanding. Still, Jones acknowledged the decision as a missed opportunity to build for the future at quarterback.
"Do you remember two years ago when we sat there right to the last second on the clock with Manziel? My whole point is, there you are," Jones said. "That was the whole purpose of doing that. At that particular time, for a first-round pick, I thought that Romo had more time. And if we sat there and worked with Manziel for four or five years, now we all know what's happened.
"We know the off-the-field issues. But on our board, one of our top five or six picks dropped down to us and it was at the quarterback position, and I absolutely was a vote of one in that room to basically go there. And I understood why. I understood the risk that was involved. And we got a great player instead. But those are the circumstances that come up when you're thinking for the future. I was at that particular time, debating the value of him for the future as well as debating a backup."
The Cowboys haven't drafted a quarterback since taking Stephen McGee in the fourth round in the 2009 NFL Draft. Prior to that, Dallas chose former Georgia quarterback Quincy Carter in 2001, and former Oregon quarterback and Oakland Raiders assistant coach Bill Musgrave in 1991. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein lists quarterback as one of the Cowboys' key areas of need to be addressed in the 2016 NFL Draft.