It all worked out perfectly. Johnny Manziel fell to No. 16 in the 2014 NFL draft, and the Dallas Cowboys selected ... Zack Martin, an offensive tackle from Notre Dame.
The NFL's official Twitter account reported the pick shortly after the announcement:
The selection came much to the chagrin of Johnny Football, as Bleacher Report notes:
Martin was projected as a first-round selection in a multitude of mock drafts, but didn't come in with quite the same hype as Manziel.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports agrees with the choice for Dallas:
Meanwhile, Adam Schefter of ESPN questions where Manziel would fit in the remainder of the first round:
While it wasn't the sexiest pick or the one that every NFL writer wanted to see, picking Martin was a safe selection for the Cowboys. And apparently the fanbase was at ease with the selection, as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe points out:
After not selecting an offensive tackle for much of his tenure as the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones has been in love with selecting the big men in recent years.
In fact, the last few drafts have been flooded with linemen for Dallas, per ESPN Stats & Info:
What Martin brings to the Cowboys is more protection for Tony Romo. It also secures a spot for the quarterback for the foreseeable future with no pressure behind him.
As for Manziel, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN put a tag on the quarterback that no prospect wants:
Dallas now heads into the season with hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Manziel might have pushed Romo to work harder, Martin adds protection for the unpredictable franchise quarterback.
Given the current situation in the NFC East and the unpredictability that comes with it, the Cowboys could once again contend without Mr. Football. The excitement of Manziel on the sidelines might have been great for Dallas fans, but a postseason appearance means much more.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.