Jerry Jones Comments on Johnny Manziel's NFL Career, Future and More

Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2016

Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones stands on the field before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Arlington , Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
Tim Sharp/Associated Press

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has struggled on the field but much more so off of it.

He has dealt with substance-abuse issues that have seen him in trouble with the law multiple times, but allegations that he abused his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, were the final straw that led to his release.

There still have been reports of interest from multiple teams, including possibly the Dallas Cowboys. However, according to the team's official website, owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that Manziel getting his life on track is a “far more important issue" than for Dallas to try to sign him.    

“As it would turn out, he’s had a disappointing life experience, as it would pertain to his time in the NFL,” Jones said. “I do respect him as a player and a talent. I want to talk about any way he could help that.” 

Jones reiterated he feels like Manziel could play in the NFL based on talent, but if he doesn't find the help he needs, that won't be happening anytime soon:

The overwhelming response and overwhelming mentality is, if we’re involved in any way, would be to help and encourage him to get it together and get his issues improved. Those issues, not in my mind, talent, are why he’s free today. It’s those issues are the overriding consideration here.

My interpretation of how he’s responded to the challenge of fame and the challenge of professionalism, has been compromised by a far more important issue. He needs to get the human elements and skills addressed. I think where he is, speaks for itself. That just has to be addressed.

Those are interesting words considering the Cowboys didn't blink at giving former Pro Bowl defensive lineman Greg Hardy a shot with the team last year after he was involved in a domestic dispute with his then-girlfriend.

Perhaps the Hardy situation is why Jones is being more cautious here, but the lineman clearly could help his team out more than Manziel would as a potential backup quarterback. It's much easier for Jones to take this stance, although he's never been afraid to speak his mind in the past.

Despite all of this, Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm wrote that the former Texas A&M Aggie could still eventually end up in Dallas: "Can Jones help himself? We don't know that yet, but it almost feels like this pairing is bound to happen at some point. If Manziel shows he can handle the responsibility of a second chance."

The Browns gave him many chances, and we saw how that worked out. Maybe Jones can get Manziel the help he needs, and if so, he may be the one to carry the torch when current signal-caller Tony Romo is no longer around.