Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said that the team was "that close" to pulling the trigger on quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 16th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Now we know just how close.
In a new book, author Jim Dent reveals that Jones had a draft card with Manziel's name on it and was set to turn it in, when Stephen Jones, his son and vice president of the team, "snatched" the card from him, according to Sean Lester of the Dallas News.
Dent, who has previously written about Jones in another book, said that he could imagine Jones' "hands were shaking when the Cowboys went on the clock with Manziel still on the board," and that he could "envision Jones scribbling the name of Johnny Manziel on the draft card."
"All of these things happened," Dent writes, and Stephen Jones "snatched the Manziel card straight out of his dad's hand."
Jerry Jones denied the rumor in a Tuesday interview with 105.3 The Fan, saying his son never actually grabbed the card out of his hand.
"That didn't happen," Jones said. "We're well aware that there are a lot of people looking at us in that room. You'd think we could act a little more organized than that.
"Figuratively speaking, it got close to that. It certainly was a big debate going on at no place else other than my mind. ... Because ultimately that was the bottom line -- being behind Romo for those years and whether or not that was the best way to use that pick."
There was plenty of talk about Manziel to the Cowboys prior to the draft. Some even suggested that Dallas would trade up to bring Manziel on board. But the Cowboys went with offensive lineman Zack Martin instead, which was probably a good choice for all involved.
The Dallas line needed the help, Tony Romo just got a big deal and seems likely to be around for some time, and Manziel most likely didn't want to sit. Instead, he went to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22, where he's currently battling Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback gig.