Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted that he still thinks Johnny Manziel has the talent to succeed in the National Football League, but he reiterated his team is not interested in signing the quarterback this summer.
Jones wanted the Cowboys to draft Manziel in 2014 but Dallas eventually selected Zack Martin. Two years after the 2014 NFL Draft, Jones is still firm on his previous stance that Manziel belongs to the league, but his off-court issues, not his lack of talent, is the reason why he failed to succeed in his first two seasons in the NFL.
"The overwhelming response and the overwhelming mentality is for him, if we're involved in any way, to help and encourage him to get it together, to get his issue improved because those issues, in my mind, not talent, are why he is free today," Jones told reporters via ESPN, when asked about rumors linking the Cowboys to Manziel.
Manziel, who was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2013, was selected 22nd overall in 2014 and was viewed as a potential franchise player for the Browns. However, his rookie season did not turn out well because of off-field issues, leading to a rehabilitation in the summer of 2015.
While Manziel promised to become a better person on and off the field following the treatment, the former Texas A&M standout was still involved in numerous incidents. He was once spotted partying during a bye week, which forced the Browns to drop him to No. 3 in their QB depth chart.
Manziel eventually got the opportunity to start but earned the ire of the Browns again later in the season after he was seen in a Las Vegas casino while under concussion protocol. He is also under investigation for a possible domestic violence issue.
Jones said that he is still keeping an eye on Manziel not about striking a possible deal with the 23-year-old quarterback, but because he is looking to help the Texas native correct his previous mistakes.
"With that, with me, comes a motivation, if it's appropriate within the rules or within the guidelines of the NFL, if we can be of help in the promise of being a part of the NFL through the Cowboys, I certainly look to that," Jones added. "But, I don't even dare, right now, go into picturing him in a training camp or an OTA or him in a ballgame."
Manziel started in eight games during his first two seasons in the league, where he tallied a 1,675 passing yards for seven touchdowns against seven interceptions for the Browns.