Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Why I'm giving up on Johnny Football

Sometimes there exists a certain pride in knowing that you are defying the trend, going against the grain. This is especially true in journalism where ideas tend to travel in packs.

Then again sometimes you just realize it's time to cut the cord on a particular stand. And as one of the last people who retained the opinion that the Dallas Cowboys should at least kick the tires on Johnny Manziel's availability, I very willingly move on.

I can't imagine any of the other 31 teams offering Cleveland so much as a late seventh-round pick for the quarterback who has found his way onto another police report. This one comes out of Fort Worth, Texas, and, like the one in Ohio in October, involves a possible physical disturbance with his girlfriend.

The NFL will investigate and will reserve the right to exact its own punishment even if police ultimately dismiss it. It may amount to a lot of nothing. But with Manziel, you can rest assured this won't be his last brush with authority.

It's hard to champion the cause of a player who spent two months in alcohol rehab last offseason but is spotted drinking as frequently as Manziel. I have said he needs to come clean on all of that with the Cowboys or any other potential suitor, but enough is enough.

You deal with this sort of behavior if you're coaching Lawrence Taylor. A backup quarterback as unproven as Manziel? Teams have better things to do.

Manziel improved in his limited on-field work in Year 2. But it has been called to my attention that I can't champion his 372 yards in a loss to Pittsburgh if I dismiss the Cowboys' Kellen Moore throwing for more than 400 against Washington. And that's true.

And I'm not about to jump on Moore's bandwagon. But I'd rather see him in Oxnard working on his craft, trying to become a capable backup, than the Johnny Football circus celebrating a young man whose limited hopes of establishing himself as an NFL starter are overwhelmed by his determination to sustain his persona as the ultimate party guy.

Johnny Football was a joy to watch when he was capturing the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

Today he's one more misstep away from joining that special group of people who are famous for nothing more than being famous.

— Dallas Morning News (TNS)

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