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Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Jerry Jones refutes Manziel report

By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones denied a report that his son Stephen, the team's director of personnel, took a draft card with Johnny Manziel's name on it out of his father's hand when he attempted to select the former Texas A&M quarterback.

Author Jim Dent wrote in "Manziel Mania" that Stephen Jones "snatched the draft card straight out of his dad's hand."

Jones
Jerry Jones refuted a report that his son Stephen, right, snatched a draft card with Johnny Manziel's name on it out of his hand during the draft.

"That didn't happen," Jerry Jones, who has a feed of the Cowboys' Valley Ranch draft room broadcast live on the team's website, said Tuesday during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan. "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."

The cards to make the picks are turned in by a team employee attending the draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, not at the Cowboys' facility.

However, Jerry Jones acknowledged that Stephen Jones played a significant role in talking him out of taking Manziel when the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner slid in the draft and was available when the Cowboys went on the clock with the 16th overall pick.

Jerry Jones was tempted to take Manziel, who was the highest-ranked available player on the Cowboys' board but would have entered the NFL as the backup to Tony Romo, who is one year into a six-year, $108 million contract with $55 million guaranteed.

Stephen Jones and others in the room argued for drafting Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, who will start at right guard for the Cowboys this season.

"Figuratively speaking, it got close to that," Jerry Jones said, referring to the image of his son snatching the draft card out of his hand. "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.

"It turned out we used it on Zack Martin, and it has absolutely been a feel-good during this camp with what Martin has brought to the table in terms of protection and run blocking. I like where we ended up. There is no doubt [drafting Manziel] was a long thought on my part. Stephen certainly had his ideas. The rest of the room had other ideas. We had given this a lot of consideration in the draft room and out of the draft room with numbers of people sitting around talking about it."