One of the highest-profile teams in sports, the Dallas Cowboys, and one of football's highest-profile players, Johnny Manziel, both face significant questions about their futures. Don't be shocked if those futures somehow find a way to intersect.
The Cowboys must begin to ponder quarterback life after Tony Romo, who now has had three separate fractures of his left clavicle and two back surgeries and will be 36 years old at the start of the 2016 season. Dallas is in position for a top-five draft pick for the first time since 2003, when it took cornerback Terence Newman. Last offseason, Dallas spent more than usual studying quarterbacks, working out Bryce Petty, Garrett Grayson and Sean Mannion. The Cowboys figure to take an even closer look at more quarterbacks this spring. They haven't drafted a QB since they selected Stephen McGee in 2009.
Cleveland could decide to part ways with Manziel -- given the option to start him, the Browns instead chose Austin Davis this week -- and it's easy enough to draw up a short list of teams that could have some level of interest, according to people around the league.
It could include the Rams, who considered using their 2014 first-round pick on Manziel before opting for standout defensive tackle Aaron Donald instead; the 49ers, who have no viable short- or long-term solution at quarterback; and the Cowboys, a team in which owner Jerry Jones clearly debated drafting Manziel before he opted for sturdy offensive lineman Zack Martin.
Dallas made the right call then, but it could have another chance here on Manziel following a season in which Dallas has struggled to line up a reliable starter or dependable backup. With Romo's durability in question, some around the league believe Jones could again have interest in Manziel. It would be very Jerry-like, too, for him to make a play for Manziel this winter.
Each offseason the Cowboys can be counted on to make some sort of splash. Last offseason they added controversial defensive end Greg Hardy. This offseason could be about Manziel.
The Cowboys and Browns are drawn together by another factor: They are two teams projected to have top picks in the next draft that will have questions at the quarterback position. Dallas has an aging starter and a questionable depth chart; Cleveland could be back to square one. And they could be drafting near each other.
As a changeup to other years, some of the teams likely to pick near the top of the draft already have drafted or paid franchise quarterbacks. The Chargers are not likely to draft a quarterback. Nor are the Titans or Lions. It leaves teams that figure to be near the top of the draft such as the Cowboys and Browns in a prime position to solidify the quarterback slot for years to come if they so choose.
There has already been plenty of talk about the Cowboys and Manziel. This offseason there could be even more.