Johnny Manziel, DeMarcus Ware, Kyle Orton, The Texas Rangers and the Dallas Mavericks are all making noise this week

By Matthew Postins

Stephen Jones says Jerry Jones has the final say in the Dallas Cowboys’ “Big Board” on draft day. Like I told Bryan Houston on our podcast earlier this week – it doesn’t matter if assistant director of player personnel Will McClay or college scouting director Tom Ciskowki have increased input in setting the board when Jerry Jones is the one pulling the trigger. You’re still playing Cowboys Draft Day roulette, which is much less fun than Jimmy Fallon’s Russian Egg Roulette.

Texas Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel will meet with the Dallas Cowboys
Photo By Rattle and Hum Sportss

The Dallas Cowboys are reported to meet with Johnny Manziel at the NFL Scouting Combine. Let the Manziel-to-Cowboys rumors kick into overdrive, but remember this – the Cowboys will meet with 60 players this weekend at the Combine. Most of them won’t be coming to Dallas. It’s called due diligence.

Player agents are in overdrive this week. The agent for Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer, Jordan Woy, says the Cowboys want both players back. Pat Dye, DeMarcus Ware’s agent, says Ware can reach elite status again. It’s all posturing this time of year. Woy has to show teams that the Cowboys are interested to drum up potential interest in free agency. Woy has to prepare for the possibility that the Cowboys cut Ware and plant that seed to other teams that Ware can bounce back after a moribund 2013. In the end, I expect one of these three players to be in Dallas – Ware – and even that’s 50/50.

Sources say that Kyle Orton might not play in 2014. And now you understand why I’ve been on the Cowboys since the offseason began about drafting and grooming a quarterback in the mid-rounds. Draft the right guy, control him for four years and you won’t have to deal with this mess.

By the way, Orton is coming back. That’s my gut talking, not unnamed sources. How do you walk away from $3.25 million a year to carry a clipboard?

Someone asked Jason Garrett if Gavin Escobar would challenge Jason Witten for playing time in 2014. I wrote that first sentence five minutes ago. Sorry for the delay. I couldn’t stop laughing.

The NFL salary cap for 2014 goes up to $132 million. So now the Cowboys only have to restructure – what – six contracts instead of seven?

Meanwhile, Garrett says the Cowboys must run the ball more in 2014. Whatever, Jason. Your track record doesn’t back up your words. But I’ll say this – even though the Cowboys ran the ball less in 2013 than in 2012, the run game was more effective. If I’m a Cowboys fan, I can live with that.

Best quote of the week from Jerry Jones: “To be candid with you, when our season started if you told me that we were going to get the production we got out of [DeMarcus] Ware because of some injury issues, and we were not going to get [Anthony] Spencer at all and not going to get [Jay] Ratliff at all, then I might’ve been concerned and said, ‘We might have a hard time getting to 8-8.’ Now is that our issue because of Spencer’s age or Ware’s age or Ratliff’s age? How much of that is on us? I don’t know…”

Oh, I know. Anyone with basic NFL experience knows who it’s on.

Here’s your StubHub price check for the SMU-Louisville game on March 5. SMU’s road loss normalized prices just a smidge, going down $158.19 to $137. Geez. I can take my date and I out of Truluck’s cheaper than that.

Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison was sent back to Arlington for further evaluation on his back (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison was sent back to Arlington for further evaluation on his back
(AP Photo/Rob Carr)

The Texas Rangers are a MASH unit right now. Geovany Soto just had foot surgery. Matt Harrison and his stiff back need a second opinion. Jurickson Profar has tendonitis. Neftali Feliz had shoulder tightness.

But it’s all good because reinforcements are on the way – Russell Wilson comes to camp March 3. Unfortunately, the best Wilson will be able to do is talk up players in camp. Sure we can’t work something out, Seattle?

Yu Darvish jokes about Masahiro Tanaka’s contract and then apologizes for it. The joke was that the Yankees may have paid Tanaka “too much” by signing him to a $155 million deal over seven years. The truth is that, given that Yankees GM Brian Cashman characterizes Tanaka as a solid “No. 3 starter,” the Yankees did pay him too much.

The Dallas Mavericks get away with committing 25 turnovers in a win over Philadelphia. My high school team wouldn’t have gotten away with that. Wind sprints for everyone the next day.

By the way, Jason Garrett says there has been no discussion about a new contract. Not sure why anyone felt the need to ask that question after back-to-back-to-back 8-8 seasons. He’s coaching for his job. We know it, he knows it, Jerry knows it. He’s not getting an extension. Let’s just let it play out.

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