Jerry Jones 'physically restrained' from drafting Manziel

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not deny a report that he was physically restrained in the team draft room from turning in Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as their first-round pick.

Responding Tuesday to a report that Jones was restrained by his son, CEO Stephen Jones, who “snatched the Manziel card straight out of his (Jerry Jones') hand” in May's draft, the longtime Cowboys owner said there was truth to the report by Jim Dent.

“Figuratively speaking, it got close to that,” said Jones on 105.3 FM in Dallas. “It certainly was a big debate going on, if no place else other than my mind.”

It's water under the bridge now, of course, with Manziel drafted 26th overall by the Cleveland Browns. The Cowboys drafted offensive lineman Zack Martin from Notre Dame and he's expected to start as a rookie.

Jerry Jones publicly lauded Manziel's style and the week before the NFL draft, when rumors are rampant, multiple reports linked the Cowboys to a possible trade aimed at drafted the Heisman Trophy winner. When Manziel was on the board with the 16th overall pick when the Cowboys were on the clock, the buzz apparently went beyond social media, and right into the draft room at Valley Ranch, Texas.

According to Dent, the Cowboys ultimately settled on Martin because of the six-year contract given to incumbent starter Tony Romo. Romo holds all the leverage in a deal that would be an albatross for an already unfavorable salary cap situation in Dallas.

“(Dent) was privy to someone that had my read pretty good in there, because ultimately that was the problem,” said Jones. “Being behind Romo for those years and whether or not that was really the best way to use that pick.”

Martin is drawing raves from coaches and teammates in preseason. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan called his talent rare.

Before long, Martin might even be able to shake the “What If” questions centered on Manziel being the one with the star on his helmet.

“I try not to worry about that. He's a great player and I do admit I loved watching him in college and any time we had an early game (and) he was playing at night we tried to always watch it because he is such an electrifying player,” Martin told the same radio station. “But that's fine that I'll be linked to him and hopefully I can produce and help this football team.”

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