Troy Aikman: Cowboys Shouldn’t Touch Manziel

Believe it or not, it’s been 20 years since the Dallas Cowboys last won a Super Bowl. Even worse, they’ve gone 3-8 in the playoffs ever since.

“They just haven’t been able to maintain any level of consistency,” NFL on FOX analyst Troy Aikman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Why that is, I can’t exactly put my finger on it. A lot of people point to Jerry Jones. Maybe there’s some truth in that, but whatever it is, they’ve just not been able to build something that’s been able to sustain consistent play year in and year out. It’s hard to do for any team in this league, but we see the teams like Green Bay and New England that are able to put a winning product out there each and every year regardless of whatever happens with injuries. The Cowboys, like a lot of these other teams, have had a hard time doing that.

Aikman, of course, led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles in the mid-1990s. That was when Jimmy Johnson was responsible for bringing in talent.

“Since then, whether it’s Jason Garrett or anyone else, Jerry has had his hand in a lot of things,” Aikman said. “Jerry will claim he’s doing it the same way he (did) it when Jimmy was the head coach, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily accurate. There’s a lot of fingers that get pointed to the owner. Whatever the reason, it hasn’t been good enough. It’s real simple. Whatever they’ve been doing, it needs to change. You can’t just keep doing things the same way over and over and expect things to be different, so I think there has to be a real hard look internally as to what their operations are like – and the is nothing new. This has been suggested time and time again, but I’m not real certain that anything really changes from one year to the next other than the players.”

One player who could wind up in Dallas next season is Texas native Johnny Manziel. Aikman, however, hopes the Cowboys go in another direction.

“I wouldn’t touch him,” Aikman said. “I think at that position – really, at any position – but at the quarterback position, you’ve got to have some accountability. You’ve got to have somebody who is the hardest-working guy on your team, puts in the time, wants to be great and is willing to do what is required to be great. But having said that, Jerry Jones is on record as saying he was upset that he didn’t draft Johnny Manziel. He got talked out of it. He was on record after the draft – even after they took Zack Martin, who proved to be one of the best picks in the history of this game – that he was still upset that he hand’t drafted Johnny Manziel. So I think there is a part of Jerry that would like to show that he was right in his evaluations of Johnny Manziel.”

The Cowboys, who went 4-12 this past season, have the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft.

“I think if there’s a quarterback available at No. 4 and the Cowboys believe he is a franchise quarterback, I think you have to take that guy,” Aikman said. “He doesn’t have to play right away. Tony Romo is a great quarterback. He just needs to be healthy. But if you can establish yourself for another 10 to 15 years following Romo’s tenure, I don’t know how you can pass on that. But if they’d decide to, I believe that either Johnny Manziel or RG3 will be in a Cowboys uniform next year.”

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