Dallas legend Troy Aikman says Robert Griffin III or Johnny Manziel will join Cowboys

Alex Butler

DALLAS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- One of the best quarterbacks ever for a team with a history of phenomenal gunslingers says Robert Griffin III or Johnny Manziel will be a Dallas Cowboys backup.

On Tuesday, Troy Aikman told Sports Illustrated Now: "I believe, as I sit here today, either Johnny Manziel or Robert Griffin III will be in Dallas as the backup."


Aikman told NFL Network's NFL HQ Wednesday that he has "concern" for current Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who has been the club's signal caller for years.

"I think the real concern (with Romo) is this has been an outstanding offensive line the last two years in protecting him," Aikman told NFL Network's NFL HQ. "He has not taken a lot of hits and this year he broke it twice and he wasn't hit very much, so he has missed some time. As a guy who continues to get older, I certainly know as a quarterback that it's harder to come back. It's harder to play week in and week out as you get older. So what they do this year, the backup position, I think is going to be really, really important."

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Aikman also made the circuit on NBC5, when he said Romo wouldn't be happy if they drafted another quarterback.

"I think Tony has said all the right things, but I don't think Tony would be real happy if they drafted a quarterback," Aikman said, according to NBC5. "Brett Favre wasn't happy when [the Green Bay Packers] drafted Aaron Rodgers."

Romo, 35, has started in Dallas since 2006. Since then he has completed 2,826-of-4,331 passes for 34,154 yards, 247 touchdowns and 117 interceptions. He played in 16 games in his first full season as a starter and has started 13 or more games every season since, with the exception of 2010 and 2015, when he dealt with injuries.

Manziel, 23, was born in Tyler, Texas, went to high school in Kerrville and attended Texas A&M in College Station. Since being drafted No. 22 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, Manziel has mostly served as a distraction for the dysfunctional franchise.


In two seasons, Manziel has completed 147-of-258 passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also scored a rushing touchdown in 2014. The Browns are 2-6 when Manziel has started and 10-22 since drafting the quarterback.

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Griffin, 25, has achieved more success in the league than Manziel since being drafted No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins.

Born in Japan, Griffin attended high school in Copperas Cove, Texas, before becoming a star at Baylor University.

The 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year led his team to a 9-6 record as a starter that season. Since then, though, Washington holds a 5-15 record in games Griffin has started. Griffin has completed 679-of-1,063 passes for 8,097 yards, 40 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in three seasons.

Romo signed a seven-year, $119.5 million contract in March of 2013 with $55 million guaranteed. The deal pays Romo $8.5 million in 2016, $14 million in 2017, $19.5 million in 2018, and $20.5 million in 2019, before he hits free agency in 2020.

Griffin signed his deal in July of 2012 and is due $16.2 million in 2016 before hitting free agency in 2017. Manziel is due $1,169,872 in 2016 and $1,294,808 with a $250,000 roster bonus in 2017 before he has a club option in 2018 and free agency in 2019.


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