Johnny Manziel has had more than his fair share of detractors, but one Hall of Fame quarterback believes in the Heisman winner.
Speaking to DallasCowboys.com, former Dallas quarterback and current Fox NFL announcer Troy Aikman fully endorsed Manziel in his quest to make it in the NFL.
“I’m a fan of his, and I’m really pulling for him,” Aikman said. “I had a chance to meet him at the Final Four, and I saw some of his workout from television. I wasn’t in Houston for the workout, but I think he’s got an opportunity to really have a special career, and I’ll be pulling for that to happen.”
Credited for his excellent analysis during broadcasts and his overall knowledge of the game, to say nothing of his success on the field, very few endorsements ring more true than Aikman’s.
Sometimes left out of the conversation regarding the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Aikman was a perfect 3-0 as the Cowboys starter in three Super Bowls in the early 1990s and led a locker room loaded with loquacious characters like fellow Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. Only greats like Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw posted perfect Super Bowl records with more wins, and New England’s Tom Brady equals Aikman in total victories but still has two losses.
Manziel, who thrived with the Texas A&M Aggies, has been called too small or sleight for the NFL, and inaccurate. His rush-heavy style has been dubbed unsuited for the pros, and Manziel’s partying and dates with models have many questioning his lifestyle away from football.
All of that aside, no NFL analyst has questioned his level of talent. Manziel is still the same quarterback who led the Aggies to an 18-6 record over two seasons with 63 touchdown passes and 7,820 yards passing, coupled with 2,169 rushing yards and another 30 rushing touchdowns.
And Manziel accomplished all that with a 6-foot, 210-pound frame in the SEC, college football’s breeding ground for NFL defensive talent. Manziel also defeated mighty Alabama in Tuscaloosa to cement his 2012 Heisman campaign, en route to improving A&M’s record by four wins including a 41-13 thrashing of Oklahoma in Cotton Bowl.
Manziel has been projected to go as high as No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans, or as low as No. 8 to the Minnesota Vikings. It also seems highly unlikely he falls out of the first round, even if Aikman hadn’t provided his seal of approval.