Rush To Judge: Romo, Manziel, Wentz, Hardy Dumped In Cowboys Gumbo

'The faster we go, the wrong'er we get.' This applies to grossly premature stories regarding Dallas and Tony Romo, Johnny Manziel, Greg Hardy, Carson Wentz ... heck, you name it, all ingredients in the Cowboys Gumbo.

IRVING -- The Cowboys are sending the Fort Worth Police Department's "Manzielicopter'' to pick up Johnny Manziel.

The Cowboys are arranging for Tony Romo to get a possibly-unnecessary collarbone surgery immediately-- so "immediately'' that the procedure will be finished before doctors even evaluate the injury.

The Cowboys are "in love'' with Carson Wentz and will take him at No. 4... even though the Cowboys scouting department hasn't even assembled its Big Board yet.

The Cowboys are unanimous in their decision to divorce themselves from Greg Hardy because of his behavior ... behavior that mirrored exactly what they'd bargained for when they signed him.

No. No. No. No.


Four big stories. Four "sexy'' names that bring clicks and hits and attention. Throw them all into the gumbo that is the Dallas Cowboys and the "NFL offseason'' ceases to exist and the 24-hour news cycle becomes a 24-second news cycle and the pot is full and the churn is endless.

The Cowboys and Manziel. The Cowboys and Romo. The Cowboys and Wentz. The Cowboys and Hardy.

Take a breath. ... and let's toss into that gumbo facts, reason, logic and truth.

The Cowboys are sending the Fort Worth Police Department's "Manzielicopter'' to pick up Johnny Manziel.

The Browns' issued a statement this week: “We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.'' 

I'm told this isn't "PR'' or "negotiating in the press,'' but rather that it's the Browns essential announcement that when the NFL year begins on March 9, the Texas A&M product, Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland first-rounder will be on the street.


The Cowboys find themselves connected here because of The Myth of The Manziel Draft Card and because of owner Jerry Jones' constant public flirtation with the idea of Manziel as a Cowboy. But ... there never was a "Manziel Card.'' (That's why I call it a "myth.'') And Jerry's willingness to speak glowingly of Manziel is "PR'' and it is shrinking now that Manziel allegedly ditched his team for one weekend in Vegas (wearing a blond wig as a disguise?) and now that Manziel was the subject of a "manhunt'' of sorts when his semi-estranged Fort Worth girlfriend suggested she'd been assaulted by him (again), triggering the odd police decision to send a helicopter out to look for the troubled Lindsay Lohan of Football.


(This tale worsens Thursday, with the report that Manziel threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and himself ... and gallows humor is suddenly coming up empty, too. And now on Friday, Manziel's own father says if "they'' don't help Johnny, he won't live past 24. Sadly, I'm not sure Paul Manziel realizes that HE is the "THEY.'')

 I have written supportively of the idea of Dallas "looking under every rock for QB help.'' But Manziel is in need of another sort of help. No less an authority than Troy Aikman predicts that Dallas will indeed end up with either Manziel or Robert Griffin III (still a Redskins employee) as a 2016 backup, but I'm told there are many Jerry lieutenants who have never been in favor of Johnny and who have a strengthened case now.

ESPN reports that Manziel is telling pals that Dallas (along with the Rams and Chiefs) are interested in him. If this dubious claim is true, it's one more reason to downgrade Manziel, because this revelation should rightfully launch a tampering investigation by the Browns against the other clubs.

Could you imagine the stupidity of the Cowboys being unwilling to give a pick for Johnny but eventually sacrificing a pick anyway as punishment for having whispered sweet nothings into his earhole?

I offer a solution to break any perceived tie between Griffin, Manziel and any other street-FA QB: A Gunfight at The Valley Ranch Corral. Bring some cleats and a football. We start throwing on a Saturday morning, 6 a.m.

Odds are, Johnny Manziel -- showing himself to be The Scorpion on the back of The Turtle -- will not show up on time, in condition to compete, or at all.

The Cowboys are arranging for Tony Romo to get a possibly-unnecessary collarbone surgery immediately.

This story was broken by ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 24. And it flew in the face of what I was told, which was that there was zero chance Romo would decide definitively on surgery BEFORE he got the CT scan -- and that he and the Cowboys would continue to evaluate options because placing a plate on the collarbone isn't necessarily a cure-all. (Read that Cowboys Premium piece on Romo's options here.)


It is now 10 days later. I'm told Romo has undergone the CT scan but has not had the surgery. And now ESPN -- the same outlet that reported he WAS definitively going to get the surgery -- agrees with me in saying that he is NOT yet definitive about it.

But the toothpaste is out of the tube. Millions of Cowboys fans likely think Romo is now rehabbing from a surgery he hasn't even had yet ... all because of a Rush to Judgment, a rush to be first.

The Cowboys are "in love'' with Carson Wentz and will take him at No. 4.

I know exactly where this came from: Our man Dane Brugler PREDICTED the Cowboys would "fall in love'' with the small-school QB after working with him at the Senior Bowl. (Read the Wentz profile here.) Brugler's seed of reporting was responsible; the trees that have grown from that seed are not responsible.


Because ... the Cowboys absolutely have not pinpointed Wentz at No. 4. How could they and why would they before even meeting other QB candidates like Lynch and Goff, who weren't at the Senior Bowl? How that they rank any QB above the handful of other draft-eligible players they will get to know at the Scouting Combine? How can they have Wentz somewhere high on their Big Board when, I'm told, they literally have yet to even assemble a Big Board?

The Cowboys are unanimous in their decision to divorce themselves from Greg Hardy.

There are so many moving parts here that it's easy to PREDICT a divorce. Money. Performance. Behavior. Passion. Other FAs. The Draft. Other bidders. But read my story here on what Greg Hardy himself wants and you are provided a wider picture ... less "sexy'' and less "definitive'' because, well, it's too early to be definitive and because I think actual facts will have to be sexy enough.

One source tells me: "Some guys in the locker room love Greg Hardy. Some guys don't.''


Count Rod Marinelli (on the record, anyway) and Dez Bryant among the "do's.'' Will their voices matter? You can read tea leaves, again, and see the suggestion that Hardy is done here. But if you pretend to KNOW? You are pretending. I've written that so many moving parts -- a host of them negative ones -- point to Hardy's depature. But this isn't "official''; it's just wise observation.

It is the beginning of February. The NFL year and free agency doesn't start for another month. The NFL Draft doesn't start for another three months. Cowboys OTAs and training camp don't start until well after that. The answers Cowboys Nation is being given are largely premature, cart-before-horse, toothpaste-out-of-tube, gumbo being served before it is cooked.


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