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Johnny Manziel says he is happy the Dallas Cowboys did not select him because it was “an absolute disaster.”

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Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, there was widespread anticipation, and let’s admit it, a hopeful sentiment among even the most impartial NFL enthusiasts, that the Dallas Cowboys would utilize their 16th overall pick to draft Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel. It seemed like a perfect fit, resonating with the essence of Texas football lore. Manziel had earned the moniker “Johnny Football” during his high school days for his standout performances under Friday night lights. His journey continued to Texas A&M, where he dazzled on Saturdays. The prospect of America’s Team potentially selecting a bona fide Texas high school football legend felt like a script straight out of a movie, didn’t it?

However, not all stories unfold as we envision, and according to Johnny Manziel himself, reflecting on a decade marked by hardship, this particular narrative wouldn’t have concluded favorably.

“I believe I understand myself well enough to recognize that it wouldn’t have turned out well,” Manziel shared with ESPN’s Shannon Sharpe on a recent episode of Club Shay Shay Podcast. “Thankfully, it didn’t happen, even though, at that time, it’s what I desired.”

Instead of donning the Cowboys jersey, Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick. From the outset of his NFL career, Manziel faced lofty expectations, fueled by commentators like Skip Bayless, who predicted Manziel’s impact in Cleveland to surpass even that of LeBron James. Across eight starts with the Browns, Manziel posted a 2-6 record, accumulating 1,675 passing yards and contributing 8 total touchdowns alongside 10 turnovers. That, succinctly, encapsulates Johnny Manziel’s NFL journey.

Regrettably, Manziel’s NFL tenure is predominantly remembered for his off-field struggles. He garnered attention for skipping team obligations, reveling in Vegas nightlife, and facing allegations of domestic violence involving his former girlfriend. As his time in the league drew to a close, Johnny Manziel’s father, Paul, openly expressed his concerns to ESPN, stating, “He’s a druggie. It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie. Hopefully, he doesn’t meet an untimely end before he realizes the gravity of his situation. I hate to say it, but perhaps jail is where he needs to be. I’ve done my part, and I need to move forward. If I have to mourn him, then so be it.”

This isn’t the conclusion anyone hoped for, but amidst the somber narrative, there is a glimmer of hope: Johnny Manziel is still alive to share his story.

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