NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys, Buccaneers Linked to Johnny Manziel; Falcons Host Carlos Hyde, Jeremy Hill

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2014 NFL Draft

Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As if the Dallas Cowboys needed more drama, the team is now being discussed as a potential landing spot for quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Tony Romo is entrenched as the starter, especially since he signed a seven-year, $119.5 million contract last spring, but if and when Manziel slips out of the top spots, the Cowboys might be waiting and willing to grab the Texas native, according to ESPN.

Even if Dallas views Manziel as a future NFL starting quarterback, Romo has plenty of quality playing years left in him, and the team must feel the same to give him a contract through 2020.

Perhaps the Cowboys plan to use Manziel as a trading piece to those quarterback-needy teams that thought they could trade back for him late in the first round. If that’s the case, it might be a bit of a risk, especially if they weren’t willing to use their top pick on the quarterback when they had the chance.

The Cowboys have much bigger holes to fill with the 16th overall pick, noticeably on the defensive side of the ball. Because of that, NFL Media draft guru Gil Brandt believes the Cowboys’ interest in Manziel purely hearsay.

Manziel is “on the short list” players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering with the seventh overall pick, according to ESPN.

The Bucs signed free-agent veteran quarterback Josh McCown this offseason to backup 2013 third-round pick Mike Glennon, who started 13 games last season. Manziel was one of the team’s pre-draft visits and may only be able to nab him if he falls out of the top four picks. Manziel is slated to come off the board fourth to the Cleveland Browns in the latest XN Sports Mock Draft.

The Atlanta Falcons were one of the suitors for Chris Johnson as he neared his divorce with the Tennessee Titans, but it seems as it running back will be a position the team targets in the draft instead. The Falcons hosted former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, former LSU back Jeremy Hill and former Towson back Terrance West in recent days.

Atlanta ranked last in the league in rushing last season with Steven Jackson sidelined for an extended period of time due to injury. Jackson will be 31 at the start of next season, and backup Jacquizz Rodgers is set to be a free agent after the season.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.