Aikman surprised Cowboys didn't draft Johnny Manziel

Former Cowboys quarterback thought Jerry Jones would draft Johnny Football Aaron Wilson

Print This July 17, 2014, 11:27 AM EST

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Retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman expressed surprise that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't draft former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Instead, the Cowboys passed and Manziel went to the Cleveland Browns.

“I understand why they didn’t," Aikman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It would have certainly added a lot of excitement around here, but I don’t think it would have been best for the club, certainly not in the short term. There’s a lot of other needs, as we saw last year, that this team has, so it was probably the right thing not taking him, but I was a little surprised. I think that had to have been a difficult decision for Jerry.”

Aikman brought up Manziel's off-field exploits, which haven't brought him trouble, just a lot of social media attention.

“I think when the time comes for him to get serious about football and put in the time, I’m confident he’ll do that,” Aikman said. “He’s going to have to do that if he’s going to be successful. There’s no shortcuts in this league to becoming a great player. Cleveland has invested a lot in him and expects a lot from him, and I’m sure he recognizes that.”

Manziel is known for his hard-partying ways.

“He likes to have a good time, I know that," Aikman said. "But if he can stay focused on football and commit himself, which is what it’s going to require, I think he has a chance to be really good."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

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