Cowboys take a look at Manziel

Posted Thursday, Mar. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Quarterback Johnny Manziel dazzled scouts on Thursday during a pro day workout on the campus of Texas A&M.

Manziel only went through passing drills and displayed a quick, accurate release. He threw 64 passes with only three incompletions. Of the three incompletions, one was dropped, another was caught out of bounds and the third was a bad throw.

“I obviously was going for perfection. A couple of balls hit the ground,” Manziel said. “One was on me and the other was a little bit high. I could have gotten it down.

“Overall, I thought it was really good.”

A total of 75 NFL representatives attended the workout, including eight head coaches and eight general managers.

The Dallas Cowboys sent quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and scouts Chris Hall and Walt Juliff. The Cowboys have the 16th overall pick.

“I was very impressed he played under center on all the throws. He showed movement throws. He showed throw-back throws,” Wilson said. “He threw the ball over the field, so I was very impressed. He was accurate and showed plenty of velocity on the throws.

“He's a fantastic playmaker. You can tell the charisma that he has with the interaction with his own guys. He's got a very infectious personality.”

Manziel wore a helmet and shoulder pads, a rare move in a pro day workout. He took all of his snaps from under center. He played mostly in a shotgun offense with the Aggies.

“I really like to see the guys play under center especially if they haven't done too much of it in their college tape. I thought he was fantastic getting away,” Wilson said. “He showed great quickness separating away from center [and] good balance at the top. He threw the ball extremely well.

“I haven't seen him play. I saw him at the combine where he didn't throw. This is my first time to really see him throw in person. I just wanted to see his arm strength. He has plenty of arm strength to play, no question about that.”

Wide receiver Mike Evans, another top-10 pro prospect, was among the six targets for Manziel’s passes. The Cowboys were monitoring Evans too.

“I think he's a big guy who can run. He gets in and out of his breaks extremely well for a guy his size. He has a very natural catch of the ball so he's going to be real special,” Wilson said. “We'll write up our reports and we'll get with Jason (Garrett) and Jason gets with Jerry (Jones) and we'll go from there.”

Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara arrived in a golf cart to watch the workout.

Houston has the No. 1 overall pick in the May NFL draft. The remainder of the top 10, in order, are Washington, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo and Detroit.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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