“It would be smart of the Cowboys to take a backup quarterback like that and use that fourth pick on somebody that can help them win right now instead of somebody that may play four years from now,” Irvin said.
Irvin, an analyst for the league-owned NFL Network, said that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would help Manziel work through his off-field issues.
“I just think when we start talking about bringing the man out of a boy or bringing the man out of a kid, what does that is great support,” Irvin said. “You guys know how Jerry is. He’s one of the guys that I will say, one of the issues that people find with him is he’s loyal to a fault. And when you know someone cares for your person … Jerry is going to help him work with his person. And that will bring the best out in his profession. That’s where the work needs [to be done]. And when you know you’ve got somebody up top that’s pulling for you, it just gives you a different thing. I really believe that.
“I know how Jerry’s helped me. I know the kind of man he is. I know he’ll sit down and relate the situations and the setbacks that he’s had in life so you don’t feel funny about telling him or uncomfortable about telling him anything. And it helps to have that. He becomes a sounding board. I just really believe the right situation would really help the kid out.”
Irvin said he believes that Manziel, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M, can be a successful NFL quarterback under the proper circumstances.
“We all saw the growth from his first year to his second year, just watching this kid play,” Irvin said. “There was tremendous growth there, tremendous growth. So to ask can he become [a successful NFL quarterback]? Absolutely, if he continues that path of growth. I do believe, though, guys, let’s be real here: We put a lot of pressure on a lot of kids. I’ve got 18-year-old kids now that I’m doing everything in the world to keep them on the straight and narrow.
“This guy won a Heisman at 18, 19, 20 years old, whatever he was. And everybody thinks because you can throw a ball and you win the hardware that you have to be a role model and that you must be mature. That’s not the situation. The two don’t always co-mingle. So I’m hoping he gets an opportunity and he gets [supported by] some good people and people that have been around people that have had issues and can understand how to bring him along. And yes, I believe he can become a very good NFL player.”