It was no secret leading up to the draft that Jerry Jones was a huge admirer of Johnny Manziel.

What was unknown until now is how close the Dallas Cowboys came to drafting Manziel with the sixteenth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. In a new book entitled Manziel Mania, author Jim Dent writes that Stephen Jones, Jerry’s son, literally had to take away his father’s draft card that had Manziel’s name written on it:

“Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had snatched the Manziel card straight out of his dad’s hand. Otherwise, Jerry would have drafted him and JFF would have sat for at least three years behind Tony Romo,” Dent wrote in an excerpt provided to the Dallas Morning News.

Dent seems to be a credible source on the subject of the Cowboys. The author covered the team for 11 years and even wrote a book about Jerry Jones.

“I could just see Jones grabbing Manziel with the 16th choice of the first round,” Dent writes. “I wrote a book about Jerry Jones in 1995 titled ‘King of the Cowboys.’ I know the Boss Hog. I knew that Jones’ hands were shaking when the Cowboys went on the clock with Manziel still on the board. I could envision Jones scribbling the name of Johnny Manziel on the draft card. Indeed, all of these things happened.”

And like that, the world was denied a rather perverse pleasure in seeing Cowboys fans chant Manziel’s name after every Tony Romo interception. Instead of providing people a perfect marriage of glitz and drama, the Cowboys drafted offensive lineman Zack Martin, who will probably make the team better but not provide nearly as much entertaining material as Manziel would have in Jerry World. Thanks, Stephen.

[CBS Sports]