Jameill Showers still in NFL, outlasting college teammate Johnny Manziel

Getty Images

Jameill Showers still is most well known for being the quarterback Johnny Manziel beat out for the starting job at Texas A&M. Yet, while Manziel is out the NFL, Showers still has a job, albeit at a different position.

Showers will try to make the Cowboys’ active roster at safety after making the move to defense during the 2016 season.

“That was the talk that me and coach [Jason] Garrett had in October whenever he first asked me to move was, we want you to focus on safety because you do well there, and it’ll give you a chance to move up on special teams,” Showers said. “He was like, ‘We don’t want to put you in a position where you’re a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none situation.’ I definitely respect it, and I’m trying to work hard for it.

“I’m excited about it. I think it’ll give me more opportunities to play, especially special teams, things like that. I think it just kind of puts more on my resume as far as a football player, even if things don’t work out here or wherever. Or even if they do, I’ll have more that I can do. That’s what I heard is the more you can do, the longer you stay type of deal.”

Showers spent two seasons on the practice squad, playing multiple positions, including quarterback. He had not played safety since he was a freshman in high school when the Cowboys approached him in the middle of last season about converting to defense full time.

Showers has found the hardest part of the change is not being able “to eat like a quarterback anymore.” He weighed 230 pounds as a quarterback. He needs to get down to 215 to play safety with still a few more pounds to lose.

“I’m really happy with what Showers has done,” Cowboys secondary coach Joe Baker said. “He’s turned his body from a quarterback body into a defensive back body, which looks a lot different. You can tell he looks slimmer. He’s moving a lot better. The whole athleticism part of it is so much different at that position, and so I’m really proud of how he’s worked. He’s still got a ways to go, but movement-wise in terms of his backpedaling, changing direction, all those things we do as defensive backs, he’s really doing a nice job.”

The Cowboys lost two safeties in free agency, with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox departing. That gives Showers a better chance to make the active roster than what he otherwise would have had, but he still faces an uphill battle with far less experience than his competition.