Chat with Calvin Watkins
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Dallas Cowboys reporter Calvin Watkins stops by to chat about the team.
Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. He joined ESPN in September 2009.
Send your questions now and join Watkins Friday at 2 p.m. CT!
Is there any scenario that you can see, where Jerry fires Wade Phillips before the end of the season? Thanks
Calvin Watkins (3:02 PM)
Nope. I don't think so. Jerry said today that Wade Phillips' job is safe for now. Jerry has never fired a coach in midseason and I wouldn't think he would start now.
Romo is taking a lot of sacks, but it seems more like there is noone ope to throw to. It seems like he is ready to let it fly but can;t and then the sack comes. Is this because of the the receivers lack of speed, poor routes, play calls, play design or a combination??
Calvin Watkins (3:03 PM)
A combination of things. Romo is being very careful with the ball right now. Too careful it seems. He's not taking chances, which is what made him a good quarterback. The WRs are getting open, I was told Roy Williams is getting open, but Romo is not finding him. Jason Witten is also open some in the middle of the field, but not getting the passes as well.
I understand that Romo as not been consistent, but I think he gets to much blame when alot of the problem should fall on Garrett's shoulders for poor play calling.
Calvin Watkins (3:05 PM)
I agree, jason Garrett should get some of the blame, after all he's the offensive coordinator. Too many times this season, and last, fans, media and players have questioned his methods. Jason misses Tony Sparano, who was the offensive line coach/running game coordinator in 2007 when the cowboys went 13-3 and were nearly unstoppable on offense.
Who is going to replace Wade Phillps as coach of the Cowboys next year? Hope it is Jon Gruden.
Calvin Watkins (3:06 PM)
Gruden would be a nice hire. We know he would challenge the QB more than what Garrett and Phillips do. The question with Gruden is who is the defensive coordinator? I think Mike Holmgren would be a favorite if Wade is let go.
With Felix Jones getting hurt everytime he plays, is he starting to get the "glass jaw syndrome"?
Calvin Watkins (3:08 PM)
Seems that way. He's been nicked up the last two years. Last year it was the toe and hamstring now its the knee. The key to survival in the NFL is to stay healthy and Jones hasn't done that. he's never had more than 10 carries in a single game. He's explosive, good hands, very smart, reads holes well, but we need to see it over 16 games, not just seven or eight.
What is the scoop on Felix Jones injury? Is it more severe than first reported?
Calvin Watkins (3:10 PM)
No scoop, he just has a sprained knee. It needs about three weeks to heal and he should be ready for the Atlanta game on Oct. 25. He was working out some the last few days and that's a good sign.
Nathan Leathers (Chapel Hill N.C.)
can we change americas team?
Calvin Watkins (3:11 PM)
Do you think the Steelers or the Patriots are America's Team? The Cowboys have a huge fan base. Every road game there seems to be plenty of cowboys' fans in the stands and at the team hotel.
Mark Hernandez (Anchorage ak)
why isnt andre reed in the hall of fame? He has more touchdowns and yards then Michael Irvin.
Calvin Watkins (3:16 PM)
Well, Irvin has three super bowls and Reed has none, but he has four super bowl appearances. Its so hard to judge wide receivers. james lofton has better numbers than irvin and reed and he's in the hall. cris carter has good numbers but he's not in, yet.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
What's the biggest worry the Cowboys have going into the Chiefs game and how do you think that will be alleviated?
Calvin Watkins (3:18 PM)
The Chiefs are not a very good football team, though they have a good running back in Larry Johnson who is strugglign right now. Wade Phillips said he's surprised that Johnson is averaging only 2.6 yards per carry. Cowboys have to stop the run and force Matt Cassel to pass. Cassel is averagign only 5.1 yards per attempt.
Without all the distractions (T.O., Jessica, etc) for Romo everyone thought maybe Romo could step it up and provide some leadership. It seems to me that Romo doesnt take on pressure very well and hasn't been that outspoken leader we need. What do you think Romo needs to do to grab a hold of this team and become a leader?
Calvin Watkins (3:19 PM)
I like Romo, but I don't believe he's a leader. You are either a leader or not, I don't believe its something you make, unless you're in the army or something. Romo has the talent to be a good QB, but leadership of this team comes from Newman, Bradie james, Ware, Brookin and a few others.
Calvin, so it seems Garrett is not the miracle worker everyone thought......will he be gone at the end of the year?
Calvin Watkins (3:21 PM)
Jim, Yes, The Red Headed Stepchild will be gone if the Cowboys don't reach the postseason this season. Garrett is being judged on Romo's development and if the offense succeeds. right now both, romo and the offense, are struggling right now.
There is a new guy in Dallas defense team i can't remember his name (57) when he play i think two weeks ago he was really good and i think he ended up with 2 sacks or something like that how come he is not playing any more and we continue to see BARBIE Carpenter play yet he doesn't do S***t
Calvin Watkins (3:24 PM)
Patrick relax.Kevin Burnett is gone, in San Diego, in his place is Bobby Carpenter, who was never a good fit here. BC needs to play in a 4-3 scheme. Victor Butler did have two sacks at the end of the Carolina game, but was late to a team meeting the next week and was fined by Wade Phillips. Team can't depend on you if you're late to meetings, no matter what you do on the field.
Calvin Watkins (3:26 PM)
Big news from the Cowboys today is Roy Williams and Gerald Sensabaugh are doubtful for the Chiefs game. Patrick Watkins starts for Sensabaugh and Miles Austin starts for Williams.
Calvin Watkins (3:27 PM)
Just got a injury report and Center Andre Gurode with a sprained knee is listed as questionable, Felix Jones is doubtful, Roy Williams is doubtful and Gerald Sensabaugh is out.
Calvin, is there the disension we hear about in the 'Boys camp?
Calvin Watkins (3:29 PM)
None right now. I'm sure when teams struggle, people are not happy. The Cowboys are trying to keep their anger about the offense and the coaches under wraps. The WRs have these Keepin It Real Thursday's, where they get to say whatever they want. The defense has its weekly dinners, where I'm sure plenty is said. Unlike last season when things got leaked out, everybody is keeping things in-house.
Kanye West (Chicago)
Calvin... You are great. I'mma let you finish, but Ed Werder had one of the greatest Cowboys chats of all time this morning.
Calvin Watkins (3:30 PM)
Ed's the best. Maybe you guys were worn out by the time I got here.
what are the cowboys chances of getting things turned around to make and do well in the playoffs
Calvin Watkins (3:31 PM)
Tough. Ok, say they beat the Chiefs. Now we're 3-2. After the bye, they face Atlanta, then Seattle, at Philly and at Green Bay. Can the Cowboys wins two of those games? Seattle and Green Bay are wins, right? Not sure. I doubt the Cowboys make the playoffs this season.
Barrett (Big D)
When will M. Hamlin replace Ken?
Calvin Watkins (3:33 PM)
Ken Hamlin is struggling a little bit right now. But Mike hamlin isn't the answer to this issue. Ken hamlin's status, future rather, will be looked at for 2010.
two questions: is there a plan for the offense and is there any of the Parcell mentality left in the organization?
Calvin Watkins (3:34 PM)
I think some of these guys miss Parcells. He was on them all the time. Yet, it wore them down. Some of the players are not mentally tough to withstand Parcells all season. I think James and Witten still believe in what parcells told them. Now, the offensive plan is shaky. Crayton, a wide receiver mind you, said the team needs to run more. Garrett, the OC and Phillips, can't tell you what kind of offense they have.
charles (el paso)
ANY HINT OF NEW COACH AFTER THE SEASON?
Calvin Watkins (3:36 PM)
None. If the cowboys don't make the playoffs, Wade Phillips most likely will get let go. But if he does and wins a playoff game, do you keep him? Of course you do. If he gets to the playoffs and loses in the opening round, do you fire Phillips? Yeah, I would think so.
What do you think the Cowboys will do for offense with Felix Jones and Roy Williams hurt. AND do you think the Cowboys are kicking themselves for not drafting recievers in recent drafts that are now making an impact in the NFL.
Calvin Watkins (3:37 PM)
The Cowboys miss Felix Jones' big play ability, especially his skills at making people miss in space. Williams hasnt had much impact yet with the offense. You see some spurts, but not enough. The Cowboys don't believe in drafting WRs high because it takes too long for them to develop. That's the Cowboys' thinking. But they have drafted some in the past.
Calvin, is Roy Williams a bust? he can't seem to get seperation and he isn't as fast as most DBs....?
Calvin Watkins (3:38 PM)
No, I wouldn't say a bust. Last year was pretty bad for him and this year is not off to a fast start. You have to give him until midseason. Going into the Green Bay game , Nov. 15, if Roy's numbers are bad, then yeah, let's talk about it.
Barrett (Big D)
If the Boys go 9-7, 8-8, or 7-9....which it is looking more and more likely...how much does the team get blown up with the possibilty of an un capped year in the future (ie dumping big contract players that aren't producing)?
Calvin Watkins (3:41 PM)
First, the head coach is gone. The QB stays as do the RBs. The WRs, williams especially stays, but expect them to draft one. OL might get some changes. Kosier's contract needs to be done and you're not sure how long the LT stays.DL is fine, but I'm sure they would like a upgrage from Spears, though he's having a nice year. LBs are cool, if they can re-sign Ware. DBs. hamlin is in question as is Newman. Uncapped year makes things interesting, though I don't think the Cowboys will turn into the Yankees.
A two part query... 1. Assuming the Cows implode this season, will Jerry replace Wade with another strong willed coach ala Shanahan or Cowher 2. In the off season how about trading T Newman and Barber for picks/players..T Newman is always hurt and Barber has a capable, cheaper replacement in T Choice (unfortunately I'm afraid F Jones health will keep him from ever being more than a situational back).
Calvin Watkins (3:42 PM)
All very interesting, odie. But as I said before, I wouldn't trade Barber. Newman's status is in question if he doesnt stay healthy. Cap numbers are always an issue with any player who gets cut.
Calvin Watkins (3:43 PM)
I think the run game will be on display this week in KC. Expect Choice and Barber to get plenty of work.
what are the cowboys chances of making the playoffs and doing well?
Calvin Watkins (3:46 PM)
Don't think this is a playoff team, right now. This is a 9-7 or 8-8 team at best.
Calvin Watkins (3:47 PM)
Guys have a nice weekend. See you next Friday.Take care,Calvin
Any FAST, CHEAP, FAST wideouts Dallas could trade for before the trade deadline..they don't necessarily have to catch, just be able to stretch the field
Calvin Watkins (3:48 PM)
Sorry, one last question from William.Nope, no fast, cheap fast wideouts for the Cowboys to trade for. They got a stretch the field WRs in Miles Austin. We'll see how he does on Sunday in KC. Cowboys like their wideouts.