Chat with Todd Archer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNDallas.com Dallas Cowboys writer Todd Archer stops by to talk about the NFL season.
Archer joined ESPNDallas.com in November 2010. He's covered the NFL since 1997 and the Cowboys since 2003. He covered the Bengals and Dolphins before arriving in Dallas. A Massachusetts native, Archer lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children.
Send your questions now and join Archer at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Todd Archer (1:02 PM)
It's the bye week.Not sure that's good or bad for the Cowboys, but let's go.
Mike (Saratoga Springs NY)
Hi Todd-I am of the opinion that unless Dez shows huge improvement in becoming a professional receiver, they should not extend his contract which I believe has one year remaining on it after the conclusion of this season. To be in year 3 and to consistently struggle with sight adjustments and the finer points of playing receiver, is totally unacceptable.On the other hand, I would extend Sean Lee right now if possible. Your thoughts?
Todd Archer (1:04 PM)
Dez is signed throug 2014, and I said this before the season and I'll say it again: I don't think he signs an extension here early. He has to show he's worth - for the lack of a better term as I type right now - the aggravation. If you put up big numbers, you are. Say hello to Randy Moss. If you don't, the you're not. Dez hasn't done that yet. As for Lee, I think he will get a deal but I don't know if it'll happen now. I asked around on that a little while ago and was told it was too early. Maybe that changes some but he's not going anywhere.
Anthony (In Victoria's Secret at Jerryworld)
Todd,Call me crazy, but did the o-line actually pass protect pretty well overall? I know it's doom and gloom right now, but if you take away those miscues by Bryant and Ogletree on the first two INTs, that becomes a completely different game, no?
Todd Archer (1:05 PM)
Have fun shopping. You're right about the pass protection overall. Now, the Melton forced fumble/pick was a bad moment but overall the protection vs. a team that entered the game leading the league in sacks was good enough to win.
Chris (Willis TX)
Why didnt the cowboys use Mike jenkins more at corner particularly against brandon marshall? because he coming off a game that he played pretty well against vincent jackson
Todd Archer (1:06 PM)
I asked this yesterday. They wanted Carr on Brandon Marshall, which tells you they believe Marshall is better than Vincent Jackson and that they didn't believe Josh Freeman could hurt them like Jay Cutler.
Darvell Lancaster (washington d.c)
What up T.A how you doing , me i seen better days ok now i got a comment and question. Question is Dockery on this team and is there any talks ongoing with P Burres #17 and my comment or favor if you see Tony Romo Tell him keep his head up and HE ROCKS HowBoutThemCowboys
Todd Archer (1:08 PM)
Dockery is on the team. To hear Garrett say it, there's no changes coming on the line, which might say something about how they feel about Dockery. As for Burress - why? They don't need him. There's never really been any talks other than if they had several players get hurt, they know he's out there.
Will the cowboys bring back Montrae Holland after cutting lewis?
Todd Archer (1:09 PM)
Doesn't sound like it.
Carlos (El Paso TX)
For all the Victor Butler Lovers you can see why Spencer is clearly better!!! Will Spencer be back Against the Ravens??
Todd Archer (1:10 PM)
He's not practicing but they hope he will be able to play against Baltimore. They'll need him against Ray Rice. Some inside the organization felt like Spencer would've played a small role Monday but they didn't want to take a chance and have him miss even more time if he got hurt again.
Lori (Harahan La)
What was the injury to Bruce Carter during the game because they didnt mention it during the broadcast?
Todd Archer (1:10 PM)
Hip. He's not practicing today but they believe he will be OK for next week.
Gary (rhode island)
Why are the cowboys having trouble running the ball, its not like there seeing alot of 8 man fronts?
Todd Archer (1:12 PM)
Well, against Seattle there were a lot of eight-man fronts. A little less against Tampa and only a handful vs. Chicago. They've played some pretty good lines and have not handled the slanting and stunts and things like that. That's where the time missed in camp has hurt this line I believe. Sometimes you just need to have a downhill, hit the guy in front of you run and go. I wonder if they're trying to be too tricky.
Todd i know its not jason out there throwing 4 possibly 5 int but correct me if im wrong having tony throw the ball almost 50 X's is asking for it right? One drive there was a sequense of 7-8 plays (positive plays) for good yards but all were passing plays. Then Ogletree decides to introduce the ball to his inner elbow and shoulder pads who then meets major wright...
Todd Archer (1:14 PM)
If you're moving the ball, who cares how you move it? The first-half running numbers were skewed by the two-minute drive to close the first half. But if you can't run the ball, why beat your head against the wall so much? And then the game gets out of whack and you can't run the ball. They need to be balanced, yes, but running it just to run it makes no sense to me.
As a former coach myself know what it takes to build a team or change the atmosphere. Think Jason Garrett is doing both but still doesn't have the pieces he needs to do what HE wants as a HC. Think he is getting a ton of heat right now and IMO its unjust. Jerry's failed draft after draft has made JG's job even more difficult so it's going to take time regime change doesn't change overnight. Last note no Garrett isn't a rah rah guy in ur face Coach but he is a disciplinarian which in due time will show. My question to you is are you on board with these thoughts and from your experience being around him and this team do you agree Jason is man for the job and do you think he has this team moving in the right direction?
Todd Archer (1:16 PM)
Good thoughts here. I think this rah-rah stuff is vastly overrated. As I wrote today if Garrett flips a table it would come across as disengenuous. He has to be who he is. Players say he is stern with them. He shows anger at times when things don't go right on the sidelines. But he's not going to turn into a lunatic. To me, that solves nothing. Here's where I think he needs to change a little: he talks about accountability all the time, but he never really changes the lineup. That's how you can get change in a player. Take the game away from him. As for the drafts have hurt, you're absolutely correct. They've been better the last two years but they wull pay for the misses in 2008-10 here soon.
Me or does it seem like the boys' (Garrett) call/run the same plays 1rb 1 te 3 wr ten yard in routes stop or go routes on the outside and 5 yard in routes on the inside. No skinny post slant is used but not enough, no corner routes by the slot just vanilla O.
Todd Archer (1:17 PM)
nate keyman (sioux falls)
todd what think what cowboys do with romo next year.
Todd Archer (1:18 PM)
He'll be here. He's the starter. He's under contract through 2013. He's going to sign an extension at some point. He's their guy. But they can start the process of finding a starter for when he is done by taking a quarterback earlier in drafts than they have. Now, if they do that they ignore other spots for immediate need.
Mike (Bethlehem, PA)
The criticism of Dez has gone too far. There's a bunch of talk that he is a bust and a CBS writer predicts he'll be playing in Canada within 2 years. Did I miss something? Dez is a good NFL WR but hasn't reached his immense potential. He also isn't a trouble-maker on the Pacman TO level. What is with all the over-the-top criticism? You'd think he has 20 catches for 290 yards for his career, not through 4 games in 2012.
Todd Archer (1:20 PM)
He's not a trouble maker. He's a decent kid who's made some mistakes obviously. But he has not produced the way a top-10 talent - and he was a top-10 talent when he came out - should. This is what he is. He's a tease because of his athletic ability but there's just something missing. Isn't it time to wonder if this is as good as it gets for him?
are you a Romo apologist, or detractor after Monday night?
Todd Archer (1:21 PM)
He played a bad game. All quarterbacks have them, not just Romo. I believe he will bounce back, like he did last year.
Other than the missed sack Butler played pretty well i think thoughts? Will he get more PT?
Todd Archer (1:21 PM)
I saw a different game than you. He missed the sack but didn't generate much rush other than that. He didn't hold up well enough against the run. He is a niche player, not a full-timer.
What will the cowboys do at free safety, i don think they can make a run with danny mcray starting the rest of the season?
Todd Archer (1:24 PM)
Well, there's not a lot out there. This is where the mis-evaluation of Brodney Pool hurt this team. They signed Pool quickly and he showed he didn't really want to play football anymore. Unfortunately that left the Cowboys without a chance to get a different player in free agency. Add that to the injuries they've had the spot (Church, Matt Johnson) and this is where you end up. I don't see them making a trade. I think they'll go with McCray in part because they have to. I'll say this though, McCray might've been the best safety on the field for the Cowboys Monday.
Why is it taking Dez so long to get a repoire with Tony?
Todd Archer (1:26 PM)
Hate to be Mr. Spelling, especially because I know I've made a few probably here on this chat, but it's rapport. It's not the rapport so much. It's reading the defense in some cases. I really wonder if Bryant had some problem seeing the ball Monday because of his visor. He let a punt drop in front of him. He missed the deep ball. He didn't get a back shoulder throw. Odd stuff.
How would you rate Jason Garrett as a game Manager? to me it seems like he doesnt make good in game adjustments
Todd Archer (1:28 PM)
He needs to be better. No doubt. The staff as a whole needs to make adjustments better during the game. The one thing I don't like is when Garrett says it's about "execution," because that puts it all on the players. It's not all on the players all of the time. The coaches' schemes are not always correct. But he dialed up plays that should have been Romo TD passes to Austin and Bryant that the QB missed.
Chris (New York)
Considering the fact that Ratliff and others will be back after the bye week and the bye week in itself being helpful, do you think the Boys' have any shot at winning in Baltimore
Todd Archer (1:30 PM)
I'll take the question literally with the "any chance" comment. Yes, they have a chance. Every team has a chance. And I'd say the Cowboys have more than a puncher's chance to win the game. But Baltimore has won 13 in a row during the regular season at home. They have a tough defense, at least on reputation. They take the ball away (Ed Reed). Joe Flacco is throwing it better. Ray Rice can run it. I think the Ravens might be a Super Bowl team in the AFC, so it'll be tough to win there.
Agree with lineup change Todd especially on the Oline but don't u think the boo birds on twitter are preposterous to even consider firing Garrett at this point I mean 1 full season as HC a 2-2 record in 1st quarter of season and now has one of the worst Olines in football would firing Garrett even be a thought in ur mind?
Todd Archer (1:32 PM)
It's not a thought in Jerry Jones' mind, I know that. Fans have passion and want perfection. That's cool but not reality. Every team has its struggles. The Giants lost a bunch in a row last year, people wanted to fire Coughlin and they won the Super Bowl.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Are we a lot closer to seeing Dez Bryant out of Dallas than you could have imagined at this stage of his career?
Todd Archer (1:33 PM)
I don't think he'll be gone before his contract exprires. But the grandiose comparisons between Bryant and the 88s of the past don't look to be on the money so far.
Sounds like Costa will be coming back soon-please tell me the Cowboys have no intention of putting him back into the starting lineup. I can't take any more of him getting blown 3 yards into the backfield by a blitzing linebacker or throwing Romo a slow knuckleball in shotgun.
Todd Archer (1:34 PM)
Well, he knows the offense better than Cook, so maybe that helps the communication. I'm not saying Costa is the answer at center or the cure for the OL blues, but I think you could see him back in the lineup (ducking as I type this).
John C. (Tulsa)
Will the media ever challenge Jerry Jones on his failure to evaluate personnel and his rose colored glasses about the ability of the team? It's the same story every season, just another day.
Todd Archer (1:34 PM)
We've done it. We'll continue to do it. Nothing will change.
Ricky (Rochester, NY)
I think the point you made about Garrett's accountability is spot on. I believe a team takes the identity of the coach, and unfortunately for Dallas it is Jerry Jones' that looms. My question is, since you are around players a lot, what type of personality do you feel would fit the cowboys the best?
Todd Archer (1:36 PM)
Garrett's personality can work. Bill Parcells' personality would work too. There are many ways to do it. You don't need to be a fire breather to be successful. You need better players. I think Garrett knows how to best deal with Jones, picking the important battles and not worrying about some of the other stuff.
Vinnie (Laurence Harbor, New Jersey)
Todd,why didn't Dallas use their money to sign a known commodity like Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks instead of signing Livings and BernadeauThanks
Todd Archer (1:37 PM)
Carl Nicks was not coming here. He doesn't like Bill Callahan and Callahan isn't a fan of his from their days at Nebraska days. As for Grubbs, I don't think they wanted to pay that kind of money for him, so they went with Nate Livings and Bernadeau. You can't pay everybody and the Carr signing, plus the cap hit from the NFL affected them some.
Todd Archer (1:40 PM)
Sorry about having to cut it short but the locker room is about to open. Thanks for all of the questions. If you have more, send me an e-mail. Remember to check out our blog for all of the highlights of the day. You can follow me on Twitter as well (@toddarcher). See you guys next time.Courage.