Chat with Todd Archer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Dallas Cowboys reporter Todd Archer drops by to chat and answer all of your Cowboys questions.
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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Todd Archer (12:00 PM)
Hey folks. Let's go. I've got about 45 minutes today. Fire away and I'll do my best to answer as many questions as possible.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Todd - Has the Cowboys offseason transactions have Dallas rethinking about who they want in this years draft or do they still have specific needs and go after that player ?
Todd Archer (12:01 PM)
No, what I think they have done in free agency has filled some spots where they don't HAVE to grab a position in the draft. Don't get me wrong, they have a lot of needs remaining, but by signing the three defensive linemen they won't be in a position where they draft for need.That's a smart approach, IMO.
Time for the Cowboys to sign Spencer and D. Manning (ideally to 1-year deals).
Todd Archer (12:03 PM)
I don't think you'll see Danieal Manning here. He's going to be 32. They don't believe in signing a "progress stopper" right now. They believe they can find a guy over the summer if the spot requires it. They're rolling with their young guys right now. As for Spencer, I think he comes back and I think it's on a one-year deal. Nobody knows for sure when he will get on the field this summer, so he doesn't have a lot of leverage.
Who you got in the final 4?
Todd Archer (12:04 PM)
I had Michigan State, so that hurts. I think I'm going with Florida, but Wisconsin is playing really well. To me it's wide open.
How do the cowboys defend the skins now with the addition of jackson to go along with garcon, morris, and rg3
Todd Archer (12:05 PM)
Great question. You forgot Andre Roberts in that mix too. The Cowboys have done a decent job on Jackson, for the most part. Garcon has hurt them. Morris can kill the clock with the pounding style. But is RG3 going to be the quarterback he was as a rookie? Will new coach Jay Gruden have what it takes to keep it all together? I'm not sold on Gruden, honestly. I don't know if he'll ride Morris the way he should. He got away from the run way too much in Cincinnati.
Todd Archer (12:06 PM)
And I say that while not being a huge "you have to run the ball," guy. You have to do it some, but I'm not sure Gruden will do it enough.
How is washington and Ny able to make big FA splashes and there cap situation is similar to the cowboys?
Todd Archer (12:07 PM)
They've chosen to make those big signings. The Cowboys haven't. The Cowboys could have signed anybody. All they had to do was keep doing business as usual by restructuring a ton of contracts and setting up the new deals in a way where they would be restructured in Year 2.
rashad (teaneck nj)
Do you like anthony barr at 16 as a defensive end? he kinda reminds me of spencer
Todd Archer (12:08 PM)
I like him a lot. But is he a full-time defensive end? Is he a Sam who puts his hand down on third down? Maybe. But he's got athleticism like crazy and he looks like he can play with some power. I'm not sure he'll be there at 16, but I'd say he'll be in the mix.
Do you think the cowboys would commit to Murray long term?
Todd Archer (12:09 PM)
I raised this question last week. I think the Cowboys would commit to him provided it is a team friendly deal. If you look at the deals signed by running backs here in free agency, none of them have been huge. If you're Murray's agent you have to realize that and believe that the team that knows you best will likely pay you the most. I'd say there is a chance, but again there is no rush to do a deal.
If the Cowboys think Pryor or Clinton Dix is Significantly better than Wilcox or Heath, why no select them?
Todd Archer (12:10 PM)
You're making the assumption they believe either of those guys would be better. Now I think they'd be better, but the team might not value the safety position as much as others. Go look at Marinelli's safeties in Chicago. Solid guys, but not stars by any stretch.
Will the cowboys have to make tyron smith the highest paid left tackle in the game?
Todd Archer (12:11 PM)
This will be an interesting negotiation. The Cowboys can just use the fifth-year option on him and pay him the transition tag in 2015, essentially. Then they could just franchise him from 2016-18 if they want. They don't want to do that. Joe Thomas got seven years, $84 million from Cleveland. I think Tyron will come in just shy of that, IMO. Maybe I'm wrong.
Eric (Long beach)
Why didn't the cowboys have interest in guys like Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt that signed cheap one year deals? they could have been nice to go along with dez and injury insurance
Todd Archer (12:12 PM)
Let me turn the question around - why would Nicks or Britt want to come here when the Cowboys are committed to Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams? They are looking for opportunity too. They felt other teams were better opportunities for them.
Alex Jersey City [via mobile]
Will Dallas ever be able to regain an elite position in today's NFL again? And if so how long would that process take?
Todd Archer (12:14 PM)
Sure, they can. It's all cyclical. I mentioned last week that I thought they missed their best chance in the 2006-09 window so now the process has started over here the last few years. They have a good core of young players and need a lot more. With Tony Romo having another three or four years left, the Cowboys hope it happens quickly.
With the Redskins getting better at WR, would it be more beneficial to draft a CB with the 16th pick as opposed to a DL?
Todd Archer (12:14 PM)
I think they're going to go with Carr, Claiborne and Scandrick unless a player of great value falls to them in the second or third round. I don't see them going after a corner at 16.
Chris G. Corpus Christi, TX [via mobile]
Was there ever any thought of going after Desean Jackson?
Todd Archer (12:15 PM)
None. See the same answer I gave on Nicks, Britt.
Kyle [via mobile]
Is jerry jones going to be stepping aside as GM
Todd Archer (12:15 PM)
Caleb, illinois [via mobile]
What can we expect out of this lb corp and db corp coming into their second year in this system. Can we expect a jump in play?
Todd Archer (12:17 PM)
I don't know if you can 'expect' a jump in play, but there 'must' be a jump in play for sure. Bruce Carter is a mystery. He has all the tools but it's not come together. Sean Lee has to stay healthy. The Sam LB can be just a guy, IMO. The defensive backs, they need Carr and Claiborne to have big seasons. Scandrick and Church weren't issues last year, IMO. But what helps a secondary most is pressure and I don't know if they have a front four that can bring consistent pressure.
Do you think Jerry will really fire Garrett this if they don't make the playoffs? Its a borderline rebuilding year and it just seems unfair to fire him if he cant spend big in free agency.
Todd Archer (12:18 PM)
He won't have to fire him. Garrett's contract is up after this year. Jerry could just walk away. I wouldn't say this is a borderline rebuilding year. I think the Cowboys have been in this process for the last couple of years. They've tried to build and win at the same time. It's almost worked but the Cowboys haven't been able to win in Week 17 the last three years.
Joseph from Grand Prairie [via mobile]
Do the cowboys need another star wide receiver?
Todd Archer (12:19 PM)
Nope. This whole 'star' stuff drives me crazy. The Cowboys need good players. They have some stars now, but they need more good players. The more 'good' players you have, the better team you'll have.
Dewayne R (long Island)
Why don't the cowboys sign Spencers now? you have to think he will be healthy at somepoint this year right....
Todd Archer (12:20 PM)
Maybe Spencer doesn't want to sign now. Maybe he knows what the Cowboys will give him and has that in his hip pocket, so he's just waiting to see if another team makes a play for him. Try to think of it from a players' perspective too.
Dominic (Irving, TX)
with the addition of Henry Melton, when the Cowboys Draft at 16 who would be the best fit/player to make more of an immediate impact. Dix, donald, jernigan, or even LB cj mosley? but what they might do with jerry in the draft room is a different question...
Todd Archer (12:21 PM)
How healthy is Mosley? A lot of Alabama guys it seems come into the league with a lot of health issues. I'd still take Donald among that group even with Melton. Remember, Melton is essentially on a one-year deal right now.
deshon [via mobile]
Are they looking to draft a more all around SS.
Todd Archer (12:23 PM)
The Cowboys' terms of free and strong safety are a little different. In the Cowboys system, Barry Church is the free safety whereas he would be the strong safety in most other schemes. He's the free because he moves more. The strong safety here is essentially the center-field type. That's the type of safety they need. As I said, I think they're going with Wilcox, Heath, Johnson right now.
Michael Tallahassee [via mobile]
I just haven't seen Dallas do much of anything in free agency to better the defense
Todd Archer (12:23 PM)
You don't like Henry Melton? The McClain kid is probably a starter. Mincey can be a rotation guy. It's not a case of who spends the most money wins.
Mykail Davis [via mobile]
With Romo turning 34 this year an coming off back surgery wouldn't it be wise to go after Manziel an let him sit for a year or two just like Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers?
Todd Archer (12:25 PM)
How much do you have to give up to get him? If he falls to 16 the way Rodgers fell, then OK, I'm with you. But if I'm moving way up in the draft to take a QB then that guy is playing this year. Clearly that's not happening here. I think the more likely play is them selecting a quarterback in Rounds 3-5.
Hey Todd, does Rod Marinelli bring anything to the table that Kiffin didn't?
Todd Archer (12:26 PM)
I wish I could give you a really detailed answer, but scheme-wise there's not much difference. In Chicago Marinelli was pretty plain. He could be that way with the players he had. It's funny how good of a coach you are when you have really good players. I think you'll see more games up front with the linemen. Maybe you'll see a mix of coverages more, but I wouldn't expect a ton of blitzing.
Gilbert (Los Angeles)
Does Dallas still need help in the WR department, and if so will it come via free agency or the draft?
Todd Archer (12:27 PM)
I answered the 'star' question a little bit ago, but this one is different. Why not do both? I've said this before, but the Cowboys need another outside receiver behind Bryant and Williams. I don't think they have one in Harris or Beasley. Maybe Tim Benford has a chance, but that's not likely. I think they can draft a guy pretty early and sign a vet as insurance.
Roger(Performance Therapist) (Syracuse, NY)
ToddMy question is in relation to the pressure of wearing the star compared to a majority of other sports like the pinstripes of NY. Nick Saban has what I believe to be an awesome approach with his players that humanizes them and breeds humility despite their school's notoraiety and how good they were in HS. Don't you think the Cowboys need more of a focus on this with the team? A focus on the player as a person and not the person as a player?
Todd Archer (12:30 PM)
Good thought here, Rodger. I'd make the case Saban is really good at Alabama because he's getting the best players. I'm not sure how he humanizes them really. Maybe you're talking about what Garrett mentions a lot - the right kind of guy. I think the Cowboys have done a better job of identifying that. This is pro football, however, I think teams care more about production on the field than having quality citizens. The good teams have a balance of both.
why is matt johnson still on the roster? do they really think he's got that much potential that it's worth putting up with his injuries? he hasn't played a single snap!
Todd Archer (12:31 PM)
Why not? It's not hurting anything having him on the roster. He hasn't taken a spot from somebody else. They like what they have seen in brief snippets, so patience is the right move. But if he gets hurt again this summer, then I think that patience is gone and they move on.
Wouldn't it be a Jerry Move to draft Manziel for the publicity?
Todd Archer (12:32 PM)
Not this Jerry. Have you paid attention to what this team has - or hasn't - done in free agency?
Knowing who the Boys play this year (WSHx2, NYGx2, PHIx2, ARZ, SF, HOU, IND, NO, STL, SEA, JAX, TEN, CHI) what's your season prediction? I've got 10-6.
Todd Archer (12:32 PM)
I'm going to stick with 8-8 until proven otherwise.
Miles Walker (Houston TX)
Todd Archer Do you think the Cowboys take Kony Early with the first pick or wait for a guy like Stanfords Murphery in the second or later rounds
Todd Archer (12:33 PM)
I don't think they take Ealy. Maybe Murphy, but that's only a maybe.
Mario (South Carolina) [via mobile]
Hello Todd - Is there any chance that the Cowboys organization will sign anymore free agent vets to there offense and defense or is the Draft the big game plan for the team this season
Todd Archer (12:34 PM)
Free agency doesn't stop. They'll look for help but only if they get a guy they like at their price. And now is the time the prices favor the teams. But the draft should always be the way teams look to improve the most.
Rank the 4 NFC East QB's
Todd Archer (12:35 PM)
Hmm, good one here. I'm not completely sold on Foles yet. RG3 is a mystery of sorts too. Eli had way too many picks. I'd go Romo, Foles, Manning, RG3 right now but it's a tight race. RG3 could end up being the best.
Luis (tx) [via mobile]
What is the cowboys prospective going into the draft what do they plan to do?
Todd Archer (12:36 PM)
Do you think they're really going to tell me or anybody that answer? Here's what I think (emphasis on think) - they'll go with the best player available, look to acquire more picks by possibly moving down. But I don't think there is a position they would not take. It's all in play.
Ant (Somewhere in, Md) [via mobile]
Not so much a question but I statement. Knowing our dear owner I know it bugs him not being able to make some of these splash moves as he wants, if Clowney slips past JAX at 3 I guarantee he makes a play for him. Too much talent at a position of need to not make a move and "Trader Jerry" shows face in this years draft
Todd Archer (12:37 PM)
Sorry, don't see this happening at all.
Arturo Molinar (Dallas)
do you think morris claiborne will do better this year?
Todd Archer (12:38 PM)
He has to, but I don't know that he will. If he doesn't play better, then the decision to move up to No. 6 overall in the draft will be one of the worst in recent years. I'd like to say Claiborne has all of the ability in the world, but frankly I've not seen him make a ton of plays in camp or in games. There's something that's missing. Maybe it's confidence. Maybe it's health. Maybe it's both. But if the Cowboys want to make a jump on defense, Claiborne has to be a prime-time player.
mike (south dakota)
with it being inevitable that CJ2K gets released do you see the cowboys making a run at him? they have been well grounded in free agency, but couldn't the duo of him and demarco be real home run hitters in linehans offense, all while sticking to defense in the draft??
Todd Archer (12:39 PM)
Please try to think of this question another way: why would Chris Johnson come here? Murray will be the bell cow. He's going to get the bulk of the work, so that leaves little for Johnson. He would want more action. Plus Linehan has a history of throwing it a lot more than running it. So, no, I don't see Chris Johnson as a Cowboy.
Richard (Mexico City)
What is Josh Brent's status? Was he good enough to bring back with all the furor that's sure to accompany his return? In tems of off-field behavior, would he be a big risk in any case?
Todd Archer (12:41 PM)
He's retired still. His agent said at the combine they will have a talk about his future. If he chooses to play, he has to apply for reinstatement and he could still face punishment from the league. My personal opinion is Brent shouldn't play for the Cowboys again, but he can play in the NFL.
Todd Archer (12:41 PM)
Dominic from Irving, TX, I've answered that question already. No need to ask it 100 times.
Rob C (Shreveport, LA)
After the draft, do you think there will be cuts by other teams that arent expected? This would give the boys more options in FA. Seems like every year, there are some big names released after the draft
Todd Archer (12:42 PM)
I think you'll see some June 1 cuts that could be intriguing, but that market is generally disappointing. But I can see the Cowboys getting involved for some players that make sense at the right price. I just can't tell you who right now.
How much will our defense, specifically our corners, benefit from simply having a different DC and having guys who missed last year with injuries back.
Todd Archer (12:43 PM)
I guess it couldn't hurt, but those guys need to play better. Much betters. Not so much Scandrick, but the other guys.
Dave (AZ) [via mobile]
What mid round QB can you see the cowboys takeing ?
Todd Archer (12:43 PM)
I'm on board with Georgia's Aaron Murray. It's interesting to me that Wade Wilson will be at his pro day.
Tom Landry (Watching from Above)
What in God's name has Jerry done to my team??
Todd Archer (12:44 PM)
Turned it into a money making machine with three Super Bowl wins. The money still flows but the Super Bowls have stopped.
brady (virginia) [via mobile]
Do you consider Dez a veteran receiver, I dont know If I would consider him one like Garett does
Todd Archer (12:45 PM)
I sort of do. But he will be forced to be the leader of that room just by his years and status. He still has room to grow. He can't let his emotions get the best of him. It's a balance because that joy is why he plays the way he plays, but he can't cross the line. He's inched up to it in the past and it's hurt his game, IMO. But I think Dez is a guy who is often misunderstood.
Brent (Winter Park)
Is cowboys biggest need a speed rusher at this point? I agree with the premise that pass rush makes secondary better and not the other way around. No reliable sack artists on the roster at this point.
Todd Archer (12:47 PM)
Great call, Brent. I made this same suggestion on my Buzz video today. They need a right defensive end. Unfortunately for them those guys don't fall out of the sky. It takes a special player, like a DeMarcus Ware. I'm not sure there's a Ware available where the Cowboys are picking, so the next best bet is to throw numbers at the spot.
Carlos Aguirre (Pomona, CA)
Todd, What is the possibility of moving back in the draft for a late first while in turn getting higher second? To me it seems we can get two top guys if we could make that happen. Whats your feeling?
Todd Archer (12:47 PM)
I like that thinking. The Cowboys got heat for doing it last year and might have gotten a little lucky, but they ended up with two building blocks in Frederick and Williams. I'd do more of that.
Would it pointless to draft Donald since he and Melton are both 3 techniques?
Todd Archer (12:48 PM)
Do you know Melton will return to form? What if he doesn't and the Cowboys don't pick up his option in 2015? The draft is not just about 2014. It's about 2015-17 too.
eric (long beach)
Aye the Colts have reggie wayne & ty hilton , and st louis just invested a first round pick in tavon austin. so theyre commited to those star guys as well. i just think dallas had a chance to bring in solid guys who can help on the cheap
Todd Archer (12:49 PM)
What round was TY Hilton picked in again? He wasn't a star when he was drafted.
Dave (AZ) [via mobile]
Has jerry learned his lesson on spending big in free agency or will we see the old jerry one day?
Todd Archer (12:50 PM)
I think the days of giving the Brandon Carr type of deal will be more and more rare. It's just not worth it because those players can never live up to the money.
Todd Archer (12:51 PM)
Folks, thanks for the questions. I had a lot of fun. Remember to check back tomorrow for our chat recap and on Friday for our chat leftovers where I take some questions that I wasn't able to get too. If you have more questions, hit me up on Twitter (@toddarcher). See you guys next week.