Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys reporter Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the team.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (3:09 PM)
Sorry I'm late. I got caught up at practice and ... well, I forgot about the chat. Let's get right to it.
Will dez become a #2 reciver sooner then we think?
Tim MacMahon (3:11 PM)
That depends on your definition of No. 2 receiver. If it's defined by targets, it's already happened. Actually, he was targeted 12 times in the opener, one more than Miles Austin. If it's defined by starting, I still don't think that happens this season. They'll keep Roy Williams as the starter, but Dez might get more snaps. Much like the way the Greg Ellis/Anthony Spencer situation was handled in 2008.
Joel Robertson (Binghamton, NY)
Why are the Cowboys throwing the ball 60 times a game when they have such a prolific 3-headed running attack? I think the boys need to figure out that they are a ball control team 1st then once they establish that they can throw the ball. I don't believe Tony Romo can carry this offense on his back.
Tim MacMahon (3:12 PM)
That's a legitimate beef. We didn't get to it with Jason Garrett today. We only got him for a few minutes, and the Hail Mary gaffe and penalty problems were the pressing issues. The Cowboys averaged 4.7 yards per carry Sunday night. They were never down by more than 10. No reason to give up on the run.
Are they going to trade Tashard Choice to the Green bay Packers? What have you heard?
Tim MacMahon (3:13 PM)
I don't expect that to happen. The Packers would have to offer a second-round pick at the least. That might not be enough, with the Packers expected to be a playoff team. The Cowboys certainly aren't shopping Choice.
Is there any chance Jerry makes a trade for an offensive lineman before the trade deadline if things dont get better?
Tim MacMahon (3:15 PM)
I can't sit here and rule out the possibility, but they feel good about their OL depth if Kosier and Colombo can get and stay healthy. Montrae Holland actually played pretty well Sunday night. Jerry Jones stuck up for Alex Barron after the game, saying he played well other than the penalties. Of course, those penalties played huge roles in the loss.
MC (Waco, TX)
Do you know if Jerry Jones has inquired at all about Marcus McNeill? Is he even available? If so, do you know what San Diego is asking for him. After watching Barron's performance Sunday Night you would think the Cowboys would be willing to seriously go after a proven lineman such as McNeill. Your thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (3:17 PM)
He's available, but the Cowboys would have to make an investment in picks and dollars similar to the one they made in Roy Williams, at least. Don't hold your breath for that to happen.
Drew P. (Dallas, TX)
Say the Cowboys lose this weekend. Any chance Jerrah fires Wade and promotes Jason Garrett to HC? This would give Garrett the shot everyone in Dallas seems to think he is going to get, and also allow Jerry to find someone new at the end of the season if Garrett does not rally the troops.
Tim MacMahon (3:18 PM)
Yeah, let's promote the offensive coordinator after the Cowboys lose, 13-7, with the Redskins' lone touchdown coming due to a disastrous offensive play call. Makes a ton of sense. Jerry has never fired a coach during the season. He won't do it two weeks into Wade's new contract.
Have you heard anything about the Cowboys getting Logan Mankins from the Patriots?
Tim MacMahon (3:19 PM)
Only from fans. No smoke.
John Mays (Cape May New Jersey)
Tim,Why does JG insist on keeping Romo in the shotgun, especially in the red zone? Some deception using play action or roll outs may work if he insists on continually passing and foregoing the run. 47 attempts in a 3-6 point game is too much, especially when 2 of 3 RB's are averaging close to 5 yds/carry. It seems that D coordinators have figured out his schemes.
Tim MacMahon (3:21 PM)
That's one of my pet peeves, too. I've asked Garrett about the shotgun in the red zone before. His explanation was that the Cowboys react to the different defensive looks and schemes they're presented. I did notice that they're only touchdown Sunday night came off a play-action pass with Romo under center. The Redskins safety bit hard, letting Miles Austin get wide open in the back of the end zone.
Andre (New York)
What was the point getting rid of Flozell Adams, who is number 2 on the list of most penalized offensive lineman over the last several years? You get rid of Flozell and then keep the number 1 most penalized lineman on your roster? That makes no sense!
Tim MacMahon (3:23 PM)
The point of getting rid of Flozell Adams was that the Cowboys didn't want to pay $7.5 million this season to a player they felt was in decline and wouldn't deal well with being a backup. So they're paying $2.7 million to a younger player who was never any good and doesn't have a problem with being a backup.
MITCH OSBORNE (CHARLOTTE NC)
CAN JASON GARRETT NOT LOOK AT OTHER COORDINATORS AFTER SUNDAY AND SEE THE SUCCESS THEY ARE HAVING WITH THEIR WIDE RECIEVERS? WHY NOT US!!!!!
Tim MacMahon (3:25 PM)
I don't have a problem nitpicking Jason Garrett, but Miles Austin did LEAD THE NFC IN RECEIVING YARDS LAST SEASON. (All caps are more effective if used for emphasis.) Austin had 10 catches for 146 yards and a TD in the opener. The use of wide receivers ranks pretty far down the list of Cowboys' offensive concerns.
ryan (new york)
Tim, love your stuff. I don't know why everyone is panicking, our oline should be back intact by this week or next and that allows romo to do more then three step drops. Also that's a horrible coaching mistake by wade at half, but from all the negative public exposure you can be assured that will not happen again. We will go out and beat the Bears this weekend and forget about that loss. Go Boys! stop worrying eveyrone
Tim MacMahon (3:26 PM)
Ryan, thanks for the props, but perhaps you missed my column during training camp about the offensive line concerns. This is the second-oldest line in the league. Injuries are going to be an issue.
Mr. Garza (Waxahachie, TX)
I understand Jason Garret's first play call to Dez was just to get his feet wet but why the same play right after. After so many years with us do you question his play calling with a highly talented offense.
Tim MacMahon (3:27 PM)
I believe the second smoke route was a sight adjustment by Tony Romo, not a called play. On the first one, there was a blocking scheme, with Miles Austin trying to kick out the cornerback. The second just put Dez in a 1-on-1 situation. That works if the corner gives him a big cushion, but that wasn't the case.
Erik (Los Angeles)
If it's possible to get Mankins for a 2cd and a big contract (as rumored on ESPN Boston) then why isn't this done? He's better than either guard Dallas currently has and is 28 years old, which makes him younger than everyone except Free. What's up with Jerry?
Tim MacMahon (3:29 PM)
You can make a strong case that trading for Mankins is a smart move if it can be done for a 2, but the money matters. This is an uncapped season, but the Cowboys expect there to be a cap again. They have to plan accordingly. Is acquiring Mankins worth it if it prevents the Cowboys from keeping Anthony Spencer or Mike Jenkins in a couple of years?
Bryan McCann (Baltimore Airport)
Tim, are the Cowboys going to bring me back to Big D?
Tim MacMahon (3:31 PM)
The Cowboys would certainly be interested in signing McCann to the practice squad if he clears waivers. But he might not clear waivers. If he does, he could opt to go to the Ravens' practice squad, especially if he believes that he'll be back on the active roster soon. I've got to check to see if the Cowboys would consider signing McCann to the 53-man roster.
George Myers (San Antonio, TX)
What are the Cowboys going to do about their inability to turn fairly productive offensive performances into points on the scoreboard? What do you feel is the solution?
Tim MacMahon (3:34 PM)
If I had a solution, Jerry Jones might pay me $3 million to be his offensive coordinator. I do, however, have plenty of suggestions. Start with operating under center in the red zone unless it's a third-and-long situation. Play to the O-line's strengths, make opponents respect the run and put Romo in position to use play-action. Get the tight ends involved when the ball is thrown. There's no way Jason Witten should have been targeted in the red zone a total of 13 times the last two seasons -- or half what Philly's Brent Celek was targeted last season alone. Of course, all the scheming in the world doesn't matter if the Cowboys keep committing red-zone penalties, which is Garrett's greatest concern.
Matt H (Colorado)
Have Dez Bryant on my fantasy team. How long do i have to wait until he becomes a legitimate receiver in this offense?
Tim MacMahon (3:35 PM)
They threw the dude 12 passes in his debut. He's a legitimate fantasy threat right now.
Todd(PA) [via mobile]
Why put Alex Barron on this team why trade for him in the first place? More n more I blame Jerry Jones for things he makes desicions and there's no accountbility fr him cuzs he the boss n it's steming down to his players to having no accountability because they know Wade or Jason r not in charge Jerry is! Agree? Disagree?
Tim MacMahon (3:36 PM)
There's some truth to your mini-rant, but remember that Barron was acquired to be an insurance policy, not the starting right tackle. He's not bad by backup standards, but the Redskins certainly exposed him Sunday night.
Drew P. (Dallas, TX)
Now that you used your sarcasm in answering my question, what are you going to do when Jerrah fires Wade mid-season?
Tim MacMahon (3:37 PM)
Depends on the circumstances. If it happened this week, I'd write a column ripping Jerry for making a panic move and sabotaging Wade Phillips' tenure by forcing him to operate with such a screwed-up coaching staff flow chart. I bash Wade as much as most anybody, but his defense played more than well enough to win. That's the primary reason Jerry hired him.
Robert (Ft. Worth)
Does anyone else notice that Jason Garrett had that one good year and once Tony Sparano Left it's been all down hill since? Do you still think Jerry might turn this team over to Garrett on day?
Tim MacMahon (3:39 PM)
I've noticed the post-Sparano dropoff and written about it several times. I was just talking about that with one of the newspaper writers today. Will Garrett ever be the Cowboys' head coach? Maybe, but not if the offense keeps dying in the red zone.
Tim- When the 'Boys go man to man on the corners this weekend, who takes whom? Newman on Knox and Jenkins on Aromashodu? or does it depend on how they line up?
Tim MacMahon (3:40 PM)
Depends on how they line up. Newman lines up on the offense's right side, Jenkins on the left.
Any concerns re: Lee's knowledge/injuries and Brooking playing every snap?
Tim MacMahon (3:42 PM)
Yes, significant concerns. The Cowboys expected Lee to play a significant role when they drafted him. That didn't happen in the opener, and the fact that he isn't practicing today certainly isn't a good sign. Brooking is in phenomenal shape, but the dude turns 35 next month. It's asking too much to expect him to play every defensive snap and have a lot left in the tank late in the season. The Cowboys at least need Lee to progress enough so that they're comfortable spelling Brooking in the base defense.
Let's talk reality. Getting rid of Flozell Adams already cost the team one game. Free had a good game, but he would have been at rt if flozell were still here
Tim MacMahon (3:43 PM)
That's not necessarily true. The Cowboys cut Flozell Adams in large part because they wanted Doug Free to be their left tackle. If Adams was still on the roster, he'd be a ridiculously overpaid swing tackle. He probably would have started the opener at right tackle. The Cowboys might have won the game if that was the case, but it's not like penalty flags are foreign objects to Flo.
How worried should Cowboys be with Cutlers monster passing numbers?
Tim MacMahon (3:45 PM)
Those numbers were pretty empty. It's not like the Bears lit up the scoreboard against the Lions. If the Bears want to air it out every play, I like the Cowboys' matchups in the secondary and especially up front. DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer will expose a bad offensive line. The biggest concern is Matt Forte getting matched with linebackers.
Tim MacMahon (3:46 PM)
We'll wrap it up now. Thanks for joining me. If I didn't get to your question, please give it another shot in our Sunday chat. We'll get going about 30 minutes before kickoff.