Chat with Ed Werder
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder stops by to chat about the NFL season.
Werder joined ESPN in 1998, before that he had stints at The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Send your questions now and join Werder Friday at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT!
Ed Werder (11:02 AM)
Good morning everybody. I just returned from spending two days shooting a feature on the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and the unique approach former Cowboys receivers coach Todd Haley took to the bye week. Lets get started.
Busy at Work (Austin)
How much do you think we will miss our FB this game?
Ed Werder (11:04 AM)
I think rookie Chris Gronkowski has performed reasonably well for somebody who probably wasn't expecting to play this early in his career. The Cowboys will probably miss him mostly as a receiver. He's still improving as a point-of-attack blocker, so I expect Jason Garrett will sub a tight end in those formations. That's why the Cowboys re-signed Scott Chandler. He is a huge physical presence and a good in-line blocker.
Jonathan (Shropshire, England, UK)
Hi Ed-really enjoy reading your work over here in England. My question relates to Bill Parcells. Is there any situation that you can foresee in the future where Jerry employs Bill in some kind of consultancy role after this season? Secondly was it simply the case that Bill quit as head coach because he was exhausted or did he jump because of the pressure of the job?
Ed Werder (11:08 AM)
An overseas audience member! Awesome. I will never forget the trip I made to London with the Cowboys for one of the American Bowl games. What a fantastic and beautiful city. Anyway, I think Parcells was mentally exhausted and underestimated how much time and energy he had to invest to win and how much pressure came with the job in Dallas. He did a tremendous job rebuilding the roster and instilling a sense of discipline in an organization that desperately needed it at the time. He simply couldn't invest everything it was going to take to get back to the playoffs again. While Jerry and Bill seemed to get along better than anybody imagined _ including in all likelihood, themselves _ they have different philosophies and both feel they need to be the primary authority figure in the organization. Jerry might consult Bill unofficially at times, but he all but ruled out a formal return when he hired Wade Phillips and remarked he didn't like walking around on eggshells in his own building with Parcells on the payroll.
carl raleigh nc [via mobile]
ed will the boys have to go and get linebacker help suddenly carpenter does nt look too bad
Ed Werder (11:11 AM)
The Cowboys are concerned about the number of plays Keith Brooking and Bradie James have been playing and the young linebackers behind them _ Leon Williams and Jason Williams _ have been slow to develop and proved unreliable when put on the field. I think they remain committed to Sean Lee. But they surely expected him to be farther along than he has been at this point.
Brandon Montgomery (Mckinney Texas)
Looking at the future, assuming the CBA is negotiated and agreed upon, what are the chances that Jerry Jones jumps into the Randy Moss market that will open up during free agency.
Ed Werder (11:14 AM)
I know Jerry considers not drafting Randy Moss instead of Greg Ellis in 1998 perhaps his most regrettable mistake as Cowboys general manager. It was understandable at the time in the sense that there were serious character questions about Moss and the Cowboys were enduring serious off-the-field issues and negative public perception of the organization. Now way Jerry is going to be in the market to spend big on a wide receiver. With Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have more resources invested at that position than any other on the roster. A disproportionate amount, in truth, and that's what makes it so important for Williams to perform throughout the season as he has the past two weeks if he has any hope of remaining with Dallas beyond this season.
Dallas Dave Lowe (Tampa)
I see this Titans game as being very competitive. I think TN will be more physical than the Cowboys are expecting. IF Vince Young has some success in 1st quarter with a little running and completing a few passes, it will do wonders for his confidence. I think final score will be about 20-17 or so. What do you think?
Ed Werder (11:18 AM)
I think the Cowboys are a strong defensive team that should be capable of holding down the score against a one-dimensional opponent like the Titans. Now, with Chris Johnson and the unique running ability of Vince Young, the Titans are the kind of team that can beat you even if you win on all but two or three plays defensively. The Cowboys have had two weeks to prepare for this game and they're playing at home. They should win. It will be a physical game _ Courtland Finnegan has been fined three straight weeks _ and the Cowboys will need to remain disciplined and let the Titans _ the league's most penalized team _ self-destruct rather than have their players baited into mindless personal-foul penalties. The Bears defensive players said the Cowboys were easily intimidated. This will be a chance to disprove that accusation.
Tyler (Jersey City)
Do you think that Roy Williams will get more passes thrown his way after his breakout game?
Ed Werder (11:19 AM)
I think Roy Williams will continue to draw single coverage because opponents are more concerned with Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. If that happens and he wins his matchup, I expect Tony Romo will deliver him the football as long as he proves worthy of the quarterback's trust and runs his routes precisely enough that Romo knows he will be where he expects. Roy has had two strong performances in a row.
Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)
Mr. Werder I enjoy your work here at ESPN. My question pertains to the Vikings-Patriots trade regarding Randy Moss. What was the reaction of the Dallas Cowboys when Moss was traded? Is there a new game plan regarding the secondary to contain Moss along with a returning Sidney Rice?
Ed Werder (11:26 AM)
Thank you for the compliment. There's no question the trade for Randy Moss increases Brett Favre's opportunity to win a Super Bowl just as it diminishes Tom Brady's chances. The Vikings will definitely be harder to defend and the Cowboys will be the first two play against him in the Metrodome, which will be just as frenzied as when they lost there in the playoffs last year. Moss restores to the Vikings offense the vertical threat lacking with Sidney Rice's injury. Defenses have been putting eight and nine players around the line of scrimmage, sometimes making it easier to blitz and hit the 41-year-old quarterback. Imagine if they put Rice, Moss and Harvin on the field with Favre and Adrian Peterson late in the season. Wow. Suddenly the Vikings have the potential of being stronger at the end of the season offensively than they were last year. But first they have to survive the next four weeks, which Favre told me is the toughest four-game stretch of his 20-year career: at Jets, Cowboys, Packers, at Patriots. That's three homecoming games combined for Favre and Moss. Should be great stuff.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Why do the cowboy get their own dedicated chat? Shouldn't the team have to be at least good to justify such a thing?
Ed Werder (11:28 AM)
There are no restrictions. This chat is not limited to the Cowboys but most of the questions involve them because this is a Dallas-oriented website and the Cowboys are one of the most beloved and hated national teams in pro football. I'm open to questions about other teams and will respond if I have an answer or some kind of insight to offer.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Do you think that Jerry Jones or his son should have issued some sort of statement regarding the $55K dinner bill of Dez Bryant? It is rather insulting to many fans (of the cowboys and generally of the NFL) that make that in an entire year.
Ed Werder (11:32 AM)
I understand that some people are outraged that professional athletes spent more money at a single dinner than many people earn in an entire year. But like I said before, it's not like Dez Bryant knew he was going to be stuck with such an exorbitant bill. He's a young kid having fun and trying to fit in with his teammates. A lot of Cowboys are incredibly devoted to charity work, and it is very common throughout the entire league. It would have been great if Dez knew what was coming and could have convinced his teammates to donate the money to charity instead, but I don't think that's realistic under the circumstances. And I don't know that Jerry and Stephen have an obligation to the public to explain what they're players did in this regard. It was an expensive team-building exercise.
Brandon Montgomery (Mckinney Texas)
So I am one of the rare people in Dallas who is NOT a Cowboys fan, I root for them in general, but my team is the 49ers. what if any chance do you give them to recover and win the West?
Ed Werder (11:35 AM)
I thought the 49ers would competitive in a weak division. The general lack of a quality team is the only reason I would give them any chance of recovering at this point. I thought Alex Smith showed a great deal of improvement when I covered their preseason game against the Vikings. Now the offensive coordinator is gone again, and he's had a different one virtually every year. The lack of continuity has badly affected the development of a young quarterback who was talented and in whom the organization had invested tremendously. The 49ers have the defensive talent to be competitive every week, but this seems a team in disarray after a terrible loss to the Chiefs. I don't think Mike Singletary thanked Todd Haley for the butt-whipping in Week 4 as he did with Pete Carroll in Week 1.
Ed Werder (11:36 AM)
That's all the time for this week. I appreciate the many questions and the infrequent compliments and look forward to more of the same next week. Love your life!