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 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (2:27 PM)
It's a cold, rainy, miserable day at Valley Ranch. Sort of symbolic, huh? Let's chat about the most disappointing team in franchise history.
Tim, now that Jason Williams was released yesterday and the 2009 draft is a colossal disaster do you think Jerry realizes that bad drafts set the franchise back and only forces you to spend money on free agents ? Wasn't Williams a Wade Phillips guy ? I don't see how Stephen Jones would fare better running this team in the future under the current business model.
Tim MacMahon (2:28 PM)
Jason Williams was definitely a Wade Phillips draft pick. He'd have been gone after training camp if Phillips didn't stick up for him. There are good scouts in the building, the same guys who found Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Jay Ratliff, etc. Their voices should carry more weight than the coaches come draft day.
Lex (Calgary, AB)
Hello Tim, Keep up the great work! I agree with you FIRE WADE NOW! If Jerry brings in a big name proven head coach can this team be fixed? Or are we a few years from beening good again?
Tim MacMahon (2:29 PM)
This could be a playoff team with a good coach who changes the culture. There are obvious positions of need -- offensive line and safety stick out -- but there aren't many teams with more talent than these sad, sad Cowboys.
Justin (Oxnard, CA)
I understand Leonard Davis, Holland, and Costa have been heavily criticized for their play. But the more film I watch the more I see Andre Gurode skipping plays and not helping out his guards. Why does Gurode not receive as much criticism as Davis? In my eyes he is playing even worse. I have not seen Gurode get a to a single MLB this year. Not once. And Why is Hudson Houck receiving any criticism??? He is as much to blame as any coach because our O-Line is where the problems started.
Tim MacMahon (2:30 PM)
Have you read resident ESPNDallas.com scout Bryan Broaddus' work? He's been ripping Gurode since last season.
It seems the DE's have been quiet this year (other than Olshanky's dance)....any thought to playing Brent at NT and moving Ratliff to DE...they are not getting any kind of pass rush from the ends...it seems to me Ratliff would excel at DE.
Tim MacMahon (2:31 PM)
Jay Ratliff doesn't want to move. He's comfortable at nose tackle. But that's a decision that will likely be made by the next coach.
any chance tashard Choice gets playing time?
Tim MacMahon (2:32 PM)
Yes. Felix Jones didn't practice today. He apparently banged up his ankle in addition to bruising his forearm Sunday. But Choice might get playing time at Marion Barber's expense anyway. That should have happened weeks ago.
kevin (Columbus Ohio)
When are the Cowboy's going to do something about their safety's
Tim MacMahon (2:33 PM)
I don't think Alan Ball will continue to be the starter. We'll try to get a firm answer on that this afternoon, but I'd be surprised if Barry Church doesn't get a shot on Sunday. Ball was benched in the fourth quarter last week.
J. Bright (Denton)
Is Jason Garrett automatically slated to be the next coach?
Tim MacMahon (2:34 PM)
Arlene (Round Rock)
Hi Tim, Tony Romo is always called a poor leader. But with Cowboys completely tanking every time he gets hurt, it seems like maybe he is a better leader and QB than people give him credit for. Maybe he was actually a major part of keeping this lame team afloat. Thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (2:35 PM)
I thought Romo made great strides as a leader last season. However, the Cowboys were 1-4 before he got hurt this season.
Do you think costa and young can be future starters?
Tim MacMahon (2:37 PM)
The Cowboys think both have a chance. They need to see enough of them this season to get a better evaluation.
Do you think pickin up Mark Ingram in draft would be good idea?
Tim MacMahon (2:39 PM)
I don't think running back ranks as one of this team's top needs. I think Felix Jones and Tashard Choice can be a good combo for years to come.
With Jerry Jones already stating the Cowboys are 1-7 before playing this week, when do you think we will see the younger players (McGee, Church...) on the field?
Tim MacMahon (2:40 PM)
Maybe Church, not McGee. That was just Jerry losing track of how many losses the Cowboys had.
anthony cavazos (pflugerville,TX)
do you think the cowboys will try and claim Shawne Merriman off waivers?
Tim MacMahon (2:40 PM)
No. It doesn't make sense to add highly paid veterans to this sinking ship.
Do you think that it would help if Dallas went more with a zone type defense than the single man coverage. With a lack of a pass rush and the inability to make their blitzes work, seems like the guys are sitting on an island and making it easy for the opposing QB. This seemed to make Garard look like the second coming of Joe Montana last Sunday. Your thoughts.
Tim MacMahon (2:41 PM)
It's especially tough to play man-free when your free safety is a liability.
David Hernandez (Pasco,Wa)
Do you think Chucky, would come back and coach the Dallas Cowboys if Wade were step down to defensive coordinator? And if so could it work with their defensive differencess? Tampa two, vs 3-4?
Tim MacMahon (2:43 PM)
Wade Phillips isn't going to accept a demotion to defensive coordinator. Even he has too much pride for that. But I don't think the defensive scheme will be a deal-breaker for Jon Gruden. He's an offensive coach and I firmly believe he'd jump at the chance to work with Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, etc.
Tim, if the Cowboys get a Top 5 pick what postion do they draft? We don't need a LT now that Doug Free has preformed well. Will we be looking at FS or CB? Or will Jerry take the best player on teh board again?
Tim MacMahon (2:44 PM)
The other four positions on the OL are needs. So are both safety spots. You can also make a case for CB, ILB and DE.
Has Tashard Choice's lack of playing time been a result of his costly fumble in the first game?
Tim MacMahon (2:45 PM)
No. He's always been the odd man out in the RB rotation. The only time Choice has even gotten a lot of work is when one or both of the other backs got hurt. He went to totally out when they decided to make Felix Jones the lead horse. They don't want to hurt Marion Barber's feelings by benching him, so Choice sits. That needs to change.
What can we do to get Jerry to listen to us, as fans. We have made it very clear that Wade needs to go, so what can we do?
Tim MacMahon (2:47 PM)
The only thing fans can do is stay away from JerryWorld. If that place is half-empty when Detroit comes to town, it will sting Jerry more than anything he'll ever hear or read.
Now that we're done stealing attention, how much more heat is Jerry going to take?
Tim MacMahon (2:47 PM)
The Rangers' World Series run really didn't deflect attention from the Cowboys' misery that much. The Cowboys are a national punch line. The heat they take locally is just a fraction of what comes their way.
Clay (Midlothian, VA)
With Jerry Jones saying "I care more than you could ever imagine that we've had this kind of season and feel bad about it and I will, I really have a feeling that I can say this, but I will do everything that we can do to change it." Do you believe he will go for a big name and actually consider giving up control again? i.e. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells?
Tim MacMahon (2:49 PM)
The question should be, will he actually consider sharing control again? He never really gave it up. But I think this season has been so humilating that Jerry will see the light and do what it takes to get the best possible coach.
Terry (New Orleans)
Tim, are there five Cowboys who are playing up to their abilities? If so, who?
Tim MacMahon (2:50 PM)
Mat McBriar, Bradie James, Doug Free ... and that's about all I can think of.
Bob (El Paso)
Hey Tim. I see John Fox mentioned for the Cowboys if he's fired in Carolina. Why? He's only had three winning seasons in a decade and his Super Bowl claim to fame was in 2003 - and they lost that game!
Tim MacMahon (2:52 PM)
He's maximized his talent in Carolina. He doesn't have much to work with. But the reason you see his name popping up is because he's good pals with Jerry and Stephen Jones. He spends a lot of time on the Jones family bus during the Senior Bowl week and scouting combine.
Is Sean Lee a bust?
Tim MacMahon (2:53 PM)
Way too early to say, but it's disappointing that he wasn't impressive enough to earn even consideration as the nickel LB. They need to give him a chance to sink or swim in the second half of the season.
Tim MacMahon (2:54 PM)
Quick add to an earlier question: Terence Newman has also played up to his ability this season. And Roy Williams too, although neither have played up to their contracts.
We will obviously get a top 5 pick in next years draft...who comes to mind immediately when you think Cowboy needs? Or trade down for more
Tim MacMahon (2:56 PM)
Per Mel Kiper, there isn't an offensive lineman worth picking in the top half of the first round. The Cowboys ought to try to trade down and get a few premium picks out of the deal.
Looks like 09 draft could have been spent on OL, were there not any available?
Tim MacMahon (2:58 PM)
It was a huge blow when Seattle traded up to take Oregon C/G Max Unger. That's who the Cowboys targeted at No. 51. They traded down instead of taking Oklahoma's Phil Loadholt, who was the next OL on their board.
Wouldn't it be beneficial to start the younger players and see what you got in them, even if you lose games? That way you'll ensure high drafts picks, somewhat knowing what you have in these young players and drafting accordingly?
Tim MacMahon (3:00 PM)
Jerry Jones isn't ready to do that yet, but it needs to happen at several spots. But not necessarily at quarterback. Stephen McGee should at least get mop-up time, but if you start him, does that take away from Dez Bryant's development?
Hector (Edinburg, TX)
If the Cowboys were to hire a GM who would be your pick for them to hire?
Tim MacMahon (3:01 PM)
I've put zero thought into that because it will never, ever happen as long as Jerry Jones is alive and kicking.
Considering how bad this team has been since the preseason why is the coaching staff always so worried about people's feelings? It's a results oriented business, if you don't produce you sit. I don't understand what this coaching staff finds such an idea so difficult to comprehend.
Tim MacMahon (3:02 PM)
That's one of many problems with this coaching staff. Really, it's the biggest problem with this coaching staff.
Tim MacMahon (3:02 PM)
The locker room opens up in a few minutes, so I've gotta get going. Appreciate all the questions. If I didn't touch on something, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon