Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (1:36 PM)
Thanks for joining me. Lots to talk about with the Cowboys coming off a bye and heading up to New England. Fire away.
eli (dallas, tx) [via mobile]
what will be the cowboys record once the playoff start and do you see them making it in?
Tim MacMahon (1:37 PM)
I predicted before the season that they'd be 8-8. There's about a two-game margin for error there, and the Eagles obviously aren't the team I thought they were. If the Cowboys win 10 games, that should be enough to win the East. Nine might be.
What does dallas have to do to beat new england this sunday?and i,m going to see the 4th quarter if fox allows extra time.
Tim MacMahon (1:39 PM)
They'll have to score a lot of points. And that's possible against the Patriots, who have the last-ranked defense in the NFL. All due respect to Rob Ryan -- the last coordinator to hold the Patriots under 30 points -- but I don't see him getting the best of Tom Brady for the second straight year. But the Cowboys can score enough points to keep it close, and then it would come down to whether Romo or Brady plays better in crunch time.
Do you think the Cowboys will be involved in any trades before the deadline?
Tim MacMahon (1:40 PM)
Probably not. I definitely don't see a blockbuster coming. Maybe they trade Tashard Choice for a conditional draft pick or something like that, but the odds are that they won't make a deal, like most trade deadlines.
Hey Tim! What has been the mood in the locker room this week leading up to the game against the Pats this Sunday?
Tim MacMahon (1:41 PM)
The Cowboys understand they've got a major challenge Sunday and they're looking forward to it. They respect the Patriots, but there isn't fear.
Is the lack of balance on Offense attributed to poor play calling by Garrett or Felix and co. not being able to handle a bigger workload?
Tim MacMahon (1:42 PM)
The Cowboys ran the ball relatively effectively against the Lions. They just didn't run it often enough. Overall, I don't think Garrett trusts the running game, and he really hasn't been given much reason to do so. He's pass-happy by nature, so if he doesn't believe in the running game, the Cowboys won't be balanced.
Erik T (Sterling, VA)
Who plays in the slot on Sunday; Newman or Scandrick?
Tim MacMahon (1:43 PM)
Orlando Scandrick is the slot guy. Newman didn't even play in the slot when Scandrick was out. The question is whether Scandrick will play outside in the base defense or be the third corner. We might not get an answer this week. The Cowboys will have three corners on the field the vast majority of time.
Mike (@ Work)
Tim,Why on Earth is Bueller still on injured list let alone the team? Can we not find another position that needs a back up a little bit more? Thx
Tim MacMahon (1:45 PM)
It's a Jerry Jones thing. You wouldn't understand. Let's wait and see what happens when Bruce Carter comes off the PUP list next week. That might spell the end of the Buehler experiment at Valley Ranch.
How is Dez's quad treating him? Is he getting back to normal?
Tim MacMahon (1:46 PM)
He said last week that he expects to be 100 percent against the Patriots. He fully participated in Wednesday's practice, a major sign of progress. It appears that the concern about the quad is pretty much over.
al (god's country)
seems to me our corners better be ready to tackle as the pats like to run it out of 3 receiver sets. do u think the corners have done a good job against the run or should i just close my eyes when the pats run it?
Tim MacMahon (1:47 PM)
Good call, Al. Mike Jenkins has actually been a willing and able tackler this season, but the Patriots would love to test that, I'm sure. Same goes for Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick. But the Cowboys' run D has been outstanding this season, and the corners have played a small role in that.
While I understand that the Patriots have not lost at home during the regular season in some time, do you think them losing their last two home playoff games the past two seasons is being overlooked? It makes no sense to say they haven't lost at home in 4 years, YES THEY HAVE, and when it mattered the most.
Tim MacMahon (1:49 PM)
True, but this is October, not January. Those playoff losses are proof that the Patriots aren't unbeatable in Foxboro, but they are extremely difficult to beat. A Cowboys win would be a significant upset.
Has anyone asked Phil Costa why he is so confident going up against a great player like Vince Wilfork?
Tim MacMahon (1:50 PM)
I think you taught Phil Costa a good lesson about the dangers of Twitter by getting a reply that Vince Wilfork was "more like a speed bump" than a mountain. However, he pulled the old my-publicist-did-that-tweet card.
If Henne and J.Campbell can torch that NE secondary......Romo should look like Staubach. Now wouldn't you say that this comes down to which D will make the stop that counts? Wouldn't you take Dallas' D hands down?
Tim MacMahon (1:52 PM)
There will be plays for Romo to make against this secondary. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten all present major matchup problems for the Patriots. As far as taking the Dallas D hands down ... wouldn't go that far. They have to deal with the NFL's best offense on New England turf.
cowboy nate (md)
Tim wassup, do you think we can establish the run against the Patriots? Also do any of the patriots pass rushers scare you?
Tim MacMahon (1:55 PM)
Sorry, don't have much confidence in the Cowboys establishing the run against anybody right now. That's a key against the Patriots. The best way to keep Tom Brady out of a rhythm is to make him stand on the sideline. It's what the Browns did in the upset last season. The Patriots don't have any DeMarcus Ware-type pass rushers, but Mark Anderson and Andre Carter are capable. Albert Haynesworth can be a force as an interior rusher when he really wants to be, which isn't that often.
MJ (Long Island, NY)
Tim - very nervous about the matchup with Gronkowski and Hernandez. Can Elam or Sense cover those guys there? I think O coming back will be huge. What about the 6'1 Ball on the TE's? they're not faster than Ball, he should be able to stay with them, right?
Tim MacMahon (1:57 PM)
You're right to be nervous about those guys. They are ridiculously good for a young TE tandem. They both have more career receiving yards than fellow '10 draft pick Dez Bryant. Not sure how healthy Aaron Hernandez will be, though. Rob Ryan hasn't asked my advice, but I wouldn't want to rely on Alan Ball to play a major role in any scheme.
Tim MacMahon (1:58 PM)
OK, folks, gotta get ready for the media access period in the locker room. Appreciate you joining me.