Chat with Jean-Jacques Taylor
Welcome to ESPNDallas.com! On Tuesday, columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor stops by to chat about the Dallas sports scene.
Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.
Send your questions now and join Taylor Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Jean-Jacques Taylor (1:04 PM)
Lots of stuff to talk about today. Let's roll !!
Carl Raleigh NC [via mobile]
What's up JJT,Is it safe to say that The Boys are gonna try to have 4-5 DL/DE get 4-8 sacks instead of having 1 who can get 10-15?
JJT (1:06 PM)
they're just trying to put the best players they can acquire in every spot and see what happens. If they can get a guy who's a dominant pass rusher that's always better, but we don't know who's on the roster yet for this team
Ed (Queens Village)
What is best matchup for Mavs Spurs, Thunder, or Clippers?
JJT (1:07 PM)
Clippers are no longer an option. Thunder is better matchup than Spurs just because they've had success against Thunder and none against the Spurs
Hi JJT, what did you think of Colby's first start?
JJT (1:08 PM)
it was solid. but he's gotta be able to go 6 innings. He needed some defensive help, but didn't get it. But if he can pitch like that most nights, it's a positive.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
JJT, should we be concerned about Soria's struggles lately or is this just a blip?
JJT (1:09 PM)
the reality is the season is so young we don't know. He's only had 4-5 appearances.
Mike Ho (Hong Kong)
Hello Jean-Jacques, should we be more concerned about the Rangers hitting or their bullpen now?
JJT (1:11 PM)
hitting. the bullpen will be better once Scheppers and Ross return. And it'll be even better in a month or two when Neftali Feliz joins the pen. But it's so early in the season, you jut have to chill and see how it goes. You absolutely can't have a football mentality when it comes to baseball
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best & the Worst NBA Arena that you have been to?
JJT (1:13 PM)
haven't been to that many NBA arenas. Only a handful. Lambeau Field is probably my favorite football stadium because of its history and ambience and the feel you get in Green Bay. I like Camden Yards as a baseball stadium
R Lank, MD [via mobile]
Pic n roll with Dirk and Ellis and alotta isolation bball with Dirk on the block and elbow and tough dfense and the Mavs can gives the spurs, thunder, or anybody else fits n the west. TALK 2 ME.
JJT (1:14 PM)
Spurs win in 5 after going up 3-0. Thunder win in 6 after going up 3-1. Spurs game will be mostly 10+ deficit. Thunder games closer, but Mavs have little chance against either. It would be cool for them to prove me wrong.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Do you think Coach Carlisle is doing so much rotating of the Centers with playing time and starts because of matchups, to keep them motivated, or a different reason?
JJT (1:16 PM)
Each of them has different strengths. It does you no good to play Dalembert and Blair against small, quick teams that love to run. It doesn't help you that much to play Wright against big, strong physical teams. He has 3 centers and he plays them according to the opponent and how they're playing on given night.
Ray (From Southside)
JJT love ur work....on nfl network last week they had dynasty week and had 95 championship gm on vs the packers..boys were actually losing that gm 27-24 going into the 4th qtr, but made the plays in the 4th to win it...how come these guys cant do that? is it mental? physical? combination of the two?? not just good enough??
JJT (1:18 PM)
Emmitt, Troy, Michael, Deion and Larry Allen were HOF players and Charles Haley will soon join them pretty much still in their prime. Darren Woodson is Ring of Honor player. This isn't about heart, it's about talent.
Mark (San Antonio)
What do you think the Rangers need to do to get the bats going? Scoring 1 run in 3 of the last 4 games is not going to cut it!!!
JJT (1:21 PM)
I tried to tell folks before the season started that the bottom of the lineup was shaky - and that was before Soto and Profar got hurt. Josh Wilson, their combo at catcher and Kouzmanoff are not gonna jump start the offense. If Fielder and Rios don't hit right now - and they won't cause why would you pitch to them with the other guys hitting behind them. They're just trying to hang close until they get some help
Chido(Dallas) [via mobile]
Hey Mr. Taylor do you think once the Dallas Mavs get to the post-season they can make some noise becase anything is possible in the playoffs and also which team do you think the mavs should face in the first round
JJT (1:21 PM)
I just don't see them beating SA or OKC.
raul (rio grande city)
JJT, are these visits really important to the Cowboys? Since they are not working out, do you think that by knowing how a player thinks that they know more about him?
JJT (1:25 PM)
When you consider the fact that they usually draft the players who visit, I'd say it's a big deal. It gives them a chance to interview the player more extensively than at the combine, put them on the board so they can diagram plays, if needed, and it gives the docs one more time to look at them
Mo (Big Sandy)
I know it's still very early but Fielder just isn't playing good baseball and for what he received to come to Arlington isn't going to cut it. His numbers across the board have declined each of the past 3 seasons.... Your thoughts?
JJT (1:28 PM)
Would you judge ANY player off 11 games, especially a dude who has been a perennial All-Star. Twice in his career, Fielder has gone 14G before hitting his first homer. He ended one season with 32 and the other with 34. He's hitting the ball harder of later, but his timing is off. At the end of the year, he'll have his numbers.
juan(Desoto) [via mobile]
Do you think the mavs are equipped to pull off a 1st round upset against the thunder or spurs
JJT (1:28 PM)
Jason- palestine,tx [via mobile]
Most mock drafts I have seen have Dallas talking Aaron Donald who is a DT, but with the signing of Melton, wouldnt a DE make more sense in terms of need
JJT (1:29 PM)
Not if Donald is the better player. Melton could leave after this season. Even if he doesn't, Marinelli likes to rotate players and keep them to 45 snaps a game. If you have two who can play the most important position on the defense, then it's OK
Micah Weihrich (Minneapolis, MN)
JJT: where would you gauge the sports scene in the metroplex? Hot, Medium or Cold? We clearly have 4 middle of the road teams and the outlook isn't that exciting? Do see it differently?
JJT (1:30 PM)
Stars are interesting, Mavs have a puncher's chance, the NFL draft is always fascinating and the Rangers are trying to hang on, but they have Yu.
Shawn (NC Mountains)
Hi JJT, Hope that you are well. My question relates to J. Clowney. IS he really that good? If so, why isn't Dallas making a play for him. I'm sure it has to do with giving up a gang of stuff
JJT (1:32 PM)
Is this team one player away? Nope. It's about 8-10 players away. It needs all of its premium draft picks to get better. Clowney alone wouldn't get it done. Remember the Claiborne trade?
Do you consider the Mavs season a success no matter what happens from here on out?
JJT (1:33 PM)
let me see how the playoff series goes. I thought they'd finish 6-8 in the west and win 50 games.
Cooper Sherman, Tx [via mobile]
Outside of Dirk and Ellis, who is the 3rd person who needs to step up to have a chance in the first round? I believe B Wright might be the guy.
JJT (1:34 PM)
I'd say Devin Harris. The game is really about the point guards and they need him to play some kind of defense on Tony Parker or Russell Westbrook. Plus, he can make those guys work on the defensive end with his ability to drive.
levi m Roswell, NM [via mobile]
When will Jason act like all the other SB winning coaches did with Jerry and tel him to back off and let Coach coach.
JJT (1:35 PM)
he's been doing that, which is why Scott Linehan is here calling plays
So the Rangers haven't got off to a great start. Do you think this trend of injuries and low offense will continue to plague the team for the rest of the season? Or will TR eventually snap out of it?
JJT (1:36 PM)
I don't have a crystal ball bro. No idea to tell whether they're going to keep having injuries. I'm like everybody else, sit back and watch and wait
Who wins tomorrow night? Grizzlies or Mavs?
JJT (1:36 PM)
Grizz. They've won 12 straight at home and Mavs will take deep breath after making playoffs.
Is JD going shopping for some bats?It appears they don't have enought!
JJT (1:37 PM)
we know this after 11 games? #footballmentality
John (Bonham, TX)
Are the Cowboys any closer to signing Spencer?
Better shot at getting out of the first round? Stars or Mavs
JJT (1:39 PM)
Stars. They're playing well and Anaheim is a mess right now. Who's their goalie? I don't know and neither do they. Not good.
Not trying to make any excuses or anything but do you buy into any of the conspiracy theories that the 2006 Finals were rigged? I've heard it was bc Cuban had beef with Stern. Looking back at it all Wade got personally escorted to the line and nobody could get near him at all. When a player shoots 97 FTs you've got to be concerned right? Thoughts?
JJT (1:40 PM)
no. Excuses are for losers. They blew 13 point 4Q lead, when they could've put the series away. It made them tougher and stronger and helped them win in 2011
Juan H (Arlington TX)
is there concerns regarding Rangers sluggers Beltre, Fielder, Choo not hitting many outta the park? do you think they will as the season progresses?
JJT (1:42 PM)
I don't worry about dudes with long-term track records. I worry about dudes who haven't done it.
Jerome Dallas [via mobile]
Yes. Did the Cowboys learn anything from the Stars on how to close out a season and clinch a playoff berth with a game on the line at home? Did Jerry learn anything from the Stars on what happens when you hire a strong coach AND general manager and let them do their jobs?
JJT (1:45 PM)
I wouldn't really use the Stars as a poster child when they're in the playoffs for the first time in forever. I like Lindy Ruff and I like Jim Nill. They now have a clue about how they want to play and they have a coach who understands what he wants to do a GM who does the same thing. The future is bright, but let's not get carried away with squeaking into the playoffs with the eighth spot.
Hey JJT, what are the major draft needs for the boys at this time
JJT (1:46 PM)
no particular order, DT, DE, OLB, FS, G, T. Lots of needs.
You think Barr from UCLA could play as a DE in our system or is he better suited as a LB?
JJT (1:47 PM)
I think they'd like to see him at DE
raul (rio grande city)
JJT, is there a player that you know about and wish Dallas would take him in the 1st round? I know u dont do draft alot but hope u can answer it
JJT (1:48 PM)
Nope. I'm all about the best player. Just get a dude who can play no matter what position.
Angel (New York)
The Mavs/Thunders games have all been very close even during the playoffs where swept. Mavs matchup well with them, Dirk still gives Ibaka problems, Marion and Carter can play okay defense on Durant and Dalembert and Wright are good shot blocks for when Westbrook blows by Calderon or Ellis. Add the vanilla iso offense that OKC runs vs Mavs coaching and i can see Mavs making some noise if they catch some breaks.
JJT (1:50 PM)
That may vll be true, but OKC is younger, more athletic and clearly better. If both teams play their "A" game then OKC wins
Aluvlee1 (VA) [via mobile]
Do you think that baseball is becoming a lost sport to young black men?
JJT (1:52 PM)
it requires a lot of money, a lot of players and a lot of failure. You don't get the instant gratification that you get from football or basketball because baseball is such a grind. Plus, virtually no one gets a full ride on a baseball scholarship. They're all partial deals. Football and basketball have full rides. All of that may play a role
To take the BPA further, if Manziel slips to 16 or Ebron is BPA there, would you take him, if you can't pull the trigger on trading down?
JJT (1:54 PM)
I wouldn't take Johnny Football under any circumstances because he's not Andrew Luck, a dude every scout knew would succeed. And the Cowboys have so many other holes that they don't need a dude who's going to sit on the bench for 3 years while Romo plays
Dave (San Jose)
JJT why isn't Romo more accessible to the public? Why does he never appear on any sports shows on ESPN?
JJT (1:55 PM)
I don't know. Maybe, he doesn't like it. It's not really that big of a deal to me.
JJT, Why do you think the Mavs are not an enticing spot for free agents? I'm beginning to think players are thinking Cuban is more interested in being a Shark Tank star than building a consistant championship team after blowing up the team a few years ago.
JJT (1:56 PM)
who wants to team up with a 35 year old superstar - even if he's still great - and get left by yourself whenever he retires
Mike (Bethlehem, PA)
Say the Cowboys take Donald in the 1st and Crichton or DeMarcus Lawrence. Isn't a pass-rush of Selvie, Melton, Donald, Crichton/Lawrence potentially very good?
JJT (1:58 PM)
Who can say? It sounds great on paper, but until we see dudes actually play we can't assume they can play. if Claiborne could play as well as we thought he was going to play, then this D would be in much better shape.
Rich (Dallas, TX)
Could Heath develop into a quality starter like Church did? He has nice measurables but he obviously struggled in '13 coming from a D-2 school. Any hope for him?
JJT (2:00 PM)
i think he'd be fine as a quality ST player and a 4th or 5th safety.
Tyler Forbes (New Orleans)
Who was your favorite player to watch in your childhood?
JJT (2:00 PM)
Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach, Al Oliver with the Rangers and Ro Blackman and Derek Harper with the mavs
When it comes to draft will Jerry listen to Will McClay
JJT (2:01 PM)
I would think so. He listened to Marinelli tell him not to draft Floyd last season
JJT (2:02 PM)
nice chat today. Let's do it again next week, when we'll have some playoff basketball and hockey to talk about