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April 7, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks for joining me for this week's Cowboys chat. We've got a ton of questions already. I'll answer as many as possible.

Lonnie (Oakcliff)

With teams in the nfc east making changes with their rosters. What moves in free agency do you see the Cowboys making. Personally, I would like to see the boys make a run for Darren Sharper. Not to confident in Mike Hamlin and Alan Ball who is a converted safety.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:06 PM)

I think the Cowboys will address the safety position in the first couple of rounds of the draft. South Florida's Nate Allen is a safety who might land in Dallas at No. 27 overall. LSU's Chad Jones and Georgia Tech's Morgan Burnett are second-round prospects that visited Valley Ranch. I think the Cowboys would be comfortable with a rookie competing with Ball and Mike Hamlin for the starting job. Ball was adequate in his four starts last season.

Matt (San Antonio)

Hey Tim, just wondering what are the chances that the Cowboys don't end up signing Miles Austin to a contract this season? Everyday, I wake up in an absolute panic with the only thought being "Oh my god, Miles Austin signed with the Denver Broncos". Please, end this nightmare for me, Tim. I can't go on like this. ;_;

Tim MacMahon
  (4:08 PM)

I wouldn't worry about Austin leaving. The Cowboys have the right to match any offer he gets, and Jerry Jones has made it clear that they would exercise that right. Not sure whether they'll get a long-term deal done before the season. Those negotiations have the potential to be interesting.

Jared (Nacogdoches, TX)

Can you see the Cowboys trading up to get someone like Earl Thomas or Eric Berry??

Tim MacMahon
  (4:08 PM)

Eric Berry will go way too high for the Cowboys to even think about moving up for him. If Thomas is available in the high teens, I could see that as a possibility.

Elgin (Jackson,Ms.)

which positon can dallas wait until the second round and draft and that player have an impact this year safety or tackle?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:10 PM)

A rookie safety will have a much better chance to make an impact than a rookie tackle. I'd be surprised if Doug Free doesn't start at left tackle. The Cowboys cut Flozell Adams because they felt that Free was ready. Marc Colombo has the RT starting job locked up.

Zach (Dallas)

Why didn't we make a play for Neil Rackers?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:12 PM)

The hope at Valley Ranch is that David Buehler will make enough progress to handle the FG gig in addition to kickoffs. The Cowboys hired Chris Boniol to work with Buehler. They signed Conor Hughes, one of the kickers they worked out after cutting Nick Folk, to compete with Buehler. If neither pan out, the Cowboys will be scanning the waiver wire for a kicker in early September.

Brian (kansas city)

shouldn't austin be doing workouts with the team, i find it hard to believe thats its leverage. it was one good year yes but he should be showing leadership and be at the workouts!!!

Tim MacMahon
  (4:14 PM)

I understand your viewpoint, but it's hard to blame a guy in Austin's position for thinking about the business side. Based on his production last season, the $3.17 million tender is less than half what he's worth. Plus, avoiding Valley Ranch during the offseason seemed to help Marion Barber get a long-term deal done a couple of years ago.

Joe Funderburk (Prairie Village, KS)

Can the Cowboys expect a couple of more good years from Keith Brooking or will they have to address middle linebacker early in this year's draft?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:16 PM)

They can hope for a couple more good years from Brooking, but they have to plan for him hitting the wall before that. Jason Williams is a great athlete with potential, but he has a lot to learn. It wouldn't be surprising if the Cowboys drafted an ILB in middle rounds. Penn State's Sean Lee is a possibility.

Tommy (Dallas)

What are the odds of Dallas drafting either Jerry Hughes or Daryl Washington ouf of TCU?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:17 PM)

I don't think the Cowboys will draft an OLB in the early rounds. Plus, Hughes might be off the board by No. 27. Washington might also be a first-rounder. Not sure how he would fit in a 3-4.

Trent (Dallas, TX)

Is this team good enough, as it stands right now, to not make any moves in free agency and just bring in rookies from the draft? The inactivity hadn't bothered me until we lost Flozell and Hamlin. Now we seem pretty thin.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:19 PM)

They'll probably make a move or two in free agency, but it might not be soon. They might end up signing a veteran who hasn't been released yet. It'll be interesting to see the names that end up on the open market after the draft.

ray (brooklyn)

since the cowboys just released ken hamlin are they looking at any specific players like the rams safety atogwe or are they just gonna settle for a guy like taylor mays in the draft?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:21 PM)

Nothing is cooking with OJ Atogwe, although that could change when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. I don't see Taylor Mays as a good fit for the Cowboys. He's Roy Williams with better measurables. The Cowboys want a playmaking safety with good coverage skills. That's not Mays.

Willie Turner (Lake Charles La)

What do you think about Dallas signing Darren Sharper?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:22 PM)

If the price is right and he passes his physical, I think it'd be a great move. But if the price is right and he passes his physical, why would the Saints let him leave?

Josh (Arlington)

Im tired of all the WR talk for the Cowboys especially with Ogletree improving but wouldnt you rather have Demaryius Thomas than Dez Bryant?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:23 PM)

I'm pretty certain that there are some scouts at Valley Ranch who would much rather have Thomas than Bryant. But we all know that Jerry Jones is the guy who makes those decisions.

James McMillan (Houston)

Any validity to the rumor that Dallas is shopping Marty B as trade bait to move up in the draft?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:24 PM)

Not that I'm aware of. The Cowboys could have shipped Bennett to Cincy for a first- or second-round pick (depending on who you believe) in the middle of last season and didn't consider it. They think they can tap into his immense potential.

Justin Jones (Madill,Oklahoma )

Do u think the Cowboys will start Jones instead of Barber next season?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:25 PM)

Yep.

Derrik (Nacogdoches)

I think the Cowboys made a big mistake Tim on cutting Flozell. I know he was old and I know he had a lot of penelties, but if you look back on last year he wasnt that bad. I just dont have the same faith in Free that Jerry and Stephen Jones do. I saw what he did at right tackle and he was pretty good, but left tackle is a whole new ball game and he didn't look so hot against the Vikings. I know it was Jared Allen and thats tough for anyone, but when Flo was in there Allen's name wasn't even called, but as soon as Free got in there Allen was all over the place. I just think it is dumb to go into a season where there are huge expectations with an unproven guy at left tackle whether thats free or a draft pick. What do you think?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:28 PM)

I agree -- and blogged this week -- that getting rid of Flo didn't make the Cowboys better. It did help the bottom line, but it would have been great to see Free and Adams compete for a job. And the Cowboys would have had good depth at OT for the first time since the '90s glory days. However, it's not right to blame Free for Allen making those plays right after Adams went down. That was poor scheming. Jason Witten was one-on-one vs. an All-Pro DE on those two plays.

Byron (Fort Worth, TX)

What are the chances Dallas draft a safty like Earl Thomas if he sitting at 27? Do you address the tackle spot or safty?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:29 PM)

I think they'd snatch up Thomas in a heartbeat, but it's extremely doubtful that he'll fall to 27. I think the Cowboys will have to trade up to the mid- to late teens to get Thomas.

Steven (Dallas)

I have a crazy trade scenerio to throw out there...We all know how Al Davis will take on money, so why doesnt Jerry just trade Barber and Williams with their contracts for a 1st and 4th rounder? I think its a win-win since those two players would upgrade the Raiders and another 1st for Dallas?? Forget about it

Tim MacMahon
  (4:30 PM)

You're right. That is a crazy scenario.

shedrick garrett (arlington tx)

If Colt McCoy was available for the cowboys do you think they should draft him?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:31 PM)

Jerry Jones has made it very clear that QB is the one position the Cowboys aren't looking to upgrade. McCoy won't come to Dallas.

Nightmare D-Ware (Cin City)

Will the Cowboys draft a corner back or safety with thier first pick?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:32 PM)

Either one of those is a possibility. Rutgers' Devin McCourty is the cornerback to keep an eye on.

Don (Atlanta Georgia)

Will the cowboys switch Leornad Davis to left tackle to replace Flo?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:33 PM)

Jerry often mentions that as a backup plan, but I can't see it happening. You're downgrading two positions if that happens.

Kevin (Columbus, Ohio)

Tim, do you think Felix will start and should we trade Marion while we can still get a decent draft pick for him?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:35 PM)

You can't get a decent draft pick for Barber. Nobody would want to take on his contract.

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear TimCould you see Drew Pearson making the Hall of Fame?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:37 PM)

The veterans committee would have to put Pearson in the Hall of Fame, and there are a lot of guys who are probably on the list ahead of him. It would certainly help his case if Jerry Jones put him in the Ring of Honor. I'd be willing to bet that Pearson will be in the next ROH class. I'm sure Roger Staubach has been in Jerry's ear about that during breaks in Super Bowl planning.

Garrett (Dallas)

Do you think Brandon Marshal would be worth #27 or not?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:38 PM)

No, considering that you'd have to hand him a huge extension after trading for him. How do you think that would go over with Miles Austin? Plus, the Cowboys don't need the kind of drama that Marshall would bring, although it'd be good for ESPNDallas.com business.

Steven (Mesquite)

Which of the safeties in the draft do you think is the best fit and have the biggest impact with the cowboys?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:40 PM)

Texas' Earl Thomas is the best fit, but I don't think they'll get a shot at him. South Florida's Nate Allen would also be a good fit. Those are two guys with a nose for the ball and coverage skills that are so good that some believe they could play cornerback in the NFL.

Burton (Tulsa)

Why didn't we wait until after the draft to cut Flozell and Hamlin? There was no rush to cut them, unless Jerry was doing them a solid so they could sign before the draft.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:40 PM)

That's the same question I asked. Jerry must have decided that they weren't coming back, no matter what happened in the draft, so he did them the favor of letting them go while they had plenty of time to find another team.

Kyle (Midland)

Any chances Marcus Dixon finds his way onto the roster this year? He could make Bowen, Hatcher or even Spears more open to being traded say on draft day and being cut/not resigned next year

Tim MacMahon
  (4:41 PM)

He has a shot. He had a chance last year before getting hurt during training camp. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Cowboys keep five DEs.

Steve (Lubbock)

Do you think the Cowboys should consider drafting a WR in one of the middle rounds (somebody like Jordan Shipley), or do you think Roy Williams can have a turn-around year and be a real threat to opposing defenses?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:42 PM)

Shipley is an interesting possibility. The Cowboys are looking for a threat at punt returner, and he fits that bill. I'm in the believe-it-when-I-see-it camp with Williams.

RJ (Kansas City)

I see Dexter McCluster as a great fit as a slot WR, 3rd down back, etc... in the mold of Sproles. Do you agree and could we get him in the 3rd round?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:45 PM)

Another interesting candidate. I know that the Cowboys' brass is intrigued by McCluster. He should be an immediate impact return man and could contribute in certain offensive packages. He didn't run a great 40 time, so the third round is a possibility.

Jon (Plano)

Would the Cowboys have any interest in Jared Gaither? He is 6'9", 340 lbs., is a higher ranked OT than anybody we have, and supposedly only costs a 2nd rounder. Do they really believe Free is the answer so much so that they would pass on that? One site I looked at had him ranked as the 4th best LT in the NFL last year.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:47 PM)

Reports out of Baltimore indicate the trade talk was just the Ravens' front office trying to motivate Gaither. If the Cowboys do trade for him, they'd have to give him a huge contract. I don't see that happening.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:48 PM)

Gonna wrap it up now. Thanks for all the questions. Let's do it again next week.