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October 13, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:55 PM)

Welcome to the 1-3 edition of my weekly Cowboys chat. No, Wade Phillips hasn't been fired. No, he won't be this week. Or this season. Let's get to the rest of the questions.

David (fla)

How do you see F.Jones doing this week vs. Minn.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:56 PM)

The Vikings always have one of the league's best run defenses, so it's unlikely that Felix Jones will go for 100 yards again. He had 14 carries for 69 yards in the playoff loss to Minnesota. That's a reasonable projection for Sunday.

carl raleigh nc [via mobile]

tim when is somebody on the cowboys gonna get mad and say enough is enough and stop all the stupid mistakes at critical times

Tim MacMahon
  (2:57 PM)

They say it all the time. When are they going to actually do it? That's what matters.

LL (VA)

Tim,If the cowboys lose to the vikes,you're not saying it's over do you?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:58 PM)

Maybe not over, but they'd be like a guy hanging off a cliff with one hand and nobody within shouting distance.

Riley (Morgantown)

Hypothetical question Tim. Should the season stay on it's current course inevitably causing JJ to shake things up in the coaching department next off-season, who are the top 5 available coaching candidates?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:59 PM)

Top available coaches: Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden,Brian Billick. Not sure any of them fit the bill considering the unique circumstances here. John Fox and Jack Del Rio could be fired after the season and might be better fits.

Sedrick (North Richland Hills)

What's up Tim, I don't think the release of Hamlin was a good idea on the Cowboys part. I mean come on, was he playing any worse than what Allan Ball has been all season. They must do something about that postition and I don't think Ball in the answer. His instincts and reactions to plays are below average and I only see it getting worse. Not saying that former Cowboy Ken Hamlin was great, but at least he knew where to be on the field.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:00 PM)

Mike Hamlin had been surpassed on the depth chart by three rookies and couldn't contribute on special teams. Alan Ball's play so far this season has been disappointing. He seems to have regressed since last year. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah might eventually be the answer, but he's not ready yet.

Jordan (Fort Worth)

Do you think Romo will ever get out of this "turning the ball over in key situations", or is he always going to be that type of quarterback that doesn't really take over at the end of ball games like a peyton manning?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:02 PM)

Romo has made major strides in that department, but I understand your question, considering that he threw three picks Sunday. Two of those were on tipped balls that weren't his fault, though.

ZO (DALLAS)

We have seen in the past teams start of poorly like the Chargers and then catch fire and make the playoffs which is anyones game. Do you see the Cowboys doing the same thing? I think if they do make the playoffs then they can win the big one.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:03 PM)

We're living in a bizarro world when the hope is that a Wade Phillips-coached team will catch fire in December.

Dominique (Dallas)

With the offensive line issues do you see the cowboys making a move to make it better (Logan Mankins) or making any roster moves period after this 1-3 start? p.s. love the columns

Tim MacMahon
  (3:04 PM)

I don't think the Cowboys will pull the trigger on any blockbuster trades before the deadline. Never say never with Jerry, but he has made it clear that he doesn't want to keep giving offensive linemen huge contracts. Logan Mankins is a holdout because he wants to be paid even more than Leonard Davis.

Chris (Irving)

Dont you think olshansky n ratliff need to switch. in 3/4 nose tackle has to be an anchor not a slasher. nose has to take up 2 gaps and not get sealed off to one side, i think olshansky fit there better, centers need help on Igor that would put ratlif n ware oneONone OMG!!!!

Tim MacMahon
  (3:05 PM)

The Phillips 3-4 isn't a two-gap system. They want Jay Ratliff to penetrate at nose tackle. He's a two-time Pro Bowler at that position. He doesn't want to move. No need to mess with a good thing.

Lex (Calgary,AB)

Hello Tim, What are the keys to Dallas beating the Vikings on Sunday and can they do it?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

The biggest key is protecting Romo. Can't say I'm real confident in that, given what we witnessed in the playoffs. However, it's worth pointing out that the 44-6 debacle in Philly didn't prevent the Cowboys from going 3-0 vs. the Eagles last season. They've also got to contain Adrian Peterson and put Brett Favre in third-and-long situations. The run defense will have to be better than it's been the last two games.

Todd Werley(PA) [via mobile]

I watched the Titans game again n Davis is really hurting this team. Almost every drive Holland was in the Cowboys either drove the football or were in position to score.Why are they going back to Davis I played right guard in College inin my opinion Holland moves n plays better n has a better first punch am I missing something? Why is he not starting over Leonard Davis? The best player should play n even Bryan Broaddus said Davis was their weakest link.Please explain.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

First of all, TWerley, thanks for being a loyal Twitter follower. I agree with your observations about Leonard Davis and Montrae Holland and have heard our resident scout Broaddus say many of the same things. But Davis is the guy with the $49.6 million contract. This is one of those decisions that are influenced by contracts. It's tough to bench a guy making that much money. But they sat Davis down once. If he keeps struggling, they might be forced to make a permanent move.

Mike (Phoenix)

Whats up Tim, I want to know your prediction for the Cowboys this season. I still have faith inthe fact that we have one more loss than the rest of our division, however, if we dont start playing at a consistantly high level, I will be looking more forward to the draft.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:13 PM)

My prediction was 11-5. I'm backpedaling from that faster than Mike Jenkins did when Chris Johnson turned the corner. Right now, 9-7 appears optimistic, but that might still be good enough to win the division.

Bobby (Witchita)

There are very few people talking about the fact that Dave Beuhlers 3 missed field goals have altered each of those games that they lost. If we had a real gm, there would have been an audition for a new kicker weeks ago. How likely is it that Behler remains the kicker throughout the season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

It's a good bet that they'll stick with Buehler. His first two misses got a ton of publicity. His miss last week got lost in the rubble a little. Jerry Jones is sticking to his guns with Buehler, and the Cowboys don't like the available candidates. Their case was strengthened when John Carney missed a 29-yard field goal and got cut by the Saints after a two-week return.

Mecko (The Bahamas)

Its hard to believe a 1-3 start, with an even more realistic chance at 1-5 looking more and more evident as the weeks progress. How are your thoughts if we were to win the next game, or next two games...would 3-3 revive playoff aspirations, because considering we've only played one nfc east opponent, wouldn't some huge wins againts the giants and eagles offset our poor start?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

If this team wins its next two games, they'll be in good shape, at least as far as fighting for a playoff berth goes. But that's a big if.

Issac (Fresno)

I'm still waiting for Dez to have that major game changing impact. Should I stop holding my breath??

Tim MacMahon
  (3:17 PM)

Were you grabbing a beer when he returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown? How about when he caught a 30-yard pass to help set up a score in Houston? Dez Bryant's career is off to a solid start. The big plays will start to come more often. But Roy Williams is having a great season. The Cowboys don't need Bryant to be a starter. They can bring him along at a reasonable pace with Williams producing.

Red (Rockwall)

How is the chemistry of the locker room compared to previous seasons? I thought the anonymous snitches were going to stop once T.O. and crew left.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:19 PM)

You'll see anonymous sources quoted from every team every year, especially when teams lose. I sense that the Cowboys are a team that's trying desperately to stay together, but that becomes increasingly difficult with every loss. We don't get that good of a feeling of the locker room because most players avoid going in there during the media-access period. They don't have answers and don't want to hear our questions.

barron (dallas,tx)

you thinkthe cowboys wish they would have keep nick folk....

Tim MacMahon
  (3:22 PM)

That's a legitimate question. There are some folks around here who wish the Cowboys would have tried to put Nick Folk on the injured reserve last season. The league might have balked, but the Cowboys could have claimed the hip he had surgery on before the season acted up. Folk is back to being a solid kicker for the Jets, while David Buehler is struggling here. The other factor, though, is that Jerry Jones decided suddenly that he only wanted to use one roster spot on a kicker.

Brian Jones (Murrieta, CA)

Obviously there's a ton of problems with this team from penalties to lack of discipline, but it seems to me on defense if they would bring in a veteran free safety, it would help sure up the deep ball. Your thoughts??? What ever happen to the days of us lining up and knocking people off the ball when we get inside the five yard line? If we are this massive offensive line, then let's start playing like it.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

Free safety is an easy second-guess now. I thought in the spring that Alan Ball would be an upgrade over Ken Hamlin, but I thought wrong. Maybe the Cowboys should have gone after O.J. Atogwe, but they weren't high on him. Darren Sharper is on the PUP after undergoing microfracture surgery, so can't blame the Cowboys on him.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

Appreciate all the questions. Gotta run and do a segment on ESPN 103.3 now.