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December 20, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Calvin Watkins

Calvin Watkins
  (2:01 PM)

Good afternoon guys, let's chat about the Cowboys.

Don dallas texas [via mobile]

Why does look like the boys run the same plays over and over? With the weapons they have shouldnt they have some better plays.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:03 PM)

I don't think so. Did you like the Razorback formation where Jon Kitna completed a pass out of it? There was a big completion to Miles Austin on a slant in the fourth quarter to keep a drive going in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys do many different things and look at the results, without Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, Marion Barber and defenses committed to slowing Austin down, this team is still averaging close to 30 points a game.

stan cook (duluth ga)

with choice and jones showing they can carry the what the chances of mb being release or will jj be to stubborn to release him or would they trade cuoice and bennett

Calvin Watkins
  (2:06 PM)

Stan, The Cowboys most likely will release Barber at the end of the year. His injury, which has kept him out for the last three games, has been a positive for the organization. Felix Jones rushed for 70 yards yesterday and two weeks prior to that Tashard Choice gained 100. I doubt Barber will be here next season. He's due a $500,000 roster bonus in June and his base salary is $4.2 million. He's signed through 2014 where he's owed roughly $23 million.I don't see Barber cashing those checks.

hazz (dallas)

jason garrett called that play before halftime of the 1st skins game and was part of the problem all year so how does he get this job

Calvin Watkins
  (2:07 PM)

You have to look at what he's done overall, not just in one game. Garrett said he learned from the Redskins mistake and yes, Hazz, it left me with some doubts about him as well, but the team is 4-2 since he's become the head coach.The NFL, as anybody will tell you is about wins and losses and right now Garrett has the wins on his side.

Gary Overton (Washington,DC)

Calvin, I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, please tell me why is Mike Jenkins still a starter for the cowboys. I know he has good speed but brains, not. If you look at this entire season and put him under the microscope he is either constantly out of position or trying to make when the defense called is for him to sit on an island one on one and just make the tackle. he can not cover nor can he tackle very well. I know the defense has multiple problems but his has stood out for a very long time.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:09 PM)

Jenkins is having a bad season. He's got one interception after leading the team with one last year. The Pro Bowl seems out of the question for him this year. You can't just give up on a young player like Jenkins.Benching him isn't the answer either. Orlando Scandrick has had some problems too and Bryan McCann isn't ready to step in. The best thing to do is ride this out with Jenkins and if he continues to struggle next year then find his replacement.

Mike (LA)

Hey Calvin--love the chats. Is there any hope for the Robert Brewster experiment? Is he possibly better suited to play OG than OT? Or is he just a stiff that can't play either?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:10 PM)

Mike, I'm going to be honest with you.He can't play.

Henry (Fort Worth, TX)

You're in charge of building an NFL franchise. You get to pick a WR for the next 7+ years and your choices are DeSean Jackson or Dez Bryant. Who ya got?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:12 PM)

Tough question.Jackson is faster and seems to have grasp the playbook faster.Bryant has great hands, very physical, and like Jackson is a playmaker. His big issue is learning the playbook.Man, tough question.I would go with Jackson. He's just so explosive, like Bryant. But DeSean Jackson is the guy I take.

Danny (Washington, DC)

How does ILB shake out for next season? James and Lee will definitely be around. I think we should keep Brooking for insurance. Where does this Cummings kid fit in? Does he have any potential? How did he look on Sunday in his limited chances? Also, what's the deal with Leon Williams? He had close to 90 tackles a few years ago--was that just him playing for a bad defense getting stats?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:14 PM)

Sean Lee has improved as the season went along, but he's been nicked up a little bit too much and now this recent injury, a concussion, could knock him out for Saturday's game at Arizona.Lee does have the talent to become the starter at inside linebacker and he can play both spots. If you give up on Brooking it's only because Lee will become the starter.Leon Williams had the support of some scouts when he came in, but hasn't produced enough to get on the field on a consistent basis.Don't know a lot about Cummings, who didn't play much on Sunday. Team seems to like his abilities as an inside backer but too early to tell what he can do.

Hank (Fort Worth, TX)

Here's my plan for rebuilding the o-line: cut Colombo and Davis, trade down in the draft (maybe to the late teens or early 20s), draft an OT in the 1st, draft an OG in the 3rd, resign Kosier, and sign Logan Mankins. How's that plan?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:17 PM)

I don't think you can sign both Kosier and Mankins. Drafting an offensive lineman in the first round is a must. But if one of those talented corners are hanging around, what do you do then?I would like to see the team let Sam Young take over at right tackle, but I'm not giving up on Leonard Davis. Keep him around one more year. Gurode is somebody who might get released so the team can put Phil Costa in there. As far as Kosier goes, if you do re-sign him, offer him a two-year deal and see if he takes it. If not, draft a guard for his spot.

Tom (Dallas, TX)

How was Barry Church's mini-debut? I know the defense got picked apart but did Church's performance give you confidence in his ability going forward or concern that he's just a mediocre back-up and special teamer?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:19 PM)

I don't know what the coaches' grades were on Church but I wasn't that impressed. He looked a little lost out there, but that was mainly because he hasn't played.Sean Lee was in the same situation a few weeks ago when he was out there and he improved with more playing time.Now, give Church some more time and he's athletic enough to play better. If Gerald Sensabaugh can't play on Saturday, Church will get another chance which he deserves.

Luke (Dallas, TX)

What's the deal with AOA? Is he going to be a safety or CB next season? What is your expert opinion about what position suits his talents best?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:22 PM)

I liked AOA, or Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, on kick returns before the season starter. But after watching Bryan McCann the Cowboys made the right choice to go with McCann over AOA.In terms of defense, AOA is very smart and understands the scheme, but he basically played centerfield in college so I'm not sure if he can really cover a receiver. His best position might be safety because he has the speed to get over to help the corners, but not sure if he can react well if put into that situation.

Jeff (Roanoke, Va)

So which defensive linemen stay around next season? Obviously Ratliff will be around. I would think Josh Brent is safe, too--it sounds like he's going to be a good player for us. I've been unimpressed with Olshansky and Hatcher. Spears and Bowen are pretty solid. I read that Lissemore reminded people of Ratliff due top his size, motor, and quickness but who can tell now. This rookie they just brought in seems like he fits the Chris Canty type mold due to his size and physical attributes. How does the offseason play out for all these guys?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:24 PM)

Jeff,Yes, Ratliff stays as does Josh Brent, you got to like them both.There are three ends in the last year of their deals, Bowen, Hatcher and Spears. I would say keep Bowen and Spears.The Cowboys have always wanted Hatcher to be that pass rushing end that causes issues, but I don't see that on a consistent basis. Igor Olshansky has been average but keep him around next year and I'm interesting in seeing how Sean Lissemore fits. He impressed the coaches a little bit in the late stages of camp and during the preseason.

Ryan (Dallas)

Calvin, what exactly happened to our defense?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:27 PM)

The playmakers are not making enough plays on the ball. The secondary struggled most of the season and Anthony Spencer has regressed. Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware are getting extra attention, which was always the case, but for whatever reason other players are not taking advantage of it by making plays.The inside linebackers, Bradie James and Keith Brooking, played hurt most of the year so all it all up and you got a shaky defensive unit.

Anthony (Toronto)

Is it safe to assume that we're now putting the DB ahead of the OL on our priority list for next year?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:27 PM)

No. I would say OL is still the priority for 2011. But you better get a DB, safety mainly, in rounds two or three.

Steve O (Big D)

Is the reason Jerry hasn't gone to the "Youth Movement" is because if the lockout delays the season he might need this team to come back with its current starters?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:29 PM)

The problem for Jerry and Garrett is when they use some of the young players, Barry Church on Sunday, they struggle.Now they should give Church another chance and it would be nice to see Sam Young, Phil Costa and maybe even Stephen McGee get some snaps in the final two weeks, but it appears it won't happen.

MJ (Long Island via Boston)

are you and todd archer boys? I heard a little smack being talked pre game yesterday?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:29 PM)

Yeah, we are boys. I even have his home number. But he doesn't have mine.

Anthony (Toronto)

I just read that one of the preferred stops for Cowher is Miami. Looks like Miami might have a losing record this year, and if so I can see Sporano getting fired. Any chance JG brings him as the new OC in that case? I think that would be a great hire and add some attitude to this offense.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:31 PM)

Jason Garrett had one of his best seasons with Sparano as the running game coordinator in 2007. If Garrett becomes the coach full-time, I don't think Sparano wants to come here and do the same thing again. He's been a head coach and he's not going to just watch Garrett call the plays while he works on the run game and the offensive line. Sparano wants to call the plays or be the head coach that much is certain. It's not going to work out.

Cedric (South Oak Cliff)

Calvin, me and the fellas like what we see with the new coach. Do you think he keeps the job?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:33 PM)

Cedric,He's got a good shot at it. His record, 4-2, helps his cause and the team is responding to him. The interesting thing is there might be better coaches or should I say more experienced coaches on the market for Jerry Jones to look at. I believe Jones wants Garrett to be the coach, but whatever Garrett wants to coach somewhere else. Remember Garrett interviewed in Denver? How about Garrett in Houston? Garrett with the Giants?

Armchair GM (My couch)

Why not put Romo on IR? There are no home games left and he is not healthy enough to come back, so why not sign the best practice squad player in the league to the roster.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:35 PM)

The Cowboys should have done this in November but it's too late now. Romo's roster spot is not holding the team back from signing another player off somebody's practice squad or moving somebody up. Romo's not going to play this season. That's just the facts.

John (Houston)

Why do people dog on Sensabaugh so much? Hes been playing a lot better and we got to see first hand what its like without him yesterday.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:36 PM)

Sensabaugh struggled early in the season, but he's come on strong of late. When you judge him, do you look at what he's done the last five weeks or the entire season.If you look at the last five weeks, yes, he's played strong. If you look at the entire season, he's inconsistent.So what do you do?

Craig (Lindsay, ON)

Calvin, I am pleased the Cowboys are playing better under Garrett. However, a 27-7 lead in the 3rd quarter and we get bailed out by Moss dropping a pass or else we lose. A well coached team never should let a team come back like that, especially a team playing a QB who has started in a few years. Cause for concern that this team is just too complacent and Garrett won't be able to change that mindset?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:40 PM)

Craig,Yeah losing that 20-point lead was bad. Very bad, but the Cowboys won the game and that's all that matters. The facts are this is a bad football team. Bad football teams lose 20-point leads but the Cowboys have enough talent to overcome these things, which was the case on Sunday. I'm concerned about Garrett long-term. He's getting better as a game-manager his play calling has also gotten better, but his goal line stuff is questionable. Not sure if he's the coach next year, but this is clear,he's the favorite.

MJ (Long Island via Boston)

hey Calvin - Jenkins will be fine next year, anyone who's giving up on him is crazy. Scandrick is playing better and better. there's not that many CBs I'd rather have than Terence Newman when he's healthy. People hate on him, but did anyone see the way DeAngelo Hall covers??? I think I'd take McCann over Hall anyday. Point is, we need pass rushers and our secondary will look a whole lot better

Calvin Watkins
  (2:42 PM)

I agree with you on a few points, but not McCann over Hall.Hall is an accomplished corner and McCann is still learning the position.The pass rush has to get better, especially up front.

steve (georgia)

a win in philly n week 17 would be huge for off season , but do they have a chance?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:44 PM)

I think that game in Philly will mean something to the Eagles. Take the Eagles to win. I don't believe if the Cowboys win that you can take that into the next season.The roster might have a different look and we could see a new coach.

MJ (Long Island via Boston)

Josh Ellis said Witten is better than Novechek bar far, someone educate that young kid, who was probably 8 when Jay was in his prime. Its alot closer than people think. When Novechek retired it took the boys 8 years to replace him. They were alwasy in the top 5 in offense, when he retired they were in the 20s....educate young Josh

Calvin Watkins
  (2:45 PM)

Josh is a good man.Today I heard Drew Pearson said Billy Joe Dupree was the best tight end in Cowboys history.

Choppy (Charlotte)

We need to switch to a 4-3 and Ware a full time DE. And Butler should be playing much more on passing downs.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:46 PM)

It's hard with what the Cowboys currently have on their roster to switch to a 4-3 scheme. Keep Ware as an outside pass rusher. Butler, when he's consistent, can make some plays, but that's not very often.

AT (Austin TX)

Do you see Jason getting a defensive coordinator replacing coach P or JJ is suggesting one ? If so who do you think they should get?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:47 PM)

Yes, I see a new defensive coordinator for next year. Everyone is asking about Dom Capers, but he's under contract for next year with the Packers. Not sure who the Cowboys might get for this spot.

Jon (Colorado Springs)

Has Roy Williams done enough to come back next year?

Calvin Watkins
  (2:48 PM)

I guess. But I doubt he'll return if Garrett is the head coach. It might be time to go with Bryant as the starter.

Calvin Watkins
  (2:48 PM)

Guys have a great holiday and take care of your families.