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September 16, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Calvin Watkins

Calvin Watkins
  (3:01 PM)

Welcome to our Friday afternoon chat.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:01 PM)

Let's get to the news first.Dez Bryant is a game-time decision. He told me he's feeling fine, but wouldn't say if he's going to play. Dwayne Harris did say he's on alert if Bryant doesn't play. Harris will return punts. Also, Bill Nagy wasn't expected to practice and Derrick Dockery will start at left guard if necessary.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:02 PM)

Now to the chat.

PL (SC)

Calvin, why are you so negative on the boyz??They lost one gameand you and the rest of the media want to bash them....I just don't understand with a somewhat easy road ahead they can go 12-4/11-5......

Calvin Watkins
  (3:03 PM)

PL, The loss to the New York Jets was a game the Cowboys were supposed to finish and they didn't. Tony Romo committed two fourth quarter turnovers that cost the team the game. Don't know how I'm supposed to be positive with that.

Clayton from san antonio ,texas [via mobile]

I am a huge Cowboy fan, and support everything about them. My question iz who is our QB in say 3 yrs.?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:04 PM)

Tony Romo, unless the Cowboys draft someone in 2012 and groom them to replace Romo when his contract ends in 2013.

Stephen (albany New York)

I was wondering why didnt the cowboys try to use Murray more? like the goal line or short yardage i mean we drafted him for that reason am i right

Calvin Watkins
  (3:05 PM)

I would say Felix Jones and Tashard Choice are better options down there until Murray gets up to speed. When Murray got some carries, he didn't do much with them.

Rich (Stratton Mountain)

What do the Cowboys need to do against the 49ers so they don't have a repeat perfermance from the Jets game?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:07 PM)

Finish. That's the bottom line. I thought the Cowboys outplayed the Jets for 55 minutes until things went haywire on them. Cowboys should be 1-0.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:07 PM)

Dez Bryant is questionable for the game and Bill Nagy is doubtful. Dockery starts at left guard.

Tyler (Athens, GA)

Calvin Do you think cutting Marion Barber hurt or helped the Cowboys?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:08 PM)

Helped. It allowed the team to move Felix Jones into the starting lineup and by drafting DeMarco Murray to challenge Tashard Choice for playing time. If you keep Marion you're unable to do that. If you notice, Barber is hurt in Chicago.

Chris (Syracuse NY)

Why does Jason Garret get away with calling shotgun plays on the goal line? Felix Jones was running harder this preseason. Tashard Choice has something to prove. The offensive line looked better. Why not use a goal line package? And if you don't score, your easily up 10, late in the fourth. I like Jason Garret, but he is to blame, for that game. Horrible play calling.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:12 PM)

Chris, In the first quarter, the Cowboys got to the Jets 6 and were in a basic set and gained three yards. Cowboys threw the next two plays and got a touchdown on the third one. The second down play should have been a touchdown but Miles Austin falls down coming out of his break.In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys got within the Jets five, twice. It used nose tackle Josh-Prince Brent as a fullback in a tight formation and passed. The second play, regular formation and Felix Jones score.On the Romo fumble, the first play was out of the basic set, no shotgun. I had no problems with the shotgun formations.

Big John (Via Cyberspace) [via mobile]

Hey Calvin, does Ortiz have a shot against Mayweather on Saturday?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:12 PM)

Love, boxing questions. Take Mayweather in a decision. But I do like Ortiz's power.

Midswat (Under your bed)

What's the dynamic between Dez Bryant & Miles Austin? How do the two receivers with clear #1 ability get along in practice and on the field? Any bickering about looks?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:13 PM)

No. The two players like each other and Bryant talks with Austin about how to run routes, the types of plays etc. No T.O.s here.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Where was Jay Ratliff on Sunday night? Seems like he was kind of a no-show.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:14 PM)

Rat was double-teammed most of the evening and when he did get some one-on-one situations, he put some pressure on the pocket. The problem is, Ratliff, because he's so good, is going to be taken out of plays. When that happens, other players, the inside linebackers for instance, have to step up, which is what Sean Lee did on Sunday night.

James taylor (Orange, ca)

Is this a must win game for the Cowboys?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:15 PM)

Not really. If the Cowboys lose, then you might see some panic. But I don't think that's going to happen. Expect the Cowboys to win on Sunday.

Wayne (Oklahoma)

Rob Ryan didnt look very happy after the game Sunday night. Does he have the personnel to run his style of defense or are we still building that direction>

Calvin Watkins
  (3:15 PM)

I talked to Rob about this today and he said he was mad about one of the offensive players getting pushed and no penalty was called. Ryan hates to watch the tape of the games because he wants to move on quickly. But he's fine.

shawn (Ashe Co, NC)

Hey, Calvin! What are your thoughts on the new CB that Dallas added this week?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:17 PM)

Frank Walker has some ability and he knows the scheme. Walker just needs to get down the terminology of the defense. Not sure how much he'll play but if so, expect him on some dime packages.

Joe M (Hazleton, Pa)

Without Dez. do we have enough weapons to win? Seems like the 49ers can play 8 in the box to stop the run and double team Austin (who is also banged up)

Calvin Watkins
  (3:19 PM)

Austin isn't as nicked as one might think, but I hear you Joe. With no Dez Bryant, it will be a difficult game for the Cowboys. But you forget Jason Witten and Felix Jones are two other playmakers in the offense. The defense didn't play bad vs. the Jets, so things will get better this week for your team.

Kyle Work (Maryland)

I feel the Boys should have cut Newman this offseason and gone after Joseph or another 2nd tier corner in the. Newman is great but injured all the time. Thought?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:21 PM)

Not a big Joseph guy, but the Cowboys tried to sign Asomugha but it didn't happen. Nothing wrong with Newman, he's just older and needs to stay healthy. But I would think 2012 would have Jenkins and Scandrick as the starting cornerbacks.

John (New Haven)

Calvin with the injury history of Dez, why wouldn't the Cowboys make a play for a veteran WR ? They can't be that trusting of Oggletree.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:25 PM)

The Cowboys had some veteran receivers, Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams, but let them go for a variety of reasons.There was a thought, Kevin Ogletree would emerge this season and we'll see how he'll play on Sunday in San Fran if Bryant can't play.

Aggie (TX)

Calvin, which OLinemen was the weak link last week? How'd Tyron do?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:26 PM)

Thought they all played pretty well. Nagy might have struggled a little bit. Smith was good, he did commit two penalties, but didn't make any major mistakes.

Wayne (Oklahoma)

I know its early but what kind of prospect do you think Dallas will look at as far as a younger more effective backup QB

Calvin Watkins
  (3:30 PM)

How about these two names from 2012 class: Nick Foles of Arizona and Ryan Lindley from San Diego State.

Jared (New York)

Calvin, the Cowboys are always one of the slowest teams in and out of the huddle and to snap the football. That really hurt them on Sunday night as they took multiple delay of game penalties. Don't you think they should pick up the tempo? Look at what college football teams like Oregon and NFL teams like New England can do by speeding defenses up and not allowing them to change personnel groupings.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:31 PM)

I'd say one of the issues is Romo telling Bryant want to do. Also, in the Jets game there was some headphone issues, so the Cowboys didn't get plays called as quickly as they should have.

Randy (NYC)

I haven't heard anyone mention that we had Danny Amendola and I was disappointed that we never kept him. He would have been a great slot receiver even though he's out now. He bounced around after that. How did he put it all together so quick?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:33 PM)

When Danny was here, he just wasn't ready to play yet. That team had quite a few vets, T.O., Crayton, Glenn and Austin and Hurd were some backups. It was a numbers game that got Amendola let go. But it's good to see him produce with another team.

Rick (Santee, SC)

Cal,How good is the 49er defense and can they cause problems for Romo?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:35 PM)

The 49ers are very good against the run, so I'm concerned about the Cowboys' run game. But adding Dockery to the starting lineup should help. The pass rush is OK, so I think the Cowboys can handle that and I'm not that impressed with the secondary.

smickball (Abilene)

Hudson Houck has a rep of not liking to work with young Olinemen, given the positives of the young line so far. Was the rep unfair? Did garrett challange him? Or did they just finally get some teachable players?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:36 PM)

It's easier to deal with veterans because they know the game and there's less teaching. Hud has told reporters he's enjoying these young players and while he might be in the last year of his deal, he feels he might coach another season. Houck is the highest paid offensive line coach in the game at $1 million a season, so the Cowboys have plenty of expectations on him.

Todd (DC)

I love the way Sean Lee is playing!! what do you think? product of Linebacker U !!!!

Calvin Watkins
  (3:40 PM)

Yes, it seems when healhty, Sean Lee can play a little bit and he's taking snaps away from Keith Brooking. Lee had a fantastic game on Sunday night at the New York Jets.The next test is this week and the 49ers rushing attack, which is very good. Lee is rising no doubt.

Aggie (TX)

Why don't Holley and Dwayne Harris get more of a chance to prove themselves?

Calvin Watkins
  (3:41 PM)

I would say Holley and Harris are behind Bryant, Austin and Olgetree. Holley is more of a special teams guy, however he did get better, much better as a receiver. Harris is a rookie who got some reps at wideout this week in practice. Harris will need to make an impact on returns, which he might do this week vs. the 49ers.

Calvin Watkins
  (3:41 PM)

Got to go guys, thanks for thinking of me. Take care.