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September 14, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Todd Archer

Todd Archer
  (12:57 PM)

OK, let's get started a little early here. I'll do my best to get to a ton of questions in our time together.

PL (SC)

Todd, when is romo going to grow up and take what the defense is giving up!!!Stop trying to be a hero!!I'm sick of this todd,i'm SICK OF IT!!

Todd Archer
  (1:00 PM)

Already a ton of Romo questions on the docket. PL wins because of the exclamation points. Here goes with answer No. 1 - It's part of who he is and how he has been successful. He has shown the ability to take what is given and for the most part vs. the Jets he did that. Those mistakes cannot happen but to say this is who he always is, I don't think that's accurate. I'll have something up this week on Romo that you will want to read.

Chris (Chicago)

I know a lot is made about Romo's miscues, punt block etc. But why no talk about the officiating? Seems like the officials were quick to blow anytime Dallas did something, but the Jets played a perfect, penalty free game? Coupled with the call on Witten...at least we can say every week won't be played in NY on 9/11.

Todd Archer
  (1:01 PM)

I understand why Cowboys' fans would be upset by the goose egg the refs gave the Jets with the penalties. But as I watched the game again, I didn't see anything they blatantly missed, honestly. Now, the Witten penalty I thought was a tad rough. I don't think it was a pick play the way we see pick plays being run. The linebacker held him up off the line.

Todd Archer
  (1:08 PM)

Sorry for the delay but Tim MacMahon called me with a practice update: No Terence Newman,Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick at practice. Mike Jenkins is in attendance but could be limited. Martellus Bennett has returned to practice.

Brian (Corsicana)

Todd love your work man and all the work done by the ESPN dallas group. I know this question seems a little crazy but with the way our young secondary played against the jets, could you see a situation where newman might better serve as a ball hawk type free safety? Of course you would need a healthy jenkins and scandrick. Why or why couldnt you see this happening? Cowboys, 10-6 wild card!!!

Todd Archer
  (1:09 PM)

Here's what I've always said about Newman moving to safety: He gets banged up at cornerback and he would be more likely to get hurt playing safety. He's a corner. He's never played safety before.

Tom Schnaars (Rocky Point, NY)

Are the Cowboys looking into getting more Cornerback help thru free agents or practice squad? Also how close is Newman from getting back on Sundays?

Todd Archer
  (1:11 PM)

They added Frank Walker on Tuesday and have Mario Butler on the practice squad. There is not a huge upgrade out there, and that means Lito Sheppard too. A lot of inquiries about the ex-Eagle, but he is not the player you remember. Walker is about the best you could do and he played for Rob Ryan's brother in Baltimore. I don't see them making a big trade for somebody more established because teams frankly don't give up cornerbacks that can play.

Rich (San Antonio, TX)

What are you going to do about our depleted secondary?

Todd Archer
  (1:11 PM)

Me? I'm not the GM so there's not much I can do.

jay (norfolk,va)

does it look like newman will play on sunday

Todd Archer
  (1:12 PM)

He's not practicing today, according to our Tim MacMahon, so that's not a good sign. The Cowboys were hoping he would be able to practice this week. There is still some hopehe could get some work in Thursday and Friday but I'm guessing he'll get another week off.

jay (norfolk,va)

witht the way the team played on sunday is it likely they will go 3-1?

Todd Archer
  (1:13 PM)

It better go 3-1. They must win this game. I know that sounds stupid for a Week 2 contest but I think we all (most?) had them losing to the Jets. This is the must game. They can't fall to 0-2 for the second straight year. But 3-1 is attainable, sure.

arlatin (stockton)

how do u think the o line will perform the rest of the season after the jets game .. phil costa and bill nagy have bright futures? .. and how is david arkin comin along?

Todd Archer
  (1:16 PM)

I kind of liked what the line did vs. the Jets. They struggled vs. the nickel rush early in the game but seemed to get that figured out. It's interesting that Derrick Dockery is working with the first team line in practice over Bill Nagy. If that's happening now, I'd think Dockery gets the call in Week 2. That's nothing against Nagy. I like his future. Arkin will need a year to redshirt basically.

Dandy Don (Alpine, x)

What can you tell us about newly signed CB Frank Walker?

Todd Archer
  (1:17 PM)

Journeyman type of player. He's a fourth or fifth corner at this point. Don't look for him to come in and be a starter or a huge help but he can take some snaps when offenses spread the field.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Swing passes and quarterback pitches were Felix Jones' forte in college; why is Jason Garrett just now getting around to figuring out that the dude can do some damage in space?

Todd Archer
  (1:18 PM)

Did you not see last year what they did with those short passes? Did you see the screens to him? I think Garrett knows what Felix can do. It just took a while for Jones to stay healthy enough to be counted on.

steve (milwaukee,wi)

todd like your work, my question is why are you and all the other writers especially tim on the romo bandwagon,yes he had a good 09, season and he is a good regular season stat guy ,but no superbowls,when is jerry going to spend a 1or2 round pick on a qb to groom for the future?

Todd Archer
  (1:19 PM)

I'm not opposed to your thinking there, but would you rather have Tyron Smith or Jake Locker? Where they have picked in recent years has not allowed them to get a QB. I think you'll see them look there possibly in 2012 but they are committed to Romo. Go back to '09. He had a bad game vs. the Giants in Week 2 and played great the rest of the way. There's no reason why that can't happen this year.

Michael (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)

I was wondering if there are any plans to limit Tashard Choices snaps further than they are, or if the team is considering Choice to maybe take Dez's special teams touches?

Todd Archer
  (1:21 PM)

Choice will not be a punt returner. Bryant shouldn't return punts either but that's another story. I'm not sure if they're going to limit Choice's work just yet because they need DeMarco Murray to understand more of the offense. Once that happens, I can see Murray getting more involved.

John Hollingsworth (Houston)

Hi Todd. I have to say that even though we lost the game I was very proud of how our offensive line held up against one of the best defensive teams in the league. Do you agree?

Todd Archer
  (1:22 PM)

I understand what you're saying, but they still lost. That's line one, as Jason Garrett likes to say, in the NFL. Now, they took what is considered an AFC Super Bowl contender to the wire. There should be something positive from that but there aren't any moral victories.

Yuma Cactus (Yuma. AZ)

What was the real deal with Robinson? Must have been more to it than the hammy to cut a fully guaranteed player with zero snaps.

Todd Archer
  (1:23 PM)

I think you'll see him come back next week. You'll see this roster churn every week. This isn't Wade Phillips' roster anymore.

smickball (Abilene)

Are you telling me the best CB option available is a guy who has bounced around the league for 9 years? How about some one younger with speed who might be able to grow?

Todd Archer
  (1:24 PM)

That's exactly what I'm saying. These guys don't grow on trees. The Cowboys aren't the only team short on corners. They think it's too early to put Butler out there obviously.

Aggie (TX)

Todd, your thoughts on Jenkins play? Also A&M going to SEC?

Todd Archer
  (1:25 PM)

I liked how Jenkins played. He was aggressive. He competed. He played well and he showed some toughness. I've said this before but I think he bounces back in 2011. As for your Aggies to the SEC, well, sometimes you need to be careful for what you wish for. I am, however, a Mike Sherman fan. I like how he operates in a game.

1978 hat (keller,tx)

Do you think Jerry Jones will be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes in next draft? I DO!!!!!

Todd Archer
  (1:25 PM)

No chance. They'd have to have the No. 1 pick.

Emmitt (Dallas)

I doubt the Cowboys have a true every-down RB. Felix is a tweener. Thoughts?

Todd Archer
  (1:26 PM)

This will be a breakout year for Jones. He ran tough vs. the Jets. You're not going to see a lot of backs have big days vs. NY this year. As for the every-down back deal, I'm not sure you need any every down back anymore, Emmitt. You need a couple of guys.

smickball (Abilene)

Has anyone asked Garrett why he called a designed play to go to a hobbled Dez against Revis?

Todd Archer
  (1:27 PM)

Who says that was the design of the play?

Erik (Illinois)

Todd, your the man! I like what I seen Sunday. Mistakes can be fixed. But Cowboys played A LOT better than I expected. Could seeing a game like this give me hope for the rest of the season? Jets are one of the toughest teams on the schedule.

Todd Archer
  (1:27 PM)

Answered this one earlier, but Erik wins some points for the praise at the beginning. I think you should have some hope but this week is critical to the year, IMO.

Shawn (Ashe NC)

Todd, What should we expect of the Boys this week?

Todd Archer
  (1:27 PM)

I'm saying 31-20 win.

Bryan M (Frisco)

Do you think when Bruce Carter comes back he could contribute to the nickle packages this year?

Todd Archer
  (1:28 PM)

I can fake my way through an answer here, but I've never seen the kid play. He has the athleticism but there's a lot to learn in the nickel package. I think it would be asking a lot of him to do that this year. He can be a special teams guy, no doubt, and maybe he gets in a little nickel work.

Anthony (Calgary)

Hey Todd, how is Dez this week? Is the leg going to be a nagging problem?

Todd Archer
  (1:30 PM)

He's not practicing today. The quad could be a nagging deal a little like the hip last year. But I'd expect him to play, especially if they cut Laurent Robinson.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Jerry Jones went public, and gave Tony Romo the infamous "vote of confidence", aka kiss of death. They've already restructured his contract, are Romo's days numbered if he doesn't step up quickly?

Todd Archer
  (1:31 PM)

They actually extended his contract three years, technically. The restructure didn't take any money out of his pocket this year or any other year.

James (Austin, TX)

Any truth to these rumors of Choice being traded or released?

Todd Archer
  (1:32 PM)

I'm not hearing anything from anybody reliable. Plus, you would not get much in return. Conditional pick.

Gary (92407)

What about moving Newman to slot? gets him off the field for snaps keeping him hopefully healthier.

Todd Archer
  (1:33 PM)

I wouldn't move him to the slot, necessarily. Too much getting banged around, but I would limit his work to the nickel and dime package on the outside early and have McCann play the slot.

Charlie (Westlake)

Even more concerning that Romo's fumble was the risk of injury on that play. Why can't Garrett get Romo to not take unnecessary risks?

Todd Archer
  (1:34 PM)

Charlie, if you can get me on Vaquero I'll get you the answer. I kid. I kid. Look, every quarterback makes mistakes. Even Tom Brady. Would you be surprised to know Drew Brees has 25 interceptions in the fourth quarter since 2006? Romo has 17.

HD (Wills Point)

Is Scandrick going to IR for 6 weeks? Free up a roster spot!

Todd Archer
  (1:35 PM)

No such thing anymore. If you're on injured reserve, you're out for the year. They used to have an in-season IR back in the day. I'd like to see something like that return.

losboysz (Fort Wayne,in)

Alan Ball got a lot of flack last year, but in the game Sunday nite he played real well your thoughts?

Todd Archer
  (1:36 PM)

I don't think he was that bad. He started slow but played better late. He can't miss that tackle on a screen but overall I thought he was OK. I'm prepared for the flak that will come from that comment.

Aggie (TX)

How bout this CB guy that the Dolphins just released? Sapp? Are they intersted in him?

Todd Archer
  (1:36 PM)

Why would you want a guy who just gave up a 99-yard touchdown?

Liam (Eugene OR)

Aloha Todd! I was watching NFL Reply last night and noticed Nagy got overpowered a lot. He seemed to be doing his job by just being in the way. You think we'll see Dockery in the lineup soon?

Todd Archer
  (1:37 PM)

Aloha back at ya. Yes, I think we'll see Dockery in there. Nagy needs strength. That'll come. He knows what to do but doesn't have the power yet to back it up.

George (Fredericksburg VA)

I know Butler is young and inexpierenced but big and good size and a ton of upside how does that compare to a "Journeyman."

Todd Archer
  (1:38 PM)

The coaches will go with a veteran early in the year when they have to win. Butler could be up later in the year.

Dennis (Tucson)

If Jerrys so strapped for cash and or watching the cap very closely why is he playing musical chairs with the fb and wr? Do you think Robinson will come back at frank walkers expense in a few weeks?

Todd Archer
  (1:38 PM)

I have never bought the theory that Jerry is struggling for cash. He's not. It's a myth.

Brandon Graves (Waco, Tx)

Isn't Nathan Vasher a free agent? What record do you think the Cowboys will have at the end of the year?

Todd Archer
  (1:39 PM)

I'll check on Vasher. I can't give you an answer. I said 10-6 at the start of the season. I can't change after one game.

Shane (Delaware OH)

Why was Dez still in the game? They got it done with Ogletree while Dez was out. I'm pretty sure Austin's TD was while Dez was out. I'll take Ogletree over a 20% Dez that became a liability any day!

Todd Archer
  (1:41 PM)

And if they took him out and lost people would have said, 'A Dez at 85 percent is better than a 100 percent Ogletree.' It's a no-win situation. The player said he was OK. The medical people said he was OK. Here's one thing about Dez that I wonder about: He has to be more than a fastball pitcher. Here's what I mean: there are a ton of guys who can throw smoke but hitters figure that out. Dez has to learn how to play when he doesn't have the fastball.

Tom (Dallas)

The biggest problem I saw in the loss was the inability of this team to get the tough yard when the other team is expecting it. This put pressure to call a dangerous pass play at the goal line and led to not getting a first down that led to the punt block. Is Tanner the answer r better line play?

Todd Archer
  (1:42 PM)

I'm wondering if it's schematic because third-and-1 has not been kind no matter who's running the ball. I'm not ready to say an undrafted kid is the answer to anything. Not yet anyway.

Mark B (Austin )

I thought the defense played very well given that they were scrambling with unfamiliar lineups the whole game. Is there a possibility of a letdown against SF since their best efforts weren't good enough, or do you see another strong performance this week?

Todd Archer
  (1:43 PM)

I don't think Ryan will allow that to happen, but you're right they need to guard against it. I don't see a ton of weapons from the Niners that scare you. Not a lot of speed, a little like the Jets.

smickball (Abilene)

Do you feel the defenses success against the run was a good sign or more the Jets deciding to attack with the pass? I'm still not convinced by the D as many are.

Todd Archer
  (1:44 PM)

Could be a little of both. I think Brian Schottenheimer went away from the running game when the Cowboys were down to their fourth and fifth corners plus a safety at the nickel. That was smart, but early on I thought the run defense ws pretty good.

Kyle (San Diego)

Todd, I have a whole new respect for Mike Jenkins. The way he played Sunday, and how he kept coming back for more. I will never doubt his Toughness/Ability again, I personally thought he did amazing.

Todd Archer
  (1:45 PM)

Just letting Kyle voice his thoughts.

tino gianacopulos (mexico)

see? nobody is talking about the main question in offseason, cowboys defense, they had a great game vs Jets, can we expect a Top 10 defense this season? and a shot to the playoffs?

Todd Archer
  (1:46 PM)

I'm not ready to say top 10 after one game. Better than last year? Yes. But I don't know if the Jets will be better than a middle of the road offense.

Blake (Wichita KS)

What can Choice do that Tanner can't? I say if a team wants to give a high draft pick for one of our b/u RB's or TE's...do it! Someone wants Murray for a 2nd?...he'd be gone if I ran the team!

Todd Archer
  (1:47 PM)

Wait, you want to trade Murray already? And just so I have this right: a team would give up a second round pick next year for a guy who was picked in the third round this year? Can you see why that doesn't make sense from any side?

Tom (NJ)

Todd, why didn't Garrett dial up three consecutive run plays after Witten's long catch and run? Why even put Romo in a position where he can throw a pick or fumble the ball? Pound it three times, kick the FG at worst, and go up by two scores with about 8 minutes left in the 4th.

Todd Archer
  (1:48 PM)

Heckuva a question, Tom. I would've come back to the run that Felix Jones scored on from the 1 at least once. They didn't do that.

Mark B (Austin )

After seeing all of the roster moves this summer, I kind of expected this to be a rebuilding year. After Sunday's game, I'm not so sure. What's your assessment?

Todd Archer
  (1:48 PM)

I'm not in on the "rebuilding" word. You don't rebuild when you have some of the pieces the Cowboys have. They can contend for a playoff spot. I said that before Sunday's game and I believe it more now.

Dennis (Tucson)

I heard Garretts reason for the shotgun inside the 2 yard line. But still, would Jimmy Johnson ever have allowed his team to run those plays inside the 2 no matter how the defense is playing? Not a chance, offense should dictate to the defense, Jason needs to learn from that.

Todd Archer
  (1:49 PM)

If Garrett had Emmitt Smith as his running back I'm sure he would've given the ball to Emmitt Smith.

Dennis (Tucson)

Any idea if Bryant is just being held out as a precaution or if he may actually miss week 2?

Todd Archer
  (1:50 PM)

No idea yet. Jason Garrett's press conference is at 2:15. Check back on the blog for updates.

Ben (Atlanta Ga)

Do you think we will see more of the Razorback (Wildcat) formation this week? Maybe a big play from that formation will aid in the 4th quarter/Tony Romo issues.

Todd Archer
  (1:50 PM)

They did not have a Razorback snap in training camp practice. Sorry, I think that formation is done for the year or even more limited than it was in 2010.

Dustin (NC)

I know its one game but I can see Lee being a star linebacker in the league. With that said, we took him last year injuried in the 2nd round. Hopefully we can get that same thing out of Carter.

Todd Archer
  (1:51 PM)

That's a positive way to look at it.

Tom (NJ)

Todd have you read Choice's tweet from the other day? He made it sound like he was traded.

Todd Archer
  (1:52 PM)

I saw them. I interpreted them differently.

Joe (Auburn,Ca)

When will the Cowboys just cut Buehler? They kept him for a kick off specialist. He was hardly that on Sunday night. We could use the the extra roster spot! Are you listening JJ???

Todd Archer
  (1:53 PM)

I thought his kickoffs were really good. His first one wasn't a touchback but the hangtime and placement was perfect. The Jets got to the 22 on it.

David Marks (Baghdad, Iraq)

Hey Tod, Do you think that Jerry Jones' comments are a sign of him finally loosening the reigns over the team? I believe this could be a great sign for the future Cowboys.

Todd Archer
  (1:54 PM)

Here's what I've always believed about Jerry Jones: if you're the head coach of his team, he will listen to just about everything you say. The head coach has more power than people believe. You need a strong head coach and that's what Jimmy was, what Parcells was and what Garrett appears to be.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Are you any good at your job or should we expect you to be released soon?

Todd Archer
  (1:54 PM)

I hope we don't churn the roster.

Justin (Plano)

Why do people want to get rid of Romo after one game of a very long season?

Todd Archer
  (1:55 PM)

They think they've seen this story before. Maybe they have but the options available are not an upgrade and I'm not sure there's a slam dunk they could get to make this team better right away.

The Dude (Dallas, Tx)

Since we never know what will happen over a full NFL season, if the Cowboys are picking in the top 10 again, making a move for Andrew Luck would be a big splash Jerry loves to make. The rookie salary cap manages a rookies' salary and this team has a solid foundation to support a rookie qb!!!!

Todd Archer
  (1:56 PM)

Not a bad thought, but what type of package - picks and players - do you have to give up to get that pick and does that put Luck in a terrible spot for the first three years of his career?

Dennis (Tucson)

Can you confirm if Dockery is taking first team reps at lg?

Todd Archer
  (1:57 PM)

He is.

Shawn (Ashe, NC)

Will we see K. Brookings more this weekend?

Todd Archer
  (1:57 PM)

I thought Brooking played pretty well. Bradie James was credited with one assist by the coaches. I can see Brooking getting a few more snaps.

Yuma Cactus (Yuma. AZ)

Nice fastball analogy Todd. Will Church challenge for a starting spot this year or do you think they will stay with Sensy/Elam this year and give him a shot next year?

Todd Archer
  (1:58 PM)

I'm fine with Elam and Sensabaugh for this year. I can see Church getting a shot in 2012. If they didn't add Elam in free agency this year, I think Church wins a starting spot.

CGRINN (MY CUBE)

Todd,What are your thoughts on former Cowboys voicing their opinions' on the current Cowboys? I feel like the most recent comments about Dez were a little unnecessary.

Todd Archer
  (2:00 PM)

They can have their opinions and they carry some weight, but I'm not sure they know what is really happening at Valley Ranch right now. They're watching the games like us.

Brandon (Fort Worth)

Who was responsible for covering the tight ends against the Jets? Our D did a decent job against their wide receivers with the injuries they had, especially Holmes, but Keller was really moving the chains.

Todd Archer
  (2:01 PM)

Had a post about this yesterday. Running backs and tight ends had 142 catches vs. Ryan in Cleveland last year. I'd be worried about that this year.

EGTuna (Sterling, VA)

How come the Cowboys don't go no huddle or sugar huddle more often? Get that first first down, then put pressure on the D. I am SO sick of seeing the ball snapped with play clock at :01.

Todd Archer
  (2:02 PM)

Kind of difficult to do with two rookies and a guy making his second start of his career. That could be one reason.

Mjck003 (Irving, texas)

Todd, you and all your counterparts expected an easy win for the Jetz. Didn't that mean that you guys thought the cowboys were going to be a bad team. Some of your experct predicted a rebuilding year and 8-8 at best. If that were true then doesn't it mean that this team actually played better then expected on sunday and if so does the game on Sunday make you change your opinion on this team?

Todd Archer
  (2:03 PM)

Umm, I said 24-20, Jets. That doesn't sound like an easy win. And I said 10-6 for the record. My opinion remains the same. You've got me confused with another short, fat, ugly guy.

Erik (Illinois)

NFC didn't look to great this past weekend. And Dallas should only "grow" as a team this year. I believe they have more to prove this year than any other, especially after last season. Hopefully this team forms a bond together and can put a nice run together.

Todd Archer
  (2:04 PM)

Insert any NFC team where you wrote "Dallas." That's this conference except for maybe Green Bay and New Orleans.

David Marks (Baghdad, Iraq)

I really liked what I saw out of Manny Johnson these last couple years on the scout team... Do you think he could have been a Contributor to our team?

Todd Archer
  (2:05 PM)

He just wasn't fast enough. He didn't do much on special teams either. Good kid, solid, dependable but just not enough to make the final roster.

Chris (Dallas)

With the lack of a salary cap last year, COULD THEY have cut some of the people that they decided to this year after the last game and gotten the dead money off of the books rather than have the 20m in dead money next year? With Garrett coming back, it seems like if they had made those decisions before the lockout, it could have helped them quite a bit or am I misunderstanding the procedure?

Todd Archer
  (2:07 PM)

They thought about it but ultimately chose not to do it. They thought - and so did every team - that there could be some penalty for dumping the contracts like that. It's a hindsight view peiple take on that. Looking back on it, they could have and should have done it.

Todd Archer
  (2:08 PM)

Thanks for all of the questions. I went a little long because of that break earlier. Hopefully I got to enough of you. If not, send me an e-mail or a direct message on Twitter (@toddarcher).Thanks.Courage.