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September 29, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (1:31 PM)

Thanks for joining me. We've got quite an intriguing matchup this weekend with Highland Park's Matthew Stafford coming home with the 3-0 Lions. Fire away.

Joe Garcia (Fresno, CA)

T-Mac your DC for the Detroit game, what do you do? Myself, assign a safety over Megatron, watch for the wheel routes and screens to Best considering Jared Allen had a full meal last week and they don't want to make D-Ware DPOY in 1 game. Bonus! Lee with another pick from applied pressure.

Tim MacMahon
  (1:33 PM)

I'll let Rob Ryan handle the X's and O's, but they can't let Calvin Johnson beat them. He's going to make plays, but the Cowboys have to prevent them from being big ones down the field. Much easier said than done, but I'd go with a bend-but-don't-break philosophy with the coverage while carefully picking spots to attack with the blitz.

Ernie (Fort Worth)

...just curious about this. What were the rules specifics that designated Ball's hit on a braced Santana Moss as illegal and Landry's launch into a completely exposed Laurent Robinson as legit?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:34 PM)

You can certainly make a strong case that either both should have been flagged or neither. I'd go with neither. The rules don't allow defenders to hit a defenseless receiver in the head or use their helmet as a weapon against a defenseless receiver.

David (Florida)

Tim: Dez looking better this week and how is thigh bruise going? Juicy matchup for him this week! Thanks

Tim MacMahon
  (1:35 PM)

Dez isn't practicing today. The thigh apparently tightened up on him. Unless we hear something different, I'd still expect him to play, but he won't be 100 percent.

Sterling in Fort Worth, Tx [via mobile]

Do you think the Cowboys should try to sign another WR? Even with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten fighting through injuries and Miles Austin coming back after the bye week it still feels like we're short a weapon on two.

Tim MacMahon
  (1:37 PM)

I think they ought to bring in some guys for workouts at least, although not big-name, high-drama dudes like Randy Moss or T.O. But it's not like they're going to sign a guy this week and have him ready to go Sunday. Their logic is that Miles Austin will be ready to go after the bye week, so they don't think signing a WR now would be worth it. In hindsight, they should have addressed the issue this summer. Going back further, getting rid of Patrick Crayton was a mistake.

Kyle (SLC)

Who do you think gets their contract exstended first Sensabaugh or Elam. They have both looked great this year?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:40 PM)

Honestly, I'd be surprised if either one gets extended during the season. That's not a slight on them, because they have played well. I just don't see the Cowboys making a long-term commitment to either one. They believe Barry Church will develop into a starter, probably next season. Plus, it's not like the market was strong for Sensabaugh or Elam this summer. The Cowboys can let them test the market again and probably get them back for reasonable money.

nate (keyman)

tim what will the cowboys do with bennett?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:42 PM)

He'll play out the rest of the season and probably sign with another team as a free agent. Jason Garrett defended Bennett yesterday, saying he's done a good job as a blocking TE and pretty much pinning the blame for the incompletion in the end zone on Romo for not throwing the ball up high. But let's be honest: The Cowboys didn't use a second-round pick on Bennett for him to be just a blocker. He's been a disappointment. Maybe he'll blossom somewhere else where he'll be higher on the passing pecking order, but he's a bit player and short-timer here.

Kirk (FL)

So Tim give us an update on the injury situation......Also is there any chance Scandrick plays at all this week?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:44 PM)

Scandrick, Austin and Dockery are out this week. The hope is that the first two will be back after the bye. Not sure about fullback Tony Fiammetta's status with him missing today's practice due to a sore hamstring. Think Dez Bryant will play despite him sitting out today.

Craig, Canada [via mobile]

The reffing was brutal on Monday night. Call on Ball. He had a shoulder tackle hit to the chest or a receiver who made the catch and gets 15 yards. Landry destroys Robinson when he has no chance to protect himself and no call. I don't think it was but in comparison should have been. Ware gets tackled and the 3rd last play of the game right in front of the ref. Just brutal. Anyway, which player has responded the best to Rob Ryan's coaching. Jenkins looks like a much tougher and focused player this year.

Tim MacMahon
  (1:46 PM)

I've said all along that Mike Jenkins and Anthony Spencer were the two biggest keys to this defense. They were great in 2009 when this was the NFC's top D and bad (Jenkins)/mediocre (Spencer) in 2010 when this was the NFC's worst D. They've both been very good so far this season, and Jenkins has done it while dealing with several injuries. Gotta mention Jason Hatcher, too. He's made a major leap under Ryan, although Hatcher will be out Sunday with a calf strain. And Sean Lee has obviously been spectacular.

al bach (grand prairie)

cowboys need a receiver. Would RANDY MOSS be a good pick up? If not who?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:47 PM)

There is a better chance of the Cowboys re-signing Drew Pearson than signing Randy Moss, who is exactly the kind of player Jason Garrett doesn't need in the locker room and Dez Bryant doesn't need as an influence.

emmit (hall of fame)

whats the status of bruce carter, is he working with the scout team? Will he be availabe for the Patriots game or the following week?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:49 PM)

Bruce Carter can't practice while on the PUP list. He's eligible to come off it after Week 6. He looks good during his rehab sessions. The hope is that he can be a special teams force and earn a role in a few defensive packages this season.

Muneer (Detroit)

Which team will have more talent on the field Sunday?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:53 PM)

That's a very interesting question. If all NFL players were eligible for a draft right now, Ndamakong Suh, Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford will all go off the board early. Heard Darren Woodson say on ESPN radio that these Lions reminded him of the early '90s Cowboys -- young, talented, hungry and learning to win. The Cowboys' best players -- Ware, Witten, Romo -- are more experienced. I think the Lions will have a slight talent edge Sunday, in part because Miles Austin wil be out.

jim (Maine)

What are the boys gonna do about Costa? they can't go through the season with what transpired the other night

Tim MacMahon
  (1:54 PM)

They'll work hard to get the snap situation fixed. Other than that, he played pretty well Monday. Of course, it's kind of a big deal. If Costa can't get over the yips or whatever it is, they might have to go with undrafted rookie Kevin Kowalski at some point. Kowalski actually did a good job filling in for Costa in the fourth quarter of the win over the Niners.

Jamie (Beach Haven NJ)

For a long time I believed that it was ridiculous to get a veteran third receiver, but I think we need a "back-up starting receiver." Ogletree seems lost and without Dez or Miles there is no one to stretch the field. Thoughts?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:55 PM)

Laurent Robinson has a chance to be that guy. He did a good job in his Cowboys debut, considering the circumstances, and was productive for St. Louis last season.

Craig (Arlington)

If Detroit can give up 20 first half points to Minnesota, how concerned do we REALLY need to be?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:56 PM)

Did you watch the second half? The Lions have been pretty dominant for five of six halves this season. They're definitely an up-and-coming team that rightfully has the Cowboys' respect.

Daniel (Fort Worth)

I had Dez and Felix as my fantasy starters. Should I be concerned about either for Sunday?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:57 PM)

I expect both to start. Felix has practiced the last couple of days. We'll keep you posted if Dez's status changes.

Eric (Duncanville)

Is Terence Newman ready to play full speed this week? Seemed like he was on the sidelines for part of Monday night's game.

Tim MacMahon
  (1:58 PM)

Newman played well Monday night, but he got dinged up late in the game with a shot to the head. He checked out OK. His groin isn't an issue at this point.

Aggie (TX)

Tim, when will this offense actually get going? What excuse does Ogletree have to not have all the playbook and adjustments down by now?

Tim MacMahon
  (1:59 PM)

It got going pretty good for three quarters against the Jets. And in the fourth quarter/OT against the Niners. But it'll probably sputter again Sunday without Miles Austin. The Monday night game offered proof of his value to this team.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:01 PM)

OK, folks, gotta wrap it up and get ready for Garrett's press conference. Appreciate all the questions. Hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon if I didn't touch on a topic you really want to know about.