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October 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Todd Archer

Todd Archer
  (1:03 PM)

Sorry for the delay there. Let's go

Mike (Saratoga NY)

Todd, good job pointing out that Garrett is in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation with reining in Romo and leaning on the running game. Has Garrett given any indication of whether Arkin will be in the mix at LG due to the injury to Nagy? If not, why?

Todd Archer
  (1:04 PM)

Arkin is in the midst of a redshirt year. If he's not getting a look with Nagy out for the year, I'd be surprised if he plays at all as a rookie. If they wanted to play him, they would not gave signed Holland or Loper. Holland could start Sunday.

Matt (SI)

Todd, what are the chances the Cowboys bring Tony Sparano back as O line coach or offensive coordinator next year after he's inevitably fired?

Todd Archer
  (1:06 PM)

It's a good thought and it's something I blogged about Tuesday. I wish I can state emphatically either way, but I can't. Garrett has said he enjoyed his time with Sparano in '07 but he has a fierce loyalty to Hudson Houck. Sparano liked working with Garrett but he might want to go somewhere else where he would get the chance to call plays (provided he's no longer in Miami.) I'd do it because I think Sparano is an excellent coach no matter what has happened with the Dolphins.

Shawn (North Carolina)

Todd, Do you see the Boyz making the playoff's? I know its early but Darn! I'm statring to lose faith in my Boyz.

Todd Archer
  (1:08 PM)

I had them in the playoffs at the beginning of the season. I'm not ready to say they're out of the playoffs. They have to go on a run now, however. They have to be 5-3 at the midway point, IMO, and that means winning at Philadelphia.

Chris (Wyoming)

With all this running vs passing talk in the play calling, where is the screen pass in all of this? We did a great job of running the screens in the preseason with the running backs and now we're seeing hardly any and those we do get are to the tight end? One of the runs at the end of the patriot game should have been a screen. I think we need a lot more of those to take advantage of our smaller, quicker lineman. How about we use the strength of our team rather than a weakness (slamming our backs straight up the middle of the line)? thanks, always enjoy the chats!

Todd Archer
  (1:08 PM)

Chris says this better than I could. Hey, don't take my job. I wonder if they're still running power plays behind a line that's not built for power. I'm sure it's not that simple, but that's what it seems like.

Long Island Cowboy (NY)

Are your colleagues trying to stir the pot today? 2011 Draft class already a failure. Dez Bryant is becoming Antonio Bryant. Are you guys looking for fireworks today from Garret and the players?

Todd Archer
  (1:09 PM)

I agree that Dez Bryant has been closer to Antonio Bryant (look at his numbers as a rookie with Quincy Carter and Chat Hutchinson at QB) than the 88s people want to compare him to.

Pineapple (Hawaii)

Why sign two OL to replace one on IR? Were they going to add a OL even if Naggy didn't get hurt because of the poor play last week?

Todd Archer
  (1:10 PM)

I think Loper might have surprised them with his workout. Holland was the guy all along provided he was in shape. He showed he was in shape, but they felt like they might have something in Loper too.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

Todd what's the status on DeMarcus Ware playing on Sunday against the Rams dealing with back spasms?

Todd Archer
  (1:11 PM)

Ware had back spasms during the Patriots' game. He is sitting out today but it's nothing serious and he will play Sunday vs. St. Louis. I'm told there's no need to worry.

Shawna (Wilmington, NC)

Why do think that we are not seeing more deep balls thrown using maximum protection?

Todd Archer
  (1:13 PM)

If you max protect you take out your best threat in Jason Witten. And teams just aren't letting them throw it deep. They're not letting receivers get by because the safeties are playing deep. Now, at some point you have to take a chance regardless and hope your guy makes a play. I'd like to see them take a chance or two but not at the expense of Witten.

Matt (Austin)

Prior to Mario William's injury, Wade Phillips changed the culture of the Texans' D. Looking back, did Garrett tank as Offensive Coordinator in 2010 in order to get Wade fired?

Todd Archer
  (1:13 PM)

Simple answer - NO. The defense didn't play any better when Phillips left.

Steve (Chicago)

Who is going to see the bulk of the work at RB this week? Tashard Choice or DeMarco Murray?

Todd Archer
  (1:14 PM)

I would say Murray but I think it'll be close to a 50-50 split. Some of you have asked about Phillip Tanner. I'd like to see the rookie get a chance for a couple of carries to see if he can spark something.

Braden Pelischek (Wichita, KS)

Why isn't Stephen McGee above Kitna on the depth chart yet?

Todd Archer
  (1:15 PM)

He's not better than Kitna.

Clovis Mike (CA)

With the conservative play-calling at the end of the Pats game has Jason Garrett lost faith in Tony Romo? And if that's the case, I think it's safe to assume the Cowboys will be looking for his replacement in next year's draft.

Todd Archer
  (1:16 PM)

Garrett insists he has not lost faith in Romo. I think the playcalling against New England had more to do with the fact they were playing on the road against a team that had not lost at home in a long time. He played it close to the vest against one of the AFC's best and it didn't work. I don't think you can draw conclusions yet on Garrett's trust level. Let's see how the game plan looks over the next few weeks.

Nathan (Marshall)

Can the defense carry this team to 10 wins? With the running game as bad as it is, and Romo's melt downs, is the defense, which I think is pretty good, good enough?

Todd Archer
  (1:19 PM)

I like what the defense has done, but to me teams that rely on defenses must have crazy defenses, like Baltimore when it won the Super Bowl. This isn't a cazy defense. This is a good defense that will get some turnovers and hold the opponent to 17-20 points most weeks. The offense has to come through for them to get to 10 wins. I still think it's possible.

John (Ben Wheeler)

Will Bruce Carter contribute, or will he be just a special teamer after he gets off the PUP? Does it matter? With Sean Lee looking like an All Pro LB, and James and Brooking coming in off the bench, is there even any room this season?

Todd Archer
  (1:21 PM)

There's room for Carter but I think this year it'll be mainly on special teams and perhaps in a sub package to cover tight ends and backs. Carter's story will be written in 2012 but he can help this year to a degree.

TJ (Atlanta)

Do you see signs of improvement ahead for the offensive line?

Todd Archer
  (1:21 PM)

What might help is seeing the league's last ranked run defense this week.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Todd, should media members on all of the sports sites and television shows be held accountable for their predictions by losing or keeping their job based on how accurately they predict the outcomes of games or series? I'm thinking that they would be straight up picks, not against the spread. I think this would be good because it would reinforce to the public that the news outlets have a high standard for who they allow to comment expertly on sports topics.

Todd Archer
  (1:24 PM)

Because we pick games incorrectly? I'd rather have it based on the stories we write and the information we give.

Curtis Polston (Oklahoma)

Why is David Buehler still here?

Todd Archer
  (1:25 PM)

I don't have a good answer for you. Sorry. Maybe when Bruce Carter is activated to the 53-man roster Buehler will be let go. It's not an anti-Buehler thing. It's that Dan Bailey has done an excellent job.

ricky (scottsdale)

Why no consideration of a trade for Matt Forte? Prob could have gotten him for choice and a 3rd or 2nd rounder. Its not like this team knows how to draft anyway

Todd Archer
  (1:26 PM)

Why would Chicago do that? They wouldn't.

Nathan (Marshall)

Does Harris make the practice squad?

Todd Archer
  (1:26 PM)

If he clears waivers, I think he'll be back.

Jaelen Rollins (Simi Valley, CA)

Why do Cowboys bother to use Tony Romo? I think they should pick up a new franchise quarterback, wat do you think?

Todd Archer
  (1:27 PM)

And where do these guys just roll off the assembly line exactly?

Kofi (Accra)

Todd, what is going on with Doug Free, was he a 1year fluke he is playing terrible.....do you think it will make a difference if he is moved from Left Tackle to Right Tackle

Todd Archer
  (1:28 PM)

He has not played as well this year. I'm told he's healthy. I just think he's in a rut right now. He wasn't that bad vs. New England but the early penalties didn't help him.

Jason (PA)

Do you know if the Cowboys have ever asked Michael Irvin to be an "active" mentor/tutor for Dez Bryant? Given Irvin's passion for football and the Cowboys and Bryant's unbelievable potential but questionable background and current maturity, it seems like an obvious match!

Todd Archer
  (1:28 PM)

Not sure Michael would want to take such a pay cut. I'd think they talk time to time, but Michael's making a living doing something else.

Curtis Polston (Oklahoma)

Do you see very much input from strength coach Mike Woicik?

Todd Archer
  (1:29 PM)

Yes, but his impact will be felt more next offseason. The lockout kind of limited his effectiveness because the players were not in the weight room from March-June.

The Dude (Dallas, Tx)

After the coup Cincinnati got for Palmer, if romo continues to struggle, why shouldn't JJ see what he could get for romo in a trade? A fresh start could do the Cowboys and romo good, and would give the Cowboys more ammo to make a powerplay in the draft for a qb.

Todd Archer
  (1:31 PM)

I think the Palmer trade is more of an anamoly than anything else. Since the Roy Williams' deal you haven't seen wide receivers get that much in return. I think teams will be careful when giving up picks. Now, I've said this before: draft a quarterback early next year. I think Romo will be fine and get this team on a roll here over the next few weeks. Call me crazy or burn this if it doesn't happen.

Michael (Boston, MA.)

Just read that Bradford will start Sunday. Is that realistic and if so, how effective would he be?

Todd Archer
  (1:33 PM)

We just talked to Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. He wasn't sure Bradford would be ready. Bradford won't practice today and Spagnuolo said the QB has a hard time putting pressure on the ankle. We'll know more later in the week, but if he plays I'd think he would be limited.

Karyn (NJ)

What is your opinion of DeMarco Murray? Can he be as productive as Felix Jones while Felix is in the infirmary?

Todd Archer
  (1:34 PM)

Well, if you're the Cowboys you'd like Murray to be more productive than what Jones has shown so far. That's not a knock on Felix. I thought he had a good game vs. NE in turning bad plays into 1-yard gains. He ran hard. But the Rams do not have a good run defense, so this would be a good time to get the ground game going.

Brandon (Waco)

How do you think the Cowboys record will be after the next five games?

Todd Archer
  (1:34 PM)

It has to be 4-1 at the least, IMO, for them to make a run.

Chris, WV [via mobile]

Hi Todd, will our fb be healthy this week.

Todd Archer
  (1:35 PM)

Tony Fiammetta is back to practice today. I'd bet he's playing but I'm not going to say the cure of the running game will come from the fullback. I think the tight ends have done pretty good in that spot. The line has to play better.

John (NC)

People are getting too crazy about the recent L's to San Fran, Det and NE. Sure they were horrible L's but these some of these teams are far better than anyone thought. To put things in perspective it's not that bad.

Todd Archer
  (1:36 PM)

They beat San Francisco, so that means it's a quality win, right? The Detroit loss hurts because they gave the Lions the game. The NE loss, I guess, you can say was a quality loss even if those should not exist in the NFL.

Shawna (Wilmington, NC)

Since Martellus Bennett has a hard time blocking and catching the ball, why is he on the field at all?

Todd Archer
  (1:38 PM)

I wrote this last week. I think they should've tried to move him before the deadline. Bennett will not be back in 2012 because he is a free agent. Why not get a late-round pick for him? Maybe they investigated it and there was nothing for him.

Pineapple (Hawaii)

What's all this Dez doesn't know the playbook stuff? Is Jerry getting in the way of the coaching staff that needs to get on Dez to work harder or be disciplined? Funny that Tony seems to trust Robinson more who's been here a few weeks more than Dez. Very sad.

Todd Archer
  (1:40 PM)

Pineapple, Jerry's comments are more about route running than knowing the playbook. If the route is a supposed to be run at 10 yards, run it at 10, not 8, not 12. If you're supposed to find a window in zone coverage, find it, don't just sit between two defenders.

Todd(Allentown Pa) [via mobile]

Any insight to why Dez vanishes is it true he still struggles with what route to run n when to break routes off? It's def concerning.

Todd Archer
  (1:42 PM)

Some of it has to do with how little Dez has been able to practice. Some of it is just how he is. He is so naturally gifted that he can get away with not being precise. Sometimes that is OK, but you have to trust the system.

Kofi (Accra)

Why not give the kid Phillip Tanner a carry or two..let see what he will be able to do...do you see that happening???

Todd Archer
  (1:43 PM)

I'm with you. I don't think it'll happen, but I'm with you.

Jerry (Charleston SC)

Do you believe Cowboys can go 7-0 with these next 7 games or at least 6-1 or 5-2 lowest? They've shown they can play with anybody in the league but just have to cut down the mistakes & play smart football in 4th quarter

Todd Archer
  (1:44 PM)

They would be better served to go 1-0 seven straight times. Not to go Jason Garrett on you, but there's no way this team or fans of this team can look at the schedule and say they're going to go 7-0. It's just not in their history to project such a thing. One game at a time is a boring statement but true.

Todd(Allentown Pa) [via mobile]

Is Holland or Lopper going to be an upgrade over Nagy. Nagy seemed to be on his heels a lot. Then what happens when Dockery comes back. best guards shoulld start. Thoughts?

Todd Archer
  (1:45 PM)

We'll see. Holland's experience should help. I'm not sure Loper is a guy to count on just yet.

Joe (Fresno)

What is your assessment of Garrett as the OC and headcoach so far this season?

Todd Archer
  (1:46 PM)

As a head coach, I think he's had the team prepared. As the coordinator he's been up and down, just like the offense.

Stephen (Kilgore)

Should Dallas put a Full Back in the backfield to help open up a whole for a running back? I know Fiammetta has been hurt, but why not put John Phillips back there to give our running game a chance. I cant help but think one reason why Emmit Smith was so good at closing games was because he had a Moose in fron of him.

Todd Archer
  (1:48 PM)

I'm sure Johnston helped but I'd put more of it on Erik Williams, Nate Newton, Mark Stepnoski, Larry Allen and Mark Tuinei.

Matt (Austin)

Todd, something is fishy here.Garrett's Offense under Wade, with Romo as QB = 20.12 ppg Same Off under Garrett, but with Kitna = 29.1 ppg

Todd Archer
  (1:51 PM)

Not sure how to answer that one but I'm sure people will like the numbers.

John (NC)

Sorry meant the L was to the Jets not San Fran

Todd Archer
  (1:51 PM)

No worries.

Steve (Syracuse)

Sean Lee needs 3 INT's with 11 games to go to tie a club record for INT's by a LB in a season. 1973/75- 6- Lee Roy Jordan 1968- 6-Chuck Howley

Todd Archer
  (1:52 PM)

That's two pretty good names right there. The last time a LB led the Cowboys in picks was in 1999 with Dexter Coakley.

al (god's country)

Ok after several days of wondering what the hell happened. I think Garret made the right calls in the red zone and going up by 3 points with 5 + min. would give the offense plentyo time to score if needed. However once he got the ball back he need to take a page out of the patriots plan. Don't give the ball back to brady. You have to go for the throat just like when the patriots went for it on 4th and 3 against the colts, they knew they had to keep payton off the field. The boys needed to have the same killer attitude. Your thoughts?

Todd Archer
  (1:54 PM)

And Belichick was heavily criticized for making such a move. You can't win in that situation. My problem was the second down call. Third-and-forever, running the draw was fine. I would've called a conservative pass on second down. But honestly they would not have been in that spot with better red zone execution. They needed TDs not FGs in that game.

Todd Archer
  (1:55 PM)

Thanks for all of the questions. If you have more, shoot me an e-mail or follow me on Twitter (@toddarcher). And remember to check out our blog.See you guys again next week.Courage.