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November 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jean-Jacques Taylor

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:00 PM)

No music today.Lil man is home and I can't put my headphones on just in case he tries to do something crazy, while I'm chatting. Instead, I'm in the game room watching the Law & Order. Let's roll

raul (rio grande city texas)

Mr Taylor,ST almost cost the 'Boys the game yesterday and AOA did not impress at all...why has this team not brought in someone like Marty Gilyard or Trindon Holliday to take care of this chores?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:03 PM)

My first question is always, if Gilyard and Holliday were so good at their craft, why are they available? AOA did a decent job on punts, something he did in college. He hasn't handled KO returns before until now. They're two distinctly different skill sets and it takes time to find a rhythm on kickoff returns. Punt returning is much more instinctual. Unless you have one of the best in the league doing it, there's not much difference in returners

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Dallas Cowboys will be good enough to clinch the NFC East this season?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:06 PM)

That's an interesting question. The schedule, if they take care of business, could yield 10 wins. Maybe, 11 if they catch a break. That would be enough to win the division. That said, things change quickly in the NFL. Look how close they came to losing against Washington. There's a lot of football left. I wouldn't look too far ahead.

Adam (Toronto)

Big fan. You were great in A Time to Kill.Dallas' front 7 is brutal. Even Ware can go invisible at times. I thought Ryan was supposed to be a mastermind of blitzing schemes and confusing offenses....or is Rex Grossman THAT smart?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:11 PM)

I think you have to look at the defense's body of work. Overall, they've been good. Every defense has a couple of poor games - this was one for them. So many games are about momentum. Once it turns, it's hard to stop it. This game, to me, turned on Phillip Tanner's ST holding penalty. The score was 10-0 Dallas and they would've had the ball at the 40 or so. Instead, they had it inside the 10, which changes the play-calling. McBriar shanked a punt, leading to a short TD drive and all of a sudden the momentum turned.

Michael (Wilmington, Ma.)

Good afternoon and Happy Thanksgiving! What's the latest on Tony Fiammetta? He was sorely missed in the running game last Sunday. If he isnt available, will they stick with Phillips as a run blocker or promote Chappas?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:13 PM)

he still has an unidentified illness that kept him out of practice today, and I wouldn't expect him to play on Thursday. He's been a big part of the Cowboys' running game, and they'll miss him if he's out

Lex (Calgary, AB)

Hello Mr Taylor, Is this Cowboys team still a 9-7 in your eyes? Or is this a team that can clearly win it's Divison and win 1 maybe 2 Playoff games?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:14 PM)

If they take care of business, they look like more than a 9-win team. No idea if they'll win any playoff games yet. The problem, right now, is the Cowboys have one win over a good team - and theta occurred in Week 2. It's still hard to figure out just how good they are. It's going to take a little more time to sort this out

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

As the great Colin Cowherd says "When I have access to new information I am allowed to alter my prediction or opinion." That being said, do you still believe the Cowboys will go 2-4 over the next 6 games and finsish 8-8?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:16 PM)

see my earlier responses. This team barely beat a baaaaaad Washington team and it was awful on defense against a team that didn't have its best runner, receiver or tight end and started Rex Grossman on defense. The Romo we see right now makes them dangerous, but I don't think anyone knows just how good they are.

robert houston,tx [via mobile]

what is your take on jabbar gaffenys comment that cowboys fans should get a life or kill yourself. do u think he should be fined or not allowed to play for a few games or both

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:18 PM)

nope. I wouldn't have done it, but it doesn't bother me. Fans who have the protection of anonymity in cyber space often say things they wouldn't have the courage to say to your face, then wonder why someone gets upset.

john m (charleston, sc)

After the Dallas' horrific loss to the Eagles, in an after the game video blog you gave the Cowboys no chance of making the playoffs. Has your opinion changed? I am from Dallas and have been reading your articles since I attended Highland Park HS, why are you always are so quick to write the Cowboys off? Besides last year, we have had one of the best teams in the league since 2005, you act like we're a pop warner squad.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:22 PM)

Thanks for being a longtime reader. My job is to write an opinion on the game, when I'm there. It's not to wait and see what happens six weeks later and then write. I didn't see any positives in 34-7. Maybe you did. I wrote what I wrote. The combination of Dallas playing better and the soft schedule makes it look like Dallas will make the playoffs. But look how close the Cowboys came to losing to a bad Washington team. We'll just have to see what happens. Romo is playing great right now, but it doesn't mean he'll be great a month from now. You have not had one of the best teams in the league since 2005. Dallas hasn't had back-to-back 10-win seasons since 95-96 and they're 114-112 since 1997. That's the height of mediocrity.

Miles Austin (Dallas, TX)

When do you expect to see me on the field next? The Arizona game seems about right, correct?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:23 PM)

Arizona probably, but if you need another week, fine. I can't have you pull it again, when you come back. we need you for the stretch run.

Boys' Fanatic (Dallas)

JJT I watched miami this season and vs the giants and the pats they were able to get deep....ALOT!! Tony has an ok arm and hasnt really gone deep to many times this year with Dez and maybe a speedy kenvin, do you expect them to do take more chances down the field on skinny post and fades routes??

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:25 PM)

It depends on the game. Things change every game. Dez has at least one catch for 25+ yards in nine of 10 games.

Boys' Fanatic (Dallas)

I've noticed that the defense isnt good against change of pace quick tailbacks I.E. Lesean M. & Marshawn L. how do you think if at all are they going to stop at very least slow down Reggie Bush??

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:25 PM)

Reggie Bush is just a guy as a runner. He's much scarier as a receiver. They'll find a way to stop Bush.

Boys' Fanatic (Dallas)

If Dez and Brandon Marshall step onto field together it would be like sorta looking into a mirror wouldnt it? Who will have the better game you think??

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:26 PM)

I wouldn't say that. Marshall is MIami's No.1 WR. I'd expect him to have the better game

Scott (Abilene)

Any talk of using Tanner at FB some, I know he is 30lbs lighter than Fiametta, but a shorter lead blocker might be more effective than a tall TE?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:27 PM)

I don't think you ever want a halfback playing fullback with the intent that he's going to be a good blocker. Most running backs can't handle that job description. Fullbacks have a mentality that 99% of runners don't have

Vinnie Vinci (Laurence Harbor, New Jersey)

JJT, I always enjoy your chats. I know Jenkins is hurt but what can the Cowboys do to improve their defense? I haven't seen much pressure lately on the opposing teams Q.B. and it's starting to look like a trendThanks

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:34 PM)

Again, the pass defense has been good much of the season. Opponents have a 79.0 passer rating with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. They had a bad game against Washington. No more, no less.

John (Longview, TX)

Do you see Baylor's Robert Griffin III as the current Heisman frontrunner?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:37 PM)

He should be. He's been terrific all year, and he's probably doing more with less than anyone in the country. The win over Oklahoma would've been a huge boost if it had been nationally-televised instead of regionally televised. He won't win it, but I'd love to see him get the trip to NY. He's a great ambassador for the game because he has his degree and he's taking care of business on the field. A true student-athlete.

Michael (Wilmington Ma.)

What are the chances that Fiammetta and Sensenbaugh play Thursday and if not, who replaces them?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:38 PM)

none for Fiamette. 50-50 for Sensabuagh. Dallas will us more 2 TE packages if Fiametta doesn't play and Barry Church will probably replace Sensabaugh

Jason (Nashville)

If this team is ever completely healthy, they may actually be pretty good. In your opinion, which injured player do we need back the most: Austin, Jenkins or Fiammetta?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:40 PM)

interesting question. I'd say Austin. When he's healthy, he's capable of dominating a game and taking it over. I haven't seen Jenkins or Fiametta do that yet

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:42 PM)

I'd say NO because they can rush Brees with four and play coverage. The Pack is going to have 10 days off. They're going to be tough to beat.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

The Cowboys could go 6-0 the rest of the year and 14-2 the next 2 seasons and I could say 148-116 since 1997, barely better than mediocre, yet they would be at the top of the league this season and the next 2. At some point your argument bears little wait to the current group, correct?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:46 PM)

When this current group does something. They're 32-26 since the start of 2008 with one playoff win. Does that make you feel better? History is a frame of reference. The 15-year frame of reference for this group has been mediocre. Their history from 1991-1996 was terrific.

BG (Tampa)

Reunion with a lot of ex Cowboys coaches and players week. Do you think there is anyone on the Dolphins that the Cowboys wished they could have back?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:47 PM)

nope.

Scooter (Dallas)

How can D-Ware be so dominant at times and then JAG during big stretches in a game? From what I heard, he was only double-teamed one time in Washington's final drive of regulation. What gives?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:49 PM)

The dude leads the league in sacks and you want more...lol...He's human. He can't sack the QB every play. Sometimes, he gets double-teamed. Sometimes, the other team uses 3- and 5-step drops. Sometimes, he has a bad game. Or a bad drive.

Dan (Hbg, PA)

Any thought to signing a new FB? Sounds like ours has the ick.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:50 PM)

The have shaun chaps on the practice squad

sonny (Charleston,SC)

why don't they promote Chapas from the practice team to have fullback... since Fiammetta is still sick....it proven that a fullback make a differents in the running game...

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:50 PM)

because they might not want to cut someone right now. Or Chapas might not be as good as they guy they'd have to cut. Or Chapas might not be good enough.

Shu (The ATL)

Are my eyes fooling me or does Victor Butler always seem to get pressure in limited opportunities? If so, why doesn't he play more? Is he just a situational guy?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:54 PM)

according to pro football focus, Butler has rushed 73 times and has2 sacks, three QB hits and three pressures. Anthony Spencer has rushed 254 times and has four sacks, 5 hits, and 17 pressures. Butler has played more lately, but Spencer is the better player

Scott (Abilene)

The Pats have no fear throwing on offensive player out on defense yet the Cowboys fear putting guys like Felix or Dez in to return kicks/punts. Why oh why is Felix not returning kicks now that he is the #2 RB?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:54 PM)

because Felix is injury prone. He's only played 16 games once in four seasons.

G-Money (Chicago, IL)

Thanks again for hosting today's chat. Did you watch the NYG-Philly game, and if so, what did you see from either team to suggest that they're better than the Cowboys right now? And how would you rank those three teams at this point in the season?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:56 PM)

watched the game, good question. They're really all about the same, so I'll say as of today i'd go Dallas, NYG and Philly because I'm judging them based on the quarterback play as of today. Next week, I might view it differently

Whatsupwithhockey (Dallas)

Can Tom Gaglardi bring fans back to the Stars, or is it a hopeless situation?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:57 PM)

winning brings fans back. That's it. If they had been able to maintain the momentum from their great start, then the crowds might already be a lot thicker. If they make the playoffs, the crowds will come back. Jim Lites is a good addition.

Bill Hodges (Morgan Mill, Texas)

Is it just me, or does anyone else see Martellus Bennett as Pedro Serrano in the movie, MAJOR LEAGUE? That is when Pedro is the passive Pedro, trying to appease Jabu and get a live chicken for his bat. Not the aggressive Pedro who knocks the cover off the ball. Marty B just reminds me of that guy who is immensely talented but sort of passive and accepting of mediocrity. Thoughts?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:58 PM)

just you

Shu (The ATL)

Did Sensabaugh practice today?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:58 PM)

no

Derek (California)

Do you think getting Joe Nathan was the right move for the Rangers? Does it eliminate the Rangers' chances of getting back CJ Wilson?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:59 PM)

I'll be shocked if CJ comes back because he's going to get a lot more money than the Cowboys want to pay. Joe Nathan is a good signing. It was time for Feliz to go into the rotation

G-Money (Chicago, IL)

I read your article about Romo making better decisions lately. You made the statement that for Romo, ?the dumb plays occur when he plays too fast; when he slows down, he's among the league's best.? To me, that?s a bit like saying that Rex Grossman is a top-tier quarterback when he?s not busy fumbling and throwing picks. It?s a ?hedging your bets? type of statement. If Romo throws 5 picks, you can say, ?Well as I said, he needs to slow down? but if he has a great game you can say ?Well as I said, he?s among the league?s best.? Either he?s one of the league?s best QBs, or he isn?t. So which side of the fence are you coming down on?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:01 PM)

it's not a fence. It's a fact. When he plays too fast he screws up. He knows this, so he tries to slow himself down. It's no different than when I do TV, I have to consciously slow down the way I speak so I don't speak so fast that I forget to say something or I don't enunciate clearly. When I slow down, I do it right. When I don't, I talk to fast and I don't do as well.

Steve (Chicago)

Dallas born, and been reading your column for years. Why do I enjoy reading your stuff so much more since coming to ESPN?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:02 PM)

because there's no pay wall?

Pete (Md)

In your opinion, which Cowboy has been the biggest surprise this season and which has been the biggest dissapointment?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:03 PM)

Laurent Robinson and DeMarco Murray biggest surprise. Doug Free biggest disappointment

Ron (Tennnessee)

Hello Jean-Jacques. Do you think they will let Romo be Romo this Thanksgiving or will they do what they did a couple of weeks ago and put the reigns on him a bit?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:03 PM)

he hasn't had the reigns on him in a while. The running game has been a key because he can throw when he wants - not when the defense dictates

Shu (The ATL)

Not even Fasano?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:04 PM)

no. He'd be a role player here behind Witten like Martellus and Phillips

Shu (The ATL)

Is Costa really the best option at center?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:04 PM)

yes

Brent (St. Paul)

Sore prediction for Turkey Day?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:05 PM)

Dallas 23-16

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:05 PM)

I'd love to keep chatting friends, but the lil man has been awfully quiet. Time to make sure he hasn't destroyed a part of the house. We'll chat next Tuesday. Until then, peace