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November 23, 2:30 PM ET
Chat with Todd Archer

Todd Archer
  (2:27 PM)

Sorry for the delay today. The short week had the Cowboys on a different Wednesday schedule. Here we go.

Randall (Shreveport)

Do you feel like Doug Free has regressed this year?

Todd Archer
  (2:28 PM)

Not really. I think he started slowly but I think he's been better here these last few games. Hudson Houck said there was a technique issue that hurt Free and led to him not being in good position. I think he's figured that out and has played better.

Terry (Austalia)

Who makes the playoffs- Giants, Eagles or Cowboys?

Todd Archer
  (2:29 PM)

I'm going with the Cowboys. I'm not sure a wild card team comes out of the NFC East. The injury to Jay Cutler helps the situation, but the best way to get in is to win the division. Right now, I think the Cowboys have to be looked at as the favorite. If they lose Thursday, I'm sure that point of view changes.

Boys' Fanantic (Dallas)

I know your going to get alot of OC questions and the two obvious/popular choices are Norv and Tony but they dont wanna come here because they would be restricted by Jason G. who else that we aren't really thinking about do you think would be a good fit here and be willing to come under the circumstances.

Todd Archer
  (2:31 PM)

I can't sit here and come up with some names because I just don't see it happening. If he hires a coordinator, it would be in name only. Garrett will continue to call the plays.

Big Kahuna (Hawaii)

It sound like Fiammetta is not going to be active again. If he's making the running game go why don't the boys look for some help at FB?

Todd Archer
  (2:33 PM)

There aren't a lot of fullbacks out there to go get. Fiammetta has had a good season and he just has a better feel for sifting through the wreckage in running plays. I don't know you could just find a free agent who could learn the system and do as good a job so the Cowboys will be patient with him.

Boys' Fanantic (Dallas)

We dont really talk about him alot which is a good and bad thing. And hes still a huge upgrade, but Abe elam has only had one good standout game, and if my thoughts are correct he has no INT's. In this defense wouldnt you think he would excel a little more, why do you think he hasnt been as productive?? (More so in the passing game).

Todd Archer
  (2:34 PM)

I wouldn't measure what Elam brings in only stats. He gets everybody lined up. He is the calming presense. He is smart. You're not seeing a lot of deep passes given up this year compared to last because the safeties are in better position. I think what Elam has done has allowed Sensabaugh to make more plays because he has more freedom than he has had before.

Barry Church (Barry Church's House?)

How will I play tomorrow? Am I someone to keep an eye on?

Todd Archer
  (2:34 PM)

I said this at the beginning of the year. If the Cowboys didn't sign Elam or Sensabaugh that you would have been a starter. I feel better about it now than I would have at the beginning of the year because of the experience you've gained.

Sprattie (Medway Mustang)

Hey Todd, Since your doing this chat I doubt you'll be around tonight at the VFW for Drinks. My son Chris is a Big Cowboys fan and he has Miles Austin in Fantasy. How long is Miles going to be out. And how far do the Fans believe Tony Romo can take the Cowboys. My son Chris believes he is a top 7 QB in the league.

Todd Archer
  (2:36 PM)

Hit the ball you big bubble. The initial thought was that Austin would return Dec. 11 against the New York Giants. I'm hearing he could be back Dec. 3 for the Arizona game. That would be good news, but the team will be patient because Austin has had two of these injuries this year. As for Romo, I think how Cowboys fans feel about him depends on the week but there are more people in his corner now. He's in that second tier of quarterbacks behind Brady, Brees, Manning, Rodgers and that's not a bad place to be.

Justin T. (across the street from valley ranch)

How can Laurent Robinson have Romo's trust in 4 games and Bennett, Ogletree have been here for years and can't do that?

Todd Archer
  (2:37 PM)

I wish I had a good answer for you other than Robinson is just a better player. He's convinced me, I know that. I'd look into re-signing him to an extension at some point. Not crazy money, but a Patrick Crayton type deal.

anthony (edmonton, AB)

Wat do you think of murray? will felix take alot of carries away or will they let him take the full load

Todd Archer
  (2:38 PM)

They will not come out and say it, but Murray will be the workhorse and Jones will have to setle for the scraps. That's how I see this thing going.

Red (Tyler, TX)

Todd, has Garrett addressed the pre-snap issue we've been having on both sides of the ball? I watch a lot of nfl football, i have yet to find another team so confused and disorganize pre-snap on offense and defense. i thought Garret was supposed to be a detail-oriented guy, what gives?

Todd Archer
  (2:39 PM)

Offensively, they've been better with that lately. It was only an issue in the first Washington game. As far as the defense is concerned, they do have a problem getting the right personnel groups on the field. Some of that might have to do with it being the first year in Rob Ryan's system. As far as the offside or encroachments, I'll excuse them on Ware because he gets such a jump on the snap. I'll take one penalty for two sacks.

Shu (The ATL)

Arch,Give it to us straight...what's the Cowboys record at 7:20 tomorrow night? Also, what's your score prediction? Don't sugarcoat it, we can handle the truth.

Todd Archer
  (2:40 PM)

I can't remember what score I picked (maybe 20-10) but I had the Cowboys winning this game to get to 7-4.

Lex (Calgary, AB)

Cowboys win tommorw Giants lose Monday and we get the Cards while they lose to the Packers we could have a 2 game lead going into the Sunday night match up. Pipe Dream or truth?

Todd Archer
  (2:41 PM)

I can see the happening for sure. But don't count out the Giants. I just think they have a resolve to them and will bounce back. Maybe I'm just being stubborn. I can see your scenario playing out, though.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What do you think will be the Best NFL Game this season on Thanksgiving?

Todd Archer
  (2:42 PM)

Maybe it's because I haven't wanted to watch a Detroit game on Thanksgiving in a long time, but I'm looking forward to that one the most. The Harbaugh Bowl should be pretty good too, but I don't see a lot of points being put up. I'd rather see a high scoring game.

Rob (Texas)

Have a fantasy question: Who would you play this week Murray or R. White?

Todd Archer
  (2:42 PM)

I'm the world's worst fantasy football guy to ask. I'd go with Murray, but I couldn't even tell you who Atlanta is playing this week.

Paul (Shawnee, Ok)

Tim I was reading the blog and saw that it would be good for Dallas to claim Orton to hamper the Bears in the playoff race, is there any chance Dallas does this?

Todd Archer
  (2:43 PM)

Paul, I debated answering this one because, you know, my name's Todd, but here goes: I think there's a chance it happens. Not a great chance but a chance. To me it makes some sense to do it for a lot of reasons and one is to hamper the Bears.

Boys' Fanantic (Dallas)

With Church most likely starting this week do you think Rob will keep him more up with the front seven I think he's a great tackler in space and he's a more physical safety.

Todd Archer
  (2:44 PM)

With the way Miami is throwing it lately, I wouldn't want to put that much stress on the corners. I think you'll see Church in the same sort of role as Sensabaugh. Sometimes you'll see him in the box, but not that much.

Vinnie Vinci (Laurence Harbor, New Jersey)

Hi Todd, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!1what are the keys to the game tomorrow?

Todd Archer
  (2:45 PM)

Thanks for the wishes and same to you. I think the keys are to get off to a fast start. That's what Miami has done lately. If you can get a lead on Miami, I just don't see them having the tools to come back. I'm not one of those people who believe in Matt Moore yet. He'll throw it to the other team a lot if he is under pressure to make plays.

nate keyman (keyman)

what it's dallas going to with fb problems are are they going look a the pratice sqaud or wait till the fb get healthy.

Todd Archer
  (2:51 PM)

Nate, they're going to wait. As I said earlier, I don't think they can go find another guy like Fiammetta on the street. If they make a move, I think it would be for rookie Shaun Chapas, who is on the practice squad.

Gary (Los Feliz)

What type of linebacker is Bruce Carter? Physical or finesse? Is there someone in the league you can compare him with. Thanks..

Todd Archer
  (2:56 PM)

Hard to say right now because he's still learning everything and we haven't seen him play much. He has the speed but I just don't know if he has the thump to play that spot. It's not that he can't do it. It's that I haven't seen him do it. I've said this a few times, but this is largely a redshirt year for him. His biggest contributions will come on special teams. I don't think anyone will have an answer either way on Carter after this year.

Gary (Los Feliz)

Do you think the O-line is becoming one as a unit? Or will they spend a few draft picks trying to upgrade? Thanks

Todd Archer
  (3:01 PM)

They're playing better but I think the line is a spot you draft every year if you want to be good. They need help on the interior.

Paul (Shawnee, OK)

Todd I apologize for calling you Tim. I follow everyone at ESPN Dallas and it was an honest mistake.............Forgiven?

Todd Archer
  (3:02 PM)

Yeah, no worries. Thanks for following.

Travis (Va)

Todd, is it me or does it seem the Cowboys play a bit harder when hampered by injuries, especially on defense

Todd Archer
  (3:04 PM)

Might be you. I think they've played hard all year. Not necessarily well, but hard. The effort hasn't been an issue.

Shu (The ATL)

Arch,Give me your impression of Victor Butler. He seems to just know how to get pressure...more than Spencer with limited opportunities.

Todd Archer
  (3:08 PM)

I think he's a good situational pass rusher but I don't see him as an every down player. I don't think he's stout enough against the run. There's a place for him on this team, but as an overall player I think Spencer is better.

Shu (The ATL)

Can they exploit the heavy-footed Marc Columbo?

Todd Archer
  (3:09 PM)

They'll get the chance, but as Timmy Mac pointed out Tyron Smith has allowed more sacks than Colombo. Don't get me wrong, I'd want Smith on the team now and in the future. I think Colombo will be as ready as possible for this one to show the Cowboys they made a mistake. That's just how he thinks.

Gary (Los Feliz)

Which NFC teams stand the best chance of upsetting Green Bay in the playoffs on their field? I was leaning towards Chicago until the Cuter injury. How about you?

Todd Archer
  (3:10 PM)

Great question that I can't answer, but how would the Cowboys matchup? Can they play physical vs. the Packers wide outs? Can they get pressure on Rodgers? Can they slow down the run? Can they hit some big plays in the passing game? I think the Cowboys might have a chance. There's a lot of time between now and that happening but keep it in the back of your mind.

Paul (Shawnee, OK)

Todd with the FG kicking situation over with, and Bailey kicking off better are they going to waive Buehler soon to free up a roster spot?

Todd Archer
  (3:11 PM)

They don't need to free up a roster spot. He's off the roster now that he's on injured reserve. They can still waive him off IR but I think they'll bring him to camp next year.

Jermey (ATL)

Seems like the game is slowing down more for Tony Romo as u wrote on one of your articles do you feel that's one of the best attributes for a QB to have & makes the game eaiser for him in a way?

Todd Archer
  (3:12 PM)

Absolutely. That's every quarterback. The more they are in situations, the better they'll be in the future. It's not always going to be perfect. Brady has not been as good as he has been in the past. Manning had a down year for him last year. Rivers is fighting it this year. It's what happens. But Romo is playing as well now as he ever has.

Shu (The ATL)

That's a misleading stat because Columbo almost always has TE or FB help, but point taken.

Todd Archer
  (3:13 PM)

Smith gets help too. Again, I want Smith on my team. I'm not saying that I don't, but I think Colombo has been pointing toward this game for a long time.

Shu (The ATL)

What concerns you most about the Dolphins?

Todd Archer
  (3:14 PM)

That defense is playing really well. Vonta Davis vs. Dez Bryant will be something to watch. Cameron Wake can get pressure. This is going to be a tough game, IMO.

Randall (Shreveport)

When will a team be awarded Kyle Orton?

Todd Archer
  (3:14 PM)

3 p.m. Teams can put a claim in as late as 2:59 if they want.

Gary (Los Feliz)

Why don't the Cowboys ever draft physical middle linebackers? Hard hitting/menacing type linebackers? I'm not a fan of the Dat Nguyen/Robert Jones middle linebacking types.

Todd Archer
  (3:15 PM)

Bradie James was a big middle linebacker. Sean Lee has decent size. So did Kevin Burnett. Since they've moved to the 3-4, they have taken bigger inside 'backers.

Todd Archer
  (3:16 PM)

Thanks for all of the questions. Remember to check out our in-game chat tomorrow and look to the blog for all the updates.If you have more questions, send me an e-mail or follow me on Twiter (@toddarcher).Happy Thanksgiving.Courage.