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December 15, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:58 PM)

Thanks for joining me. Fire away.

Justin Tyson (Bossier City,La)

How would you feel if we could move up and grab Morris Claiborne come April?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:59 PM)

Don't see the Cowboys moving up that high. I've seen Claiborne projected as a top-five pick. You wanna give up the top half of your draft?

raul (rio grande city)

T Mac do you expect Stephen McGee to be the back up next year or another veteran like Jason Campbell?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:00 PM)

Stephen Jones indicated that the Cowboys would be comfortable going into next year with McGee as the backup. They need to draft a QB at least in the middle rounds to develop and make that a competitive situation.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Dallas Cowboys will make the Playoffs since they got beaten by the New York Giants?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

Think it'll come down to whichever team has the ball last on New Year's Day.

Frank (Houston)

Despite only four 100-yard games in four seasons and a history of injuries can Felix Jones carry the rushing load?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

He can't be a workhorse. This team has to ride Tony Romo's right arm and use Felix Jones enough to keep some sort of balance.

Big Kahuna (Hawaii)

Best way to fix the defense in the future better players or better DC?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:02 PM)

Better players. I'll elaborate in a column that will be posted tomorrow.

dalen (brownwood)

Tim, do you think Bradie James is a good player? I think his play and leadership has been overrated for a long time.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:03 PM)

Bradie James was an above-average inside linebacker during his prime. His prime has come and gone. Now he's decent against the run and a major liability against the pass. He's never been good in coverage, but the Cowboys have to really be careful when they use him now.

JS Cowboy (New York)

Hello Tim, any impressions on Kevin Kowalski? Seemed fairly decent in this game and in action against the Patriots....with some weight room work this off season, do you see him challenging for the Center spot next year?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:04 PM)

Frankly, he can't be much worse than Phil Costa. But I think they need to address center in the draft or free agency.

Shane Kiihnl (Shreveport)

I guess I will keep asking until someone answers, but why is Joe D. getting a free pass? Special teams have been terrible and directly responsible for 3 losses and if it wasn't for Shanahan it could be 4.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:05 PM)

Joe D. doesn't get a pass from me. The Cowboys rank among the NFL leaders in special teams penalties and have been way below-average on returns. I wouldn't expect Joe D. to be back next year. Think it will be a mutual decision for him to move on.

Red (Rockwall, TX)

Tim, i know you weren't around Valley Ranch in the 90s, but speaking to some of your elder colleagues in the Dallas media is there a difference in the personality of the players on those teams compared to today's teams? Looking back, it seems those past teams had more "dawgs" in the locker room.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:06 PM)

Was actually just talking with Jean-Jacques Taylor about this the other day. This team lacks a ruthless winner mentality. The '90s Cowboys were loaded with those kinds of players, starting with Michael Irvin and Charles Haley.

Ray (Home)

The Cowboys have no chance against the Eagles and Giants so lets give some of the young guys a chance. Do you see any that have potential on the roster to start next year? Oh make sure they have some heart!

Tim MacMahon
  (3:06 PM)

Sorry, Ray, but I don't think waving the white flag when you're tied for first place makes a whole lot of sense.

Al (North carolina)

If cowboys split their next 2 games, and Giants win their next 2, and Cowboys beat Giants in last game. Who wins division? Both will be 9-7.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:07 PM)

Depends on which games the two teams win in the splits. Second tiebreaker is record in the division.

Matt (Cincinnati OH)

Tim - Happy Holidays. Follow me here for a second (as opposed to a quick dismissal). Take a look at the other 7-6 teams around the NFL. Do any of them have the talent that Dallas has at many positions? Second, take a look at Packers, Patriots, etc that have excellent offenses/skill players but mediocre to weak defenses. Similar to Dallas - I would argue that Romo, Murray, Jones, Austin, Witten, Bryant, Robinson is as good a skill group as any in the league. Yet those teams are 13-0, 10-3 etc. So what is the reason that the Cowboys are so mediocre? Is it coaching - the whole staff not just Garrett? Is it attitude or lack of leadership? While I dont think the Cowboys are the most talented team in the NFL they certainly have enough not to be 7-6 and now an underdog for a playoff spot.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

It's all about finishing games. Is that coaching? Is it leadership? Is it mental toughness? All of the above? I don't know, but the Cowboys better figure it out real quick.

Big Kahuna (Hawaii)

Does Garrett need a OC? With Turner and Sparano being available seems like a good time to add one of them. Any chance Garrett gives up some of his duties and hires one?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:10 PM)

Nope. Jerry Jones wants Garrett to be his own OC. Garrett wants to be his OC. I think he needs an OC, but they don't seem to care about my opinion on the matter.

Keith Washington (Pensacola)

Tim, What was the thinking behind signing Orlando Scandrick? What has he done other than give up the long ball and crtical plays. The same question for Sensabaugh. Have you seen these two guys play the last two weeks. Neither deserving of the extensions they received.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:11 PM)

With Scandrick, they thought he was starter-caliber and didn't want to go into the offseason with only one corner on the roster, assuming they'll release Terence Newman. With Sensabaugh, he has played well this season with last week's loss a glaring exception.

Big Kahuna (Hawaii)

I'm a big cowboy fan, but these losses have been making me sick. Do other NFL teams find so many creative ways to loose too?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

One stat puts it in perspective to me: The Cowboys have blown three 12-plus-point losses in fourth quarters this season. That had happened only twice in the previous 51 seasons of franchise history. No, this ain't normal.

Lila Ann (Hawaii)

Hey Tim,My question is why SAMMY MORRIS? I say LONYAE MILLER at least he knows this offense. Does this guy still have gas left in his tank?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:13 PM)

They have more confidence that Sammy Morris can step in and protect Tony Romo. That's the most important thing they'll ask of the No. 2 RB for the rest of the season.

Marc (Irving)

So would u agree with Rob Ryan and put your money on Rat against Calvin Watkins?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:14 PM)

I question Rob Ryan's talent evaluation in some cases, but he's got this one right.

Mike (Scranton, PA)

Hi your work and keep up the great job...How is the mood of the players this week and how do u think we will respond this week??Seems like we play up or down to the level of the competition every week besides the buffalo and philly game...

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

They've acknowledged that the loss to the Giants tore out their guts. They think they have the mental toughness to bounce back. We'll see.

Austin (Houston)

People need to stop saying Dan Bailey has been "iced" and instead say the whole special teams has. Against Arizona, the snap was high, the hold was bad, all of which caused Bailey to slow down. Thus the reason why his 49 yd fg was SHORT! And the NY game was obvious, poor blocking that led to the blocked fg. Dan Bailey is still very much clutch in my opinion.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

The icing-the-kicker phenomenon has been statistically proven to be bunk, but you sure can't tell from watching the Cowboys the last two weeks. Agree with you that Bailey can't be blamed for those two losses. Not like either kick was a chip shot, either.

Ian (Atl, GA)

I keep hearing that the Cowboys Defense doesn't have the personnell to be successful, but I don't buy it. This is the same defense that Wade had averaging 15.2 ppg allowed in 2009 (albeit before the team quit on him in 2010). I remember that after Wade took over the D from Brian Stewart he simplified things and focused on execution. Then I hear that players are saying that the commuication problems are a result of confusion with all of the exotic packages of Ryan. Can't Ryan simplify it to get through the season, and then re implement things once he has OTA's?? Or has there been talk of that from him??

Tim MacMahon
  (3:18 PM)

It's also pretty much the same personnel that allowed the most points in the NFC last season. Maybe they overachieved in '09.

Bryce (Irving, TX)

The last 7 years, the Cowboys have been 3 head coaches, multiple defensive coordinators, spent free agency money and draft picks on every skill position, and have won 1 playoff game. The only constant has been tony romo. Time to move on.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:20 PM)

Not the only constant, but I hear what you're saying. It's pretty tough to blame Romo for that week's loss, though, isn't it? He's the only NFL QB in history to lose a game when he had a 140-plus passer rating, four TDs and no interceptions.

Keith Washington (Pensacola, Fl)

Is there a possibility if Norv Turner is available that he could be a possibility as OC for next year?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:20 PM)

Jerry ain't hiring an OC. No matter how much sense it makes.

The Dude (Dallas, Tx)

The defense deserves alot of blame for last week's loss, however, the offense lead by romo has gotten more free passes from the media and fans then it deserves. The offense should have been held accountable for the losses in New England, Phili, and Arizona. Blaming the defense for romo's poor play has gotten old over the last few years.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:21 PM)

Right, if only Romo had to deal with more scrutiny. The quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys never gets criticized.

Jim (Maine)

Pro football focus said a couple of weeks ago the Tyron Smith had graded out as the 3rd best right tackle in the league this year. Pretty Impressive. Your thoughts?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:22 PM)

He's up to No. 2 now. And he just turned 21 this week. He should be a stud for the next dozen years at least. Hudson Houck isn't exaggerating when he says Smith has Larry Allen-type talent.

Palmer (Boonies)

Do you think all the missed assignments and blown coverages are a result of the defense still not grasping Rob Ryans scheme? Is it just too hard to fully implement without an off-season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

There's something to that theory. Maybe Ryan needs to simplify things. But, guess what? People around Valley Ranch talked about Wade Phillips' defense being too simple last season. At some point, you've got to point the finger at the players as the problem.

Derek (California)

Am I delusional if I'm thinking that Tony Romo is a much better quarterback than Tim Tebow even though these days, Tim Tebow is getting all the media attention while many other football fans are still bashing on Tony Romo and blaming him for the Cowboys' last two losses?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:25 PM)

Nobody in his right mind can argue that Tebow is a better quarterback than Romo. But an argument can be made that Tebow is a better winner.

Wild Bill (Dallas)

Can anybody be taken serious anymore if they say romo is a better qb then Manning?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:27 PM)

Their records are the same this season. Romo has thrown for more TDs, less INTs and has a higher passer rating. It's not like it's a lopsided debate in either direction.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:27 PM)

Appreciate you folks joining me. Gotta go.