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January 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jean-Jacques Taylor

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (12:59 PM)

Chilling in the home office while eagerly awaiting the day the kids return to school. Nothing but love songs today...lol...Let's do this...Keep the good questions rolling and we'll go a full hour. Time to do it

PL (SC)

Mr. JJT, now what? Free agency? What type of positions are needed to keep this from happening again? I'm down right now Mr. JJT.....

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:01 PM)

They need players at guard, center, safety, OLB,ILB, NT and cornerback. Oh, they need a veteran backup too. that's just off the top of my head

Darvell Lancaster (Mad as Hell)

How long will NEWMAN be here, or what date do i throw the party on

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:01 PM)

I'm sure he'll get released sometime around the start of the new league year in early march.

Adam (Toronto)

I have a suggestion for training camp. Drill #1: How to fall on a fumble. If Dallas recovered the first 2 fumbles, let alone the 3rd negated by Ware's offside, they probably win this game. Just very unintelligent play.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:02 PM)

It might have been a much different game. Ball's inability to fall on the fumble really hurt. That was one of the game's defining plays. There were soooooo many they failed to make

Mike (Work)

Hey JJT, we all know how poorly Newman played, especially as of late, but how would you grade the play of Jenkins this year? I thought he played well, especially considering he was playing hurt quite often.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:03 PM)

Jenkins had a good season when he wasn't hurt. He switched his techniques and became much more of a student of the game. He needs to get his shoulder fixed. If he maintains the same attitude his career will be fine in Dallas

Mike (Work)

I was watching ESPN the other day and an analyst crushed Newman because he played so poorly and was a top 10 draft pick (essentially saying he was a bust). Isn't this an unfair assessment based on the last year and a half? Newman has made a couple Pro Bowls (and maybe could have made a few more if he made new INTs) and played well for 6 or 7 seasons. Age and injuries catching up to him don't make his career a bust. Not to excuse the last year and a half but it seems unfair to base his whole career assessment on that small sample.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:04 PM)

No sane person would call Newman a bust. He's had a good career and been a good player. He just has no confidence right now. He needs a fresh start.

Mike (Work)

Better way to replace Newman: signing a free agent CB (like Houston did with Jonathan Joseph) or drafting a CB in the 1st round?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:05 PM)

it depends on who's available and the cost. You won't know any of that until March or April

Billy (New York)

Hey JJT, can you give me a rational, conclusive explanation as to why ESPN has so many Cowboy columnists? The Cowboys are perennial underachievers (like the Chargers, Raiders, Eagles etc.) projected to reach the Super Bowl every year, only to be finished with their season usually right after New year's Day. Face it they are underachievers, now America's team and really should receieve less and less exposure each year. YOu guys haven't been good since the TV show Dallas expired. You should thank your lucky stars you have a column. Giants deserve more columnists at least they won a Super Bowl in the last 20 years :)ac

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:07 PM)

I'm not a Cowboys' columnist. I'm a columnist. I cover all things - Cowboys, Mavs, Rangers, Stars, occasional high schools and colleges. I write a lot about the Cowboys because they're the most important team in DFW and I covered the beat for 11 seasons, so I have a lot of insight into them.

Mike (Work)

Why does the team think Ratliff lacks the length to play DE in the 3-4? He is 6'4", the same height as Marcus Spears and 2 inches taller than Cullen Jenkins.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:09 PM)

no one said he lacks height. He can play defensive end. But for this team it made more sense for him to play NTY because he could use his size, speed, power and quickness to overwhelm centers and guards. He's been a perennial Pro Bowl player, so it's not like he can't play the position

STEVE HEINDL (LAKEPORT,CA)

Proposed trade. Romo, 1st & 3rd pick, for # 1 pick in draft.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:12 PM)

Why would the Colts do that?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:19 PM)

He's really no different than a lot of other folks who can't see the forest for the trees. He thinks a GM would muddle the process because he can make a decision immediately

Tony (DE)

Love your writing. Do you think Jones regrets letting burnett and canty. I always liked burnett and feel it was a mistake when it happened. I am afraid same will be said of Newman. Wish they could rework his deal.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:20 PM)

Nope. None of those guys are difference-makers. The Cowboys need play-makers. They have 2.5 on defense. Ware, Lee and Ratliff

Joey (Kentucky)

Do you think moving Doug Free to RT will be the answer for him. He really struggled this year.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:21 PM)

he might move to right tackle, but the most important thing for Free is to improve his technique and get a lot stronger in the weight room so he can play with more power.

MJ (Los Angeles)

You were right...lord knows I wanted you to be wrong, but we are an average team. But what you never mentioned was whose fault it is that we're average. Jerry the GM takes all the blame because everybody knew Newman couldn't cover and that our interior o-line was crap. Jerry didn't do anything to address any of those issues. So he is the main person to blame!

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:23 PM)

The Cowboys don't have enough good players. They have too many average players. And too many bad players. The best teams don't have ANY bad players. Their worst players are average. It really is a process. It's going to take 2-3 more years to be a legit SB contender

Steve (NY)

Is there anyone in the organization that has the ability to make JJ realize he is insane? He will not admit it himself, it appears his son is equally insane. Or, are they all just yes men to the madness?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:27 PM)

No. Y'all have to get over it. He ain't leaving. He ain't changing. He's always going to be the GM and owner until the day he goes to glory. Don't forget, he hired a football guy - Bill Parcells - and let him do his thing. The result: Parcells won the same number of playoff games as Dave Campo

Steve ( Bay Area fan)

When will Cowboy fans quit blaming everything on Romo? This would have been a 3 win team this year without him. He covered for a poor O-line and lousy defense much of the year.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:30 PM)

That's a good question. I've been as hard on romo as anyone else when he screws up, but it's idiotic to blame him for every defeat,. The defense and offensive line never really gave him a chance on Sunday. The dude had 4,000+ passing with a 21 TD/Int differential. Only 5 QBs were better. He's not perfect, but he's on that next tier after the best in the game

Ian (Atl, GA)

JJT, I know you are ecstatic that the Cowboys proved to be just as mediocre and gutless as you predicted. How many of their needs is it realistic to expect to fill in one offseason?? I have them needing 1 starting CB and S. A 4th CB, DE, and C. Maybe even switch Free and Smith and replace Spencer.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:31 PM)

I'm not happy or sad. it is what it is. I take a realistic view of the team. I'm not swayed by emotions because I hope they'll win, so I see the team for what it is. No more, no less.

Moses (Dallas)

Do you see Texas Rangers signing another big bat and possibly signing Pince

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:32 PM)

The longer Prince goes without being signed, the more you wonder if the Rangers can pull another Beltre move. Sign him late in the game. It's probably hard for them to make a deal until they know the exact amount they're going to spend on Yu Darvish.

Tony (DE)

Are you a fan of Austin? I feel he drops to many balls for his contract. What is chances we resign Robinson?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:34 PM)

Miles Austin is fine. His hamstring injury this year kept him from finding a rhythm all season. Here's the deal: There are only about 10-12 receivers, if that many, capable of taking over a game and dominating it. Austin can do it. He has done it. Multiple times. The problem with Robinson is that you're going to have to pay for a guy with one good season. Not one great season, but one good one. That's scary.

Corey (D.C.)

I have made a few negative posts about Jason Garrett this season, usually after he made major head-scratching decisions, most recently the terrible 4th and 1 sneak call, and each time I am told by the ESPN blogger that JG is smart and will learn. While I can get on board with that, how many free passes does he get? The guy keeps making unacceptable, not-open-for-debate, decisiosn that cost his teams games.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:35 PM)

His honeymoon period ended with the Giants's game. I think he's a good coach, but he made too many mistakes last season that affected the outcome of games. That can't happen again.

Dustin (NC)

Cortland Finnegan already said he going to be free agent!!! What do you think?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:36 PM)

overrated...in my opinion

Nick Cook (Dallas)

Sorry to break the string of Cowboys questions, but what are your thoughts on the Mavericks so far? Do you think they have a good chance if Odom returns to form and people like Mahinmi keep giving them big boosts off the bench?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:37 PM)

thank you...lol...It's going to take the mavs most of january to find a rhythm. Once they do, they're going to be good. This is a weird season, so you can't judge it the way you normally would. I love Mahinmi early in the season and Roddy B. is doing a solid john./ Haywood is getting better after sleepwalking through a couple of games. Odom will eventually be fine

brian (CT)

true or false - tony romo is the new jake plummer, average qb who will never make a legit playoff run or win a super bowl

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:42 PM)

dude, you can do better than that. Jake Plummer was a guy with 161 TDs and 161 interceptions and a career passer rating of 74.6. he was 69-67 as a starter. Romo is 47-30 as a starter with 149 Tds, 72 interceptions and a passer rating of 96.9.

David (Plano)

Mr. Taylor, thanks for taking your time out for this chat. After one playoff win in 15 plus years now, what is your HONEST opinion why Jerry Jones can't see that his staff and personnel decisions aren't the best for the organization? Why not give another GM a go for 3-4 seasons? The Cardinals have made a SB appearance more recently than the Cowboys!

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:43 PM)

I don't think I've ever been accused of not giving an honest answer as it relates to Jerry. I don't work for the Cowboys. It's not like he's going to fire me or ban me from the facility. The reason: he owns the team and he doesn't have to. It ain't complicated

@sonoman24 (Texas)

Jacque, why do you twitter block people who disagree with your opinions and do so in an adult fashion?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:44 PM)

I only block people who curse or launch personal attacks. Period. we can disagree about sports forever. It's what folks have done for 100 years

Chris (irving)

Hi JJT, Any idea who might replace Maxie and Campo??

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:45 PM)

no, considering their contracts don't expire for another month or so

Scott (Frisco)

JJT....I love your work..you always seem to be right on what is up with the Cowboys.....I have felt for several years the only way this team is righted is for fans to stop buying tickets..because Jones won't change unless you hit his pocket....you agree?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:45 PM)

yes sir

Dustin (NC)

I would agrue with everyone that a pass rusher is the top need for this team. If you can find a good pass rusher, it will make your secondary look good. Plus its going to be hard to find a corner in this draft that can start right away.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:46 PM)

In the 3-4 you need a pair of pass-rushing LBs. Anthony Spencer does a good job against the run, but he was drafted to rush the passer

Chris (irving)

hey what are the odds Tony Sporano will come back to the Cowboys?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:46 PM)

They could use him. But I haven't spoken to him

@sonoman (Texas)

As an experienced columnist, why do you hide behind your Twitter block button?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:47 PM)

i haven't blocked anyone in 4 months. You sam awfully sensitive about it, though

BK (Desk)

Tony F. do you see him coming back?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:48 PM)

yes, but that strange illness he had worries them

Craig (Salisbyury, MD)

I am having trouble as a Cowboys fan. My confidence in this team going to NY and winning on a scale of 1 to 10, WAS a 3. What can be done to get that up to a 6, 7 or 8 next time they are in this position?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:49 PM)

Better players. Seriously. You win with talent

Shawn (Ashe County NC)

JJt, R u ignoring my questions today? What's up with that? Anyway, will we finally see Dez emerge as a key player this next season?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:50 PM)

dude, it ain't always all about u...lol...other people need questions answered. Nope on Dez. He's unreliable off the field, which makes him unreliable on the field to me, especially in the Roger Goodell era. Thus far, he's good - not great

Dave (Charlotte)

Any chance JJ tries to sign Peyton Manning if he becomes a free agent? JJ would take the risk, wouldn't he?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:50 PM)

no

Ron (SC)

JJT, who (if anyone) is the MVP of this Cowboys team this season?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:51 PM)

Romo. Ware. Lee.

BK (Desk)

Does tony hold the ball to much sometimes or is it the lack of route running by the WR to get open or the lines fault for not giving him enough time to throw the ball?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:51 PM)

receivers not getting open

Todd (Pa)

Sick of Cowboys fans saying Garrett is the problem n needs to be fired. First you can't fire your Coach every year. Second this team needs a Coach like Garrett. I think he's changing the regime n atmosphere in the locker room. Plus I think it's on Jerry JG inherited a bunch of Low IQ football players. You said yourself this was a rebuilding year yet Garrett had them in position to still win a Division championship. He wants smart football player but it's gonna take time I think he could/will be a great Head Coach. So with that being said what's your assessment of Jason Garrett and do you agree with my thoughts?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:52 PM)

Good coach. Smart guy. grade: C+. I do like the way he prepares the team and I think, given time, he'll build a winner here.

Shawn (Snowy Ashe County NC)

Who do you see going to the big dance this football season.

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:53 PM)

go back and forth all of the time. I see Green Bay and New england, but it bothers me that NE keeps falling behind 17-0 or 21-0 before rallying. I could see Baltimore beating them in playoffs

scott (Fort Worth)

Will Yu Darvish make a large enough impact to counter what the Angles have done in the off season?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:54 PM)

If he wins 12 games this season with an ERA in 3.50 range, it has been a good year considering the enormous transition he's having to make. The Rangers will be there in September, which is all you can ask for

Will G. (Memphis, TN)

JJT did I miss something or are DBs still allowed to bump, chuck or hit WRs within the first five yards from the line of scrimmage? If so could you tell me why all of the Cowboys DBs played one yard off of the WR but never laid a hand on them.... Thanks (Believe it or not Still a Die Hard Cowboys Fan)

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:55 PM)

Newman lost confidence. Jenkins prefers bump-and-run, but his shoulder injury might have prevented it

Rob M. (SC)

JJT, How do you see Bruce Carter doing next year? Have they hit on another starting caliber player with him? Also, who do you see emerging on the offensive line with a full offseason to be able to get into a strength and conditioning program?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:56 PM)

he better be a starting at inside linebacker next to Lee. Bradie and Brooking should each be gone

Ken (H Town)

JJT WHat do you see as the Cowboys number 1 need?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:56 PM)

cornerback and pass rusher

Ben (ATL)

if Tyrann Mathieu (LSU) enters the draft, would it be worth trading up to get him? Punt/Kick returner and a mighty fine CB... killing 2 birds with 1 stone for the Cowboys...

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:58 PM)

I don't know f Honey Badger gets drafted as high as you think. Punt returning is nice,. but he's small by NFL standards and there are questions about where he fits into the NFL with his size and speed

Tony (Delaware)

Do you feel the Cowboys chasing Asi lead to Newman lack of confidence?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:59 PM)

if so, he's a chump

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:59 PM)

competition makes you or breaks you

Jay (San Antonio)

How many picks in total will Cowboys have in draft? If thats not determined yet, whats determines that and when?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (1:59 PM)

dude, u can look this up online....lol

Todd (Pa)

Do you think Ratliff is slowing down or wearing down as a 3-4 NT and do you think this Defense would have more success bringing a more prototypical 3-4 Nose aside from adding a CB n another legit pass rusher?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:00 PM)

wearing down. It's the toughest position on the field, which is why I expect him to be at defensive end next season

andre (simmons)

will bennett be back? and how high of a need is tightend with jason declining somewhat

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:01 PM)

i wouldn't think so, but he's a good blocker. Phillips and Witten aren't, so the Cowboys need a blocking TE

Jean-Jacques Taylor
  (2:01 PM)

I gotta go. Time to fix the kids some lunch and check on the painters. Until next week, peace. Have a great year. It's your choice as a friend of mine says