I'm ready to go. So are you. Let's chat.
Todd, Cowboys looked very focused and business-like on Wednesday in New Jersey. Can they maintain that level of concentration in the Pacific Northwest or does this game seem like a classic early season "trap" game?
I don't see this as a trap game. If they lose to Seattle it won't be because they weren't ready. It will be because they didn't play well. Too many players talked after the Giants' game saying they've accomplished nothing, which is a good sign. It doesn't guarantee success but I think this team has a maturity about it.
How do you see our O-line faring against the Hawks come Sunday Todd? Also do you think we're better off with Cook at center?
I think the line will be better vs. Seattle than it was against NY because the Giants have more accomplished pass rushers. The Seahawks don't have a Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora or a Tuck. As for Cook, he's bigger than Costa but I can't say with certainty he's better yet because he doesn't know the offense the way Costa knows it. Eventually, maybe they will be better off.
Larry allen up for the hall of fame this year, do you think he's 1st ballet? and how long do you think his speech would be?
I'm not good at predicting what the HOF voters do. Larry Allen has the credentials to be a first ballot guy, clearly, but so did a guy like Willie Roaf and a Gary Zimmerman, who was an All-Decade player twice, and they weren't first ballot guys. It's just hard to know with offensive lineman. If I had a vote, yes, he would be a first ballot guy.
How could felix in a contract year come into this season out of shape??i know he had surgery in the off season but jenkins had the same surgery but still came back in shape
I don't know if either guy was in gret condition, to be honest with you. But Felix was a disappointment in camp, in the preseason and didn't show any burst in the kick return game vs. the Giants. It's hard to understand because it is a contract year for him.
Is Carr a better cover corner than Jenkins?
I'm a fan of Jenkins. I believe he can be an excellent press corner and played well last year. Is Carr better? Well, if healthy I think Jenkins would receive the same type of deal that Carr got from the Cowboys. Jenkins has long arms. He can close. He can deflect passes. But right now, Carr is a better cover guy than Jenkins.
How do you think Claiborne did on the big stage last week and whats your expectations of him going forward?
I thought he did well. Remember, Nicks was coming off a foot injury and wasn't the same guy that tormented the Cowboys in 2011. The stage isn't too big for Claiborne, but he will have bigger tests this season. Just not this week with Seattle. Sidney Rice is their top receiver but the rest of the WR crew offer little.
If you look at all the 3-4 teams in the nfl, all except the steelers have one primary pass rusher. so do you think ppl should give spencer some credit for what he's asked to do?
The Cowboys think the same way you think. And I tend to agree. Spencer does a lot of the dirty work in this defense, but I don't like it when people say all he does is cover. He rushes the passer enough to get more than six sacks a year. That said, he is a solid player that catches too much grief.
can hatcher be a 10 sack guy if healthy
Ten might be a little high but I wrote the other week that I think this could be a breakout year for Hatcher. He had 4.5 sacks last year with missing time. If he stays healthy I can see him in the eight range. It's just not a pass-rushing position in this scheme.
Will romo get Matt schaub type money or Drew brees type money when he eventually gets extended?
He should get right in the middle of those numbers, if you ask me. He's better than Schaub and hasn't accomplished as much as Brees. So my take on the numbers is five years, $85 million and $45 million guaranteed. It will be interesting to see how the talks with Joe Flacco effect the Cowboys and Romo.
How much do you think the Cowboys defense can improve in Year 2 under Rob Ryan?
A lot. Here's what I think Jerry Jones was getting at the other day when tlaking about Ryan's defense: it's simpler. I think Ryan got caught up way too much in the scheme and proving his geniius rather than putting guys in position to make plays. Against the Giants, the Cowboys were relatively basic. You didn't see a lot of strange stuff. It was straight forward. We'll see if Ryan continues to do that as the season goes on.
Why cut danny coale from the team if the cowboys arent even playing guys like dwayne harris and andre holmes
The other guys were better in camp and Coale is on the practice squad, so the Cowboys can call him up whenever they want.
Do you think Ogletree can match his performance against the Giants again this season? Or will every Cowboys fan have too high of expectations for him for the rest of the season?
I wouldn't expect eight catches for 114 yards every game. I would think you'll see him in the 3-4 catch, 40-50 yards per game. That's what a No. 3 receiver usually gets. At the end of the year if Ogletree has around 40 catches and five or six touchdowns, it was a successful year for him.
I've had a couple of Bruce Carter questions here, so I'll just wrap it up in one: He was better than I thought. He was physical. He was able to make good reads. The Cowboys are going about their ILBs in a 3-4 a little different than the traditional way with two guys who aren't necessarily thumpers. With the way the game gets spread today, I think that's smart. Carter is much more athletic than Bradie James was. Now, I'd like to see him more involved in the sub packages but that's not the case so far.
After watching the Cowboys, Sunday and Monday night football, it seems the officals really let the cornerbacks be physical. Do you think that is going to continue or do you think it is just the replacement refs being cautious??
I thought the replacement refs were OK in Week 1. They had some mistakes but so do the regular guys. I cannot stand watching a Jeff Triplett officiated game. As far as the cornerbacks being physical, I think the games were more like the playoffs in that regard. They let some things go, generally, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Should we expect sacks form Sean Lee and the other MLBs or coverage and tackles?
Lee has yet to record a sack in his career. I think he'll get some this year. He was more active as a rusher in the preseason and has a good feel for getting after the quarterback. I'm saying he will be in the three sack range. He's just a good overall player.
IF Ryan Cook plays well the in this game and perhaps the following game if Costa is out, Will he become the new center?
If the Cowboys get off to a nice start here with Cook in the lineup, I don't see them going back to Costa once he gets healthy. He can be the swing guard/center as a backup if necessary.
when is jenkins returning
He plans on playing this week. We'll see. I'm not sure how they get him on the field a ton. It's a good problem to have with too many corners. Too often the Cowboys haven't had enough corners.
If this defense is formative, do yu think ware will have a chance at Defensive player of the year
He'll be in that case regardless because he's such a good player. He's been in that mix the last three or four years on defenses that were OK. It's all predicated on winning. If they win, he gets more of a chance.
Do you think Miles is OVerpaid?
I don't, no. I think he is their best, most polished receiver when healthy. That's the key: health. Austin can be a nightmare for defenses becausehe lines up all over the field. I'll make a prediction for this week's game at Seattle: if you have him in a fantasy matchup, play him. I think he has a big game, especially in the slot.
Do you think the cowboys miss evaluated orlando scandrick when they gave him the extension?
I think they had to do what they did at the time they did it. Remember, he was going to be a free agent after last season and they were already leaning toward getting rid of Terence Newman. Jenkins is signed through 2012. They couldn't go into 2012 with only Jenkins under contract. Did they overspend? Yeah. Will it kill them? They don't owe him any guaranteed money after this year. He's a solid No. 3 corner and teams are paying those kinds of dollars to No. 3 guys. But he needs to perform better in 2012.
I have a follow-up to your Bruce Carter post. I noticed that he played only about 30 of 60+ defensive snaps (numbers may not be exact). Why is that, since all I have read was how impressive he was?
He doesn't play in the sub packages when the Giants brought on three and four wide receivers. The Cowboys bring on extra corners and safeties to match up better.
Is Cowboys Stadium still impressive for those teams that visit for the first time? Do you see another stadium approaching its scale/awe anytime soon?
Oh, it's impressive. I just don't think it brings much "homefield advantage" to it. It's funny to think 90,000-plus people can be so quiet. I think it's so nice that the fans don't want to muddy it up and get too distracted. I don't know that we'll see a stadium like it. Maybe LA has plans for something like it.
Hi Todd - Thanks for hosting today's chat. In your opinion, how important was the running game in Wednesday's win at NY, especially since all the big plays (except Murray's 48-yard run) were pass plays?
That's just the nature of the game. I think the running game was solid. It was 5 yards here, 3 yards there, 7 yards here. That's OK. What's good is that Garrett stuck with it and he's much more willing to do that with DeMarco Murray than any other backs he's had be it Julius Jones, Marion Barber or Felix Jones.
As a Seahawks fan I can tell you right now Seattle may have the best secondary in the NFL. In addition they will be playing in Seattle, where it is loud, and one of the toughest road games for opposing teams. That said, this game, for Dallas, comes down to the O-line, in my opinion. How do you see that specific matchup unfolding? Dallas fans are calling this a gimme game, to which I say...slow down now....
I haven't seen the gimme talk but ... I like the interior of Seattle's D-line in Mebane and Bryant better than the outside. Now Jason Jones and Chris Clemons can cause some problems at end, but they're not as good as the Giants rushers. It's always about how the O-line plays in some ways. Seattle has a good secondary. I like the safeties a lot, but just in looking at that Arizona game the Cardinals missed a lot of plays in the passing game because they don't have a quarterback.
Laurant robinson was serviceable last year when austin was out for a few games. do you trust kevin in the same role if dez or miles is out for a few games?
I think Ogletree would be fine there in a short-term, just like Robinson. Is he a long-term No. 1 or 2? I don't think so. We'll see if Jacksonville has any buyer's remorse on Robinson here in the future.
Why did Murray cut back to the middle on the long run?
He said he read it wrong. He thought the defenders had him hemmed in so he didn't think he could continue down the sideline.
Todd, love the chats. I have read a lot about the vaunted Seattle secondary, but Dez should be able to muscle past their corner and Miles may be to quick. Could also be a good time to unleash the Beasley in the slot to keep the chains moving. Thoughts on how we will attack this defense, which sounds like the second coming of the 86 Bears??
Rimo threw for 279 yards on them last year. Bryant had 76 yards. Witten had 71. Austin had 53. I don't see Beasley being the slot guy this week. I think Austin could have a big day in the slot.
Cowboys got a well deserve road victory against the Giants and now travel to Seattle, who lost a tough one to the Cardinals. Are the Cowboys in for a tough game for the Seahawks this weekend both on offense and defense?
It'll be a tough game. I don't see a shootout. I see a close low 20s type of game.
Any info on this new CB they acquired?
Special teams guy. He played for one of the best special teams coaches in Mike Westhoff with the Jets and Joe DeCamillis does some of the same things as Westhoff.
Will Kyle Wilbur contribute to the pass rush this year?
Maybe but he'll be a core special teamer this year. He has some natural pass rush to him but you have guys like Ware, Spencer and Victor Butler ahead of him.
Parnell looks like an unmitigated disaster. His missed block got Vickers crushed. Is he a potential mid-season cut once Kowalski returns? Also, seemed as if Vickers had less of a role than Fiammetta did last year (prior to his mystery injury). What do you see for Vickers going forward?
Parnell and Kowalski don't play the same position. They don't have a swing tackle. And Parnell is a Jerry Jones' favorite. Actually the Cowboys ran more 21 personnel with Vickers vs. NY than they did with Fiammetta. I like what Vickers brings to the team, but I have to admit I thought I'd see more of him blowing up guys than I have.
do you hold your breath when dez returns kicks?
I don't. It's football. He can be a dangerous return man. He just needs to be smarter and not try to do too much and leave himself open to hits when he is returning punts.
what do you think of church and is he a upgrade from elam?
I like him and what he's done. Upgrade from Elam? A little bit. I don't think Elam was worthless. He's solid. You can win with solid guys. Church is solid.
Anthony Spencer is obviously one of those players whom most of the fans expect more of, yet both coaches and most media member continue to defend his play despite the mediocre statistic. I just want to bring up the point, didn't greg ellis play opposite of ware before spencer and didn't he always have 8+ sacks a year? What is the difference?
I agree he needs more sacks. I haven't said otherwise, but you sound like you're just ignoring the full game. Ellis was a better pass rusher, but not as good in other areas when compared to Spencer.
What did you think of rg3?
Pretty impressive. I don't know how you couldn't be impressed. Shanahan looks like he finally has a guy who can play, but let's see how RG3 progresses week to week.
Do you think Witten would have been targeted more in the NY game if he had been 100%? Or did the Giants scheme to take away Witten and cause Romo to have to throw to Ogletree instead?
The Cowboys could not have a Witten-friendly plan, so to speak, because they didn't know if he would play.They didn't really run a lot of plays for him but I think they'll change it up as he gets healthier. Remember, he's still not out of danger with this spleen injury.
Thanks for all of the questions. Remember if you have some more, send me an e-mail. Check out our ESPNDallas.com blog and or check me out on Twitter (@toddarcher). See you next time.Courage.