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January 4, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Calvin Watkins

Calvin Watkins
  (1:00 PM)

Welcome to our first offseason chat. Lots to talk about. Let's go.

raul (rio grande city)

Hey Calvin, is Rob Ryan's job in jeopardy now that Crennel is available?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:01 PM)

Interesting question but I don't believe so. Ryan's job was hard given he lost five starters, and he didn't pick all the players who replaced them. I would have liked to see Ryan blitz more, but he was in fear of allowing big plays with his secondary. Maybe in 2013, Ryan will go back to blitzing more and playing more man-to-man defense.

Jon (Orangeburg South carolina)

Before the season started i asked you who was the best receiver on the team and you said miles. Now its look like he's falling to number 3 or 4 behind dez, witten, and harris. do you think miles skills are diminishing or was he just not healthy all season?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:03 PM)

Health was Austin's biggest issue. He should have played better and he disappeared too many times this season. Now you can say Tony Romo target throws to other people, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten mainly, but I don't believe Dwayne Harris is better than Austin. Cole Beasley either. But it's hard to get on a player who was just 57 yards away from getting 1,000 and had two games with zero catches because of injuries.

Morice (Virginia Beach)

Any updates on Barry Church's progress recovering from his injury?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:04 PM)

Church is out of a walking boot and walking with a slight limp. He should be ready to start the offseason program but could be limited in the early days of the OTAs. Expect him to be ready for training camp.

Zane (Dallas)

Is their any chance the cowboys draft a quarterback in the early rounds?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:05 PM)

I wouldn't be opposed to it. Romo turns 33 in April and getting younger at the position is a must. The last quarterback to win a Super Bowl in his 30s was Brad Johnson in Tampa Bay. Yeah, not Peyton, Brady or Brees have done it. So turning 30 doesn't equate winning a Super Bowl.

Rich (New Jersey)

Hi, What are the Cowboys top five things they should do before the NFL Draft?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:08 PM)

Rich, Here it is.1. Clear cap space by cutting Jay Ratliff and Doug Free and restructure the contracts of Miles Austin and Brandon Carr. 2. Extend Tony Romo's contract3. Sign a free agent defensive tackle4. Sign a free agent safety like Charlie Peprah.5. Extend the contract of Jason Hatcher.

ryan (san diego)

how do you see a falcons-cowboys playoff meeting turning out?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:09 PM)

If it's in Atlanta, expect the Cowboys to win. If it's in the A, expect the Cowboys to win. Tony Gonzalez has never won a playoff game. He's worse than Romo.

Bob (Austin)

Anthony Spencer - why did you have him in your trash pile?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:10 PM)

I don't believe the Cowboys will sign him long-term so the franchise will let Spencer go.

Rob Ryan (Dallas)

Do you think I'll be fired?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:11 PM)

No, I think you'll be fine.

Scott (Miami)

Does Jerry Jones realize (or care) that he went on the radio and undercut his head coach? How is anyone supposed to succeed in Dallas?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:13 PM)

I don't believe he did. The best thing Jerry Jones said was he wants change and finishing 8-8 is not good enough. Now what will Jones do? We can only speculate. But he didn't undercut Garrett, if you remember the last time the Cowboys failed to reach the playoffs three consecutive seasons, Jones fired the coach and hired Bill Parcells.

Steve (New York)

If you are keeping Romo seems like you have to upgrade the OL. Will the Cowboys be players in free agency for top offensive lineman like Ryan Clady and Andy Levitre?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:14 PM)

After what they did in free agency last year, bypassing Carl Nicks, I don't trust them. So, I'd go in the draft and get a guard and center and build it that way.

Daniel Shipman (Newark, NJ)

Who is a better option for the offensive coach of the Dallas Cowboys?Jason Garret, Norv Turner, or Bill Callahan? Which one would bring the best style offense that suits Tony Romo?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:16 PM)

If you had to get rid of Garrett, then hire Norv Turner. Garrett is running a version of his offense anyway and I respect his offensive mind. Turner lost out on the head coaching gig that went to Wade Phillips in 2007. Turner wouldn't be afraid to challenge defenses down the field, something Garrett didn't do a lot of in 2012. He would make Murray better in the passing game too.

John (Charlotte, N.C.)

How can we continue to fall behind in most games in the first half? Is it a lack of preparation, game planning, etc.? Garrett and Romo have been together for six seasons; what gives?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:20 PM)

It's on the head coach when a team falls behind like that early in games. It says the team isn't prepared. It's a reflection of the head coach and Garrett failed in this area. This isn't a Garrett-Romo problem, it's a team problem. When Felix Jones fumbles the kickoff in Seattle and the Seahawks score, that's got nothing to do with Romo and Garrett.

John T. Gold (Salt Lake City)

It seems to me the one of the problems in the red zone is the offensive scheme. It seems that Cowboys only have deep or more deep in the route tree. Why don't that have more middle of the field routes/crossing routes or put the receivers in motion more?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:22 PM)

The Cowboys do run a lot of over the middle routes but when you get inside the 20, the field shrinks and you have to take shots at the end zone when you see one-on-one coverage on the outside. The key is protection. I don't believe Romo felt like he was going to get time to score enough touchdowns.

Billy (Dallas, tx)

jut for fun- what about swapping Tony Romo with Phillip Rivers? both QBs cold us a chnge of scenery.

Calvin Watkins
  (1:22 PM)

Rivers would cuss everybody out. LOL

Matt (Iowa)

Am I the only one that thinks all the tough talk by Mr. Jones is complete garbage? Just like always, it's going to be all talk and no action. Hopefully his "unconventional" ideas involve going line heavy in the draft. In your opinion what's a bigger need: guard/center or nose tackle? Thanks.

Calvin Watkins
  (1:24 PM)

Jerry Jones has to make changes, especially now with everybody expecting him to do something. He's got to draft a guard/center and a defensive tackle in the draft.

James Hickson (Brooklyn NY)

Do you think Jay Ratliff will be back? because i dont see his replacement on the team and there isnt alot of depth behind him

Calvin Watkins
  (1:26 PM)

Ratliff's replacement is now suspended in Josh Brent. Sean Lissemore backed up Brent but he's a defensive end. Robert Callaway is the logical choice if the Cowboys don't draft someone for that spot.

PPC (San Francisco, CA)

How do you think the Cowboys will address the backup RB position? Keep Jones at a lower salary and keep Dunbar or get a bigger, power FA back? Do you think Ernie Sims will be resigned for depth - he played well during the year. Thanks.

Calvin Watkins
  (1:26 PM)

It's time to move on from Felix Jones and Ernie Sims. Nice guys, but didn't make enough plays on the field.

Jane (California )

Will Parnell replace free next year?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:27 PM)

Looks that way, unless the Cowboys decide to keep him. I like Parnell and he's more athletic than Free. Free might be stronger but he was too inconsistent in 2012.

Fred (Conn)

What is it about the Jason Garretts play calling thats a problem?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:29 PM)

He doesn't get in the end zone enough and he doesn't run it enough. Franchise low for rushing yards in a 16-game season. Despite throwing for more than 4,000 yards, Romo, at one point, led the NFL in turnovers. Garrett needed to get a handle on the offense and didn't.

Randall (Shreveport)

Please talk us off the ledge! Any good things to look for in the 2013 season for the Cowboys?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:30 PM)

Yeah, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are returning.

robert (maryland)

Will Harris and Beasley move up the depth charts next year?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:30 PM)

They should, especially Harris after the impact he had in 2012. He's fast, displays good hands and runs good routes. Beasley is a nice slot receiver who finds open spots in the defense and makes plays.

Victor (TX)

Do you think the cowboys will the game against washington with a healthy sean lee and bruce carter? i dont see the pistol option offense working as efficiently with those two guys going sideline to sideline

Calvin Watkins
  (1:32 PM)

You could say that. However, the Cowboy needed to stop the run no matter who was out there. Ware and Spencer got fooled too many times on the option. The runs up the gut were too much to taek.

Steve (Chicago)

So if you believe Spencer is gone, does rounds 1 and 2 go pass rusher and OT? Draft is stocked with pass rushers slated for round 1. and pick #47 should net them another starter!

Calvin Watkins
  (1:33 PM)

Draft the best player available. If it's a pass rusher, do it, if it's a guard/center, do it. If it's a safety, do it. Get good players.

Stephan (Bayonne NJ)

Last year the cowboys drafted and brought free agents in to compete against the giants. do you think they do the same against for the skins and if so what postions should they target?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:35 PM)

I think you should stop chasing the division and start building your team. I never hear the Giants or Redskins saying we need to build to stop Dallas. Build your team. Get the best players available in the draft and stop chasing quick fixes in free agency, unless he's going to be a star player.

Jason (Philadelphia, PA)

Calvin - you mention maybe Rob will go "back" to blitzing more, but havent we been saying that his entire time in Dallas? I seem to recall us wondering when he would start blitzing more last season as well.

Calvin Watkins
  (1:35 PM)

Rob is afraid of getting beat deep that's why he blitzed less, but he still gave up big plays, especially in the run game.

Kris (Jersey City )

james hanna seems like he can be a matchup problem next year for linebackers and safeties, will he have a bigger role next year and will john phillips be back?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:36 PM)

John Phillips won't return in 2013. But I like what Hanna can do in the passing game. He's got nice hands and seems to run good routes. The moments don't seem to big for him.

drama (north carolina)

Can the cowboys afford to pay Tony Romo and Anthony Spencer big deals?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:36 PM)

The team can afford to pay Romo and Spencer. But the smart move is to just pay Romo.

gerry (san fran)

What do you think about Claiborne and Crawfords season, and do you see Crawford becoming a starter?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:37 PM)

Claiborne had a nice season, though he missed too many tackles in the regular season finale, but he's going to be an excellent corner. Crawford impressed the coaches as the season progressed. He's got the skills to become a starter.

Carlos (El Paso)

Why do you think Jason abandon the running game so much, because in 6 years the cowboys have never had a 1000 yard rusher with him as the play caller?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:39 PM)

When you get behind the way the Cowboys did, 28-3 to Washington as one example, you can't run the ball. Garrett wants to run but can't when you're down three scores. Garrett needed to do a better of of having his group ready to play at the start of games, too many times they were behind. It forced Romo to attempt 40-to-50 passes.

raul (rio grande city)

hey calvin any snow in DAllas right now?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:39 PM)

No. It's clear. At least where I'm sitting.

Chet Trego (Pennsylvania)

Would Dallas sign Brandon Jacobs?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:40 PM)

To do what? Cowboys already have people in marketing department.

raul (rio grande city)

now that you mention Callaway...the dude is big...can he play ala Josh Brent and give the Boys some hope?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:40 PM)

Yes, I like Callaway. He's got some size and can move a little bit. He just needs more experience.

Chet Trego (Pennsylvania)

If the D was healthy all year, how many games you think they would have won?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:40 PM)

10 easy.

Jason (Philadelphia, PA)

Any interest in Mike Holmgren as some type of special assistant to Jerry on player evaluation and/or consultant to Jason?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:41 PM)

It's an interesting move, but I doubt if Jones would do it. He tried to hire Dan Reeves a few years ago as an assistant to Wade Phillips, but it didn't work out.

raul (rio grande city)

Calvin could this be David Arkin's breakout year? the dude was highly though of and with another offseason he might get stronger and meaner

Calvin Watkins
  (1:42 PM)

He will compete for a spot in 2013.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Do you think Dez Bryant can have a drama free offseason in 2013, so that he can pick up where he left off at the end of 2012, and become the consistent beast he has the potential to be? Or will he continue to tease and break Cowboy hearts like Tony Romo?

Calvin Watkins
  (1:42 PM)

He's got security with him 24/7, so sure things will be fine for Bryant. I think.

Calvin Watkins
  (1:43 PM)

Guys I have to go, the kids are staring me in the face and want to talk about the upcoming draft. Take care.