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October 29, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jean-Jacques Taylor

Tony G (Lancaster, PA)

JJT: I just read Bill Barnwell's article on the Cowboys' salary cap situation and, really, an overall indictment on how he has handled contracts and drafting for years. I really enjoyed your recent article on Jason Garrett's value to the Cowboys, his strategy to fill the roster with the "right kind of guys" and how he is creating a culture that builds a team with a strong foundation for many years to come. At any rate, I am curious to hear how you would reconcile what Garrett is trying to do with the cap situation that exists and how Jones plans to handle salaries in the future. If you have the time, I would love to hear your insight on this topic. Take care...

JJT
  (12:59 PM)

For the most part, JJ listens to his head coach. When he has a strong head coach - Parcells and, yes, Garrett - he's a lot better owner than when he has a coach like Wade Wilson who's so happy to have the job he lets Jerry basically do whatever he wants. The coach doesn't always get his way, but the reason I keep tell y'all to wish for Garrett's success is he understands how to deal with JJ and how, for the most part, to get him to make good decisions.

Morice (Virginia Beach, VA)

When is an apology gonna come from this defensive unit because they should be embarassed with how they've performed so far.

JJT
  (1:01 PM)

Seriously, what do you expect. At the end of the game, the Cowboys had Jakar Hamilton and Jeff Heath, a couple of UFA rookies, who didn't even play Division 1-AA ball. They had BW Webb from William & Mary in the slot and the DL was kyle Wilber, Hatcher, Selvie and Jarius Wynn. What do you really expect that collection of players to produce? It's not an excuse it's reality. There are times you get compromised because of injury. This is one of those times. All this D can give you is turnovers and good red zone D. The offense has to outscore folks.

Carl (Raleigh NC)

What's up JJT,This one cuts deep it was my Birthday and all I wanted was a W, but my question is why does it seem when the Boys are in a tight game they play not to lose and get real conservative?

JJT
  (1:03 PM)

There was ZERO wrong with the strategy. If the plan is executed, Detroit must travel 80 yards with no timeouts in about 30 seconds. Mistake 1: Tanner is not supposed to bounce the play. He's supposed to get whatever he gets up the middle. Mistake 2: The bounce put Smith in a position to hold. The hold stops the clock and wrecks the strategy.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hi JJT, what do you think the priority in Free Agency for the Rangers should be?

JJT
  (1:04 PM)

haven't thought about it. And won't think about it until the winter meetings. Too much other stuff going on - football, college football, Mavericks, Stars

Candy (Slippery Rock)

Which Ranger free agent do you think will most likely to be back and which one do you think will be least likely to be back?

JJT
  (1:05 PM)

Signing Nelson Cruz would solve a lot of problems. But he ain't giving no discounts at 33 YO. I don't think Nathan is returning. He wants and has earned a 2-year deal. Don't think Rangers want to do that

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What did you think of Dez Bryant Ranting this weekend at Detroit?

JJT
  (1:06 PM)

Here's the column I wrote on it today http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/9897013/dallas-cowboys-receiver-dez-bryant-rein-emotions-even-positive

Dwight (Cleveland)

Could this be the worst defense Dallas has ever had? At what point is Kiffin going to be held accountable?

JJT
  (1:07 PM)

see my previous post. The Cowboys spent 10 years playing in a 3-4 defense with CBs who specialize in man to man. Now, they're playing a 4-3 with zone principles without 5 of the 6 DL they penciled in to start the season. Bill Belichick couldn't get this D to play well. This D plays with tremendous effort. That compensates for many flaws, but when you play a team that's skilled they can't stop anybody

pj (midlo)

Hi JJT, Seems 8 games is a pretty good measuring stick and do you agree that Cowboys really need to take an approach of keeping the pedal to the metal on offense until the game is over (so to speak). Teams like Saints, Broncos continue to push it to get 3 scores ahead. The Dallas defense cannot get off the field against the top 12 QBs in the 4th quarter. Our offensive line is not capable of supporting a consistent 4th quarter move the chains running game. thoughts

JJT
  (1:08 PM)

This offense hasn't been good since Denver. Hard to push envelope, when you can't sustain drives.

Adam (Toronto)

Has there been any word about what exactly Dez was saying during his tantrum?

JJT
  (1:09 PM)

all over NFL.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Adam (Toronto)

Why did it take so long for the Cowboys offense to get going? You could feel the game slipping away when they kept getting turnovers and coming away empty, regardless of the score.

JJT
  (1:10 PM)

they never got going. They threw a slant that Terrance Williams turned into a 60-yd TD and they threw a del out that Dez turned into a 50-yard TD. They didn't sustain a single drive in that game. It was a pathetic showing from start to finish

Matt (Fort Worth)

I would like to see more emotion from the rest of the Cowboys! It seems to me that Dez Bryant is the only one angry about losing.

JJT
  (1:10 PM)

that's so overrated. Every player doesn't show frustration the same. Besides, you're watching the game - not the sideline where most of that stuff occurs.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Keeping it real today JJT. Romo was bad for 3 quarters, and he looked rattled and inaccurate. Romo never once went to Witten on 3rd down and Dez only once. Joseph Randle stunk it up as well. 4 TO's mean nothing if you give up 623 yards. There is blame to go around throughout this team. The Cowboys made 4 or 5 good plays on offense and 4 on defense, and the rest of the game stunk. Hard to win with a DL made up of guys off the street and the practice squad, as well as a depleted secondary by the end of the game. The last person I'm laying blame at is Dez Bryant. He ran routes hard and tried to fire up his teammates; glad to see someone on this team is angry about being 4-4.

JJT
  (1:12 PM)

I would disagree with you. The yards don't really mean that much. The 4 turnovers positioned the offense to cash in and build a substantial lead, but they only produced 10 points. Even if they kicked 3 FGs to go with TD they could've helped on at the end. The offensive inability to take advantage of the field position from the TOS put them in position to lose at the end. You know this D is no good. So the offense has to win.

nate keyman (sioux falls)

why can't the dallas hold on to the lead in games its madding and owner says it nothing.

JJT
  (1:13 PM)

who cares what he says. Does it really matter if he's happy or sad after a loss or a win?

Chris (Phoenix, Az)

Another man down for the year. Do you feel Dallas record of 4-4 is as much to do with injuries this year or there lack of ability to close out these games?

JJT
  (1:14 PM)

it's always a play here or there. When they make them they win. When the other team makes them they lose. It's hard to blow teams out, so many of these games go to the last minute. There are points in every game where a team has an opportunity to seize control of the game. Good teams - New England is the best - recognize that point and turn up the intensity right then

Malcolm Shipp (Memphis, TN.)

With the receiver issues in NE and lack of play makers in Seattle, how long do you think it will be before Dez takes his talents there? Or, why would he not explore those options? Cowboys are a middling franchise at best and have been for 15 years now. Why stay?

JJT
  (1:15 PM)

Dez is going to be here for a decade.

Travis W (Milwaukee, WI)

Do you see the cowboys resigning Demarco Murrary after this season?

JJT
  (1:15 PM)

he still has year left on his rookie deal

Reggie Smith (Washington DC)

Since the Denver game, the offense has not been consistant. Also, the last two game DC has gotten the ball with less than 2 minutes and couldn't run out the clock. What seems to be the issue?

JJT
  (1:16 PM)

they didn't get any push and the Lions were playing the run. The offense put a shabby D in position to lose the game. Some of y'all don't want to hear it. Or deal with it. But that's what happened.

Pete (MD)

Barnwell is a hack, the Cowboys drafts have actually been pretty decent the past few seasons.

JJT
  (1:17 PM)

It was a good read. It had some good points and some points I would disagree with. Whenever a national write writes an analytical piece you have to take it for what it's worth because he doesn't really understand all the inner workings of the franchise

Ian C (Atl, GA)

So many people want to talk about Dez's behavior, but so little spend the time to really get into the Cowboys REAL issue. Why does this team almost always find a way to choke away games that are practically already won? Please give more insight than talent. I think there is a deeper issue, just can't seem to put it on one thing. Thoughts?

JJT
  (1:18 PM)

they won 5 in the 4Q last year. They have been involved in more games decided by 3 or less than every team except NE since 2010. You;re not going to win every close game

JJT
  (1:18 PM)

Detroit lost on the final play last week. This week, they won

Cain (Berwyn)

Afternoon JJT I'm watching the game and it look like running game was working early.Did Waters injury cause it to bog down after he left?

JJT
  (1:19 PM)

that didm;t help, but Fairly whipped Leary much of the day

Rashad (Miami)

I get the love for the RKG. My question is when is that going to be enough to translate into victories. This .500 roller coaster is a nightmare and when I see Josh Gordon and Honey Badger balling, I question whether RGK is enough. Like Dez said...give me some dogs.

JJT
  (1:20 PM)

who is RKG?

Vincent (New York)

JTT I'm a big fan of ur work, it usually causes me to laugh out loud. Despite being a native New Yorker I'm a huge Cowboys fan and hope Garrett is the next Tom Landry. Here is my biggest fear, Garrett gets fired for missing the playoffs, the Giants pick him up next yr and go deep into the playoffs

JJT
  (1:21 PM)

I don't think Garrett is going anywhere

Dave (Raleigh)

Minn/Oak/NO/NYG......they win 3 out of 4 and they will go into a tough DEC (again) with a division lead and yet another chance to claim the NFC title. Who do you think will finish 1st?

JJT
  (1:22 PM)

I don't really play that game. The scenario and vibe changes so much from week to week that it's a waste of time to play the whole schedule game.

Rashad (Miami)

Six targets for Dez on Sunday...First target with 55 secs left in the second quarter...Shouldn't that be a fire-able offense? I can't for the life of me figure out why they let opposing defenses take away there most explosive weapons with simple bracket coverage. I thought Red G was supposed to be some offensive genius.

JJT
  (1:24 PM)

Red J ain't calling the plays. Bill callahan is calling the plays. They should find ways to make sure Dez and Witten touch the ball early. Maybe that would've happened in Terrance Williams had been able to win early in the game when all the targets were going his way. When he didn't there was no need for Det to alter its strategy

Brian (Ny)

Would you trade a 3rd round pick for Jared Allen?

JJT
  (1:28 PM)

the Cowboys don't have cap room to add Allen or anyone else of note

Lila Ann (Hawaii)

Good morning JJT,First of all i would like to comment on the situation with DEZ it pisses me off when the majority of ESPN'S ANALYSTS & the MEDIA turns this incident into a MEDIA CIRCUS FRENZY when DEZ made that comment on saying WHATEVER CJ CAN DO HE CAN DO TOO he didn't say hes better that CJ

JJT
  (1:29 PM)

it happens sometimes. Dez tried his best to clean it up. It's hard when your words get misconstrued.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Just because the defense is not good does not absolve it from blame, and it doesn't mean the offense can magically kick it up a few notches either. I know the reality is that the offense is going to have to score 35-40 points a game to win, but with the pathetic effort of Joseph Randle, that's going to be hard. Romo will have to go to Dez early and often, regardless of the coverage.

JJT
  (1:30 PM)

It's not about blame. It's about reality. You;re playing with a collection of backup and role players. You can want them to be Doomsday all day long and it ain't gonna happen. When they play average passers, they're OK. Against good passers they have no chance.

Roger (OH)

Do you see defense being a major issue for the Mavs this season, especially in the backcourt?

JJT
  (1:31 PM)

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! yes, but they should score enough to make it fun

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Did Calvin send a message to Dez last Sunday?

JJT
  (1:31 PM)

nope. Calvin could not care less. He's not built that way.

Mark (San Antonio)

Do you think the Longhorns can run the table, win the rest of their games to end the season?

JJT
  (1:33 PM)

don't see how they beat Baylor. I don't think they score enough to beat the Bears

Aaron (Duncanville, Tx)

Who should the Cowboys be worried about most in division. Giants were dead at 0-6, but now they look like the biggest threat w/ WAS and PHI looking horrible. Your thoughts?

JJT
  (1:34 PM)

Dallas just needs to win 2 of 3 and they should be alright. I'd say Giants would be toughest matchup because they're just playing bad. I don't think they've had that many injuries

Nathan (Macon, GA)

JJT, halfway through the season, who is the Cowboys MVP? Sean Lee?

JJT
  (1:34 PM)

sounds good to me

G-Money (Chicago, IL)

Blessings JJT - Regarding your response to Carl from Raleigh, I think the strategy on the last possession needs be adjusted for the fact that Johnson could burn the Cowboys' D on just one play. Garrett's defense can't stop anybody and he should have gone for another TD on the last possession to make it a two-score game. And I'm not responding emotionally, but rather, I'm being pragmatic.

JJT
  (1:35 PM)

the offense had done ZERO all day. They had 2 plays. To think they were going to score based on what you saw all game is a little much.

Rashad (Miami)

RKG...right kind of guy

JJT
  (1:38 PM)

You need stars to win and you want the rest of your roster filled with the right kind of guys. The right kind of guys are the guys that chased Megatron 60 yards before they finally pushed him out. Don't forget, the Cowboys stopped them on 3rd down and y'all were just as surprised as me that they went for it on 4th down. The RKG play whistle to whistle

johnny (sulphur sprgins)

how is it that every year dallas has to restructure contracts to get below the salary cap and not be able to sign anyone to help win now. by doing this they are only hurting this teams future in the next years along with those bad contracts. agree?

JJT
  (1:42 PM)

They expect to be out of cap hell in 2015. A lot of teams have similar problems. It's one of the reason Hakeem Nicks isn't signed yet for the NYG.

Steve (UK)

Regardless how poor the Dallas defence is, they're still in the driving seat to win the division. Based on previous seasons, if they make it to the play-offs, it still counts as progress and something to build on next year when they can draft some defensive linemen. Just saying

JJT
  (1:42 PM)

what if they don't?

Pete (MD)

How about a Detroit at Dallas rematch in the wild card round?

JJT
  (1:42 PM)

Gotta get their first. No guarantees - even in this awful division

JJT
  (1:45 PM)

u realize Chuckie went 57-55 in TB after going 12-4 and winning the SB in his first season. He had one season of more than 9 win in his last 7 season. He hasn't coached since 2008. Try another name

Rick (TX)

Does Ware see the field before the bye?

JJT
  (1:46 PM)

he has a shot this week, which means he has a shot against NO

Morice (Virginia Beach, VA)

How good do you think the d-line would be if Crawford and Spencer were healthy this year?

JJT
  (1:46 PM)

you the man

Chris (Phoenix, Az)

Dallas has shown the ability to stay in the game with anybody. Will it essentially just be on Romo to get them over the top cause the defense can only do so much with third string players starting?

JJT
  (1:47 PM)

you got it.

Nathan Allen (chickasha, ok)

As far as heartbreaking losses are concerned, which season has been worse, this year or 2011?

JJT
  (1:47 PM)

season isn't over yet bro

Marty (NH)

Thanks for taking the time every week for these chats. Is it pretty much a foregone conclusion that Miles Austin is gone next year? Between the salary cap and the emergence of Williams and Beasely it seems pretty likely.

JJT
  (1:48 PM)

I wouldn't expect him to return. Terrance Williams can do his job at a much lower price and they'll add another receiver in the draft

Morice (Virginia Beach, VA)

I'm a little concerned about Romo. Not only is he on his own again, but the way he's been inaccurate and not getting enough air on some of his throws at times makes me wonder if something's bothering him physically.

JJT
  (1:49 PM)

the rush bothered him against Detroit. Romo said the wind bothered him against Philly

raul (rio grande city)

JJT, i saw that everett brown was signed ...who is gone from the current roster?

JJT
  (1:50 PM)

Waters on IR