Chat with Todd Archer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Dallas Cowboys reporter Todd Archer drops by to chat and answer all of your Cowboys questions.
Archer joined ESPNDallas.com in November 2010. He's covered the NFL since 1997 and the Cowboys since 2003. He covered the Bengals and Dolphins before arriving in Dallas. A Massachusetts native, Archer lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children.
Send your questions now and join Archer Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Todd Archer (12:57 PM)
Hey folks. I'm ready. Not a lot going on yet in terms of Cowboys' shopping but we'll work through it. Away we go.
IS there any chance the cowboys reach out and try to sign demarcus ware?
Todd Archer (12:59 PM)
Lots of Ware questions to start. I don't see this as an option. Honestly, if they really wanted to keep him they would have made a better effort. Ware will get more from another team than the Cowboys will want to spend. The next time he is with the Cowboys is with an honorary contract to say he retired as a Cowboy and as a member of the Ring of Honor.
Mike (Tampa Fl)
Why are the cowboys making the austin decison now rather than june 1?
Todd Archer (1:00 PM)
There's no need to keep him through then. Why have him go through the offseason work and get hurt? The Cowboys don't get the money until June. For Austin, it's a better deal because he will have a chance to find a new home quicker as opposed to waiting for June.
Gary Pomrenke (Fort Worth)
I have no problem with them cutting Ware, or Austin. This team is an 8-8 team with or without those guys. They need to start rebuilding, and trying to get younger.
Todd Archer (1:02 PM)
I get where you are coming from, Gary. But I think there is plenty of football left in Ware. I do think the injuries slowed him down. Now, I wouldn't have paid him $12.75 million this year, but I think I could have found a deal that would have made it worth his while to stay. The Cowboys now have to find three players to replace one guy. They better get the right guys too.
Would you prefer hatcher or a younger melton? acl injuries aren't as hard to come back from as in the past
Will the cowboys try to create even more cap space? and how?
Todd Archer (1:04 PM)
Whoops. Got ahead of myself there. I would go with Melton. He's younger. I'm not paying age. But the price with Melton has to be right. Guys have come back from ACL injuries but I would need some protection in case he does not come back to form.
Todd Archer (1:05 PM)
Carlos, I don't think you'll see the Cowboys add more cap space. Maybe it will be with smaller moves, but they want to avoid restructuring contracts on guys like Witten and Carr.
Ok Jerry has the money! This could be dangerous? Can we expect adding at least one good d-lineman in free agency? Or will he sign a tight end? lol
Todd Archer (1:06 PM)
Always go with the best tight end available. I kid. I think the Cowboys will try to sign multiple defensive linemen here in free agency. Maybe not household names but guys they feel can get them 5-6 sacks each and replace Ware and possibly Hatcher that way.
nick (West VA)
is it true that the cowboys will save 14 mil next year on the cap by getting rid of ware?
Todd Archer (1:07 PM)
They'll save $17.5 million in cap space and $14 million in cash with this move. There is no dead money carrying over from Ware's deal.
Is Wesley Woodyard a realistic option?
Todd Archer (1:08 PM)
Sounds like he has better options elsewhere, so I wouldn't think the Cowboys will be a realistic option. His name being linked to the Cowboys also seemed a little strange, but ...
Shawn (NC Mountains)
Did JJ do the right thing by letting Ware go? Should he have attempted to trade him for a draft pick or two?
Todd Archer (1:09 PM)
Rare is the time a player gets put on the market and a trade materializes. Maybe Asante Samuel comes to mind. Honestly, I don't think people wanted to assume the contract with Ware or with any of the other guys available. That was the stumbling block. Why give up a draft pick if you think you can get the guy at a cheaper price?
can you see the Cowboys getting Ayers and Melton?
Todd Archer (1:11 PM)
Sure. I can see it. The cap works in funny ways. The Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a $50 million deal two years ago and his first-year cap number was $3.2 million. The Cowboys don't need a ton of space to sign guys to decent contracts. By the way, I'm not saying either of those guys will get a Carr contract. I think the Cowboys will be mostly done with those days in free agency. The guys they spend big on will be their own guys.
Do you think letting ware go was a garrett decision?
Todd Archer (1:12 PM)
Nope. I think it was an organization decision. I'm sure Garrett wanted to keep him. The Cowboys are not better without him and Garrett needs to win. But for the good of the organization it might've been the right move.
I think the Cowboys made a mistake releasing Will Allen and not having a veteran backup safety. Heath should not have been on the field last year. Completely clueless with the ball in the air.
Todd Archer (1:13 PM)
It was strange at the time of the move but what compounded that issue was the knee injury J.J. Wilcox suffered in practice. If he doesn't get hurt, then Heath is not in a full-time role.
Jean-Michel (Chicoutimi, Quebec)
With Miles Austin will be cut, the Cowboys had some options to sign a WR during the free agency.thank you
Todd Archer (1:14 PM)
I think they need to look for a veteran but at a good price. I wouldn't spend big money on a vet receiver. I'm not saying they should sign this guy but they need a guy like this: Laurent Robinson. His playing days are over from what I can tell, so move on from that, but I think the Cowboys have to have a guy ready in case something happens to Dez or Terrance Williams.
max (edinburg) [via mobile]
Is jerry Jones finally understanding the value of a dollar ?
Todd Archer (1:15 PM)
He's always understood the value of a dollar. He's a billionaire. He's doing a better job of understanding the value of a cap dollar.
De-pressed (Cowboy Misery)
how come the Cowboys can never trade away players at least for a late round pick? aka Martin, Gabbert, Sproles. Is Jerry too nice to release players early or is it the bad contracts?
Todd Archer (1:16 PM)
Have they had players other teams wanted? Seriously though, they traded Sean Lissemore and Dante Rosario at the end of the preseason last summer.
Realistically, how many people can we sign to shore up the D Line with this 9MM in cap space?
Todd Archer (1:16 PM)
Depending on the structure, I'd guess five. Will they sign five? No, but I can see three FA additions.
TheDecider (The White House Of Course)
How much money do you think Ware will get?
Todd Archer (1:17 PM)
I think he gets around $7-8 million average. Maybe more.
Luis Villaseñor (Guadalajara, Mex)
Greetings from Guadalajara, Mexico; do you have idea about the plans of Mr Jones to rebuild the defense?, if in 2013 was bad, is now much worse without Ware, Ratliff, Hatcher and Spencer, I'm sorry for my english
Todd Archer (1:18 PM)
If it was bad when they had those guys, why not try something different?
any chance they make a run at Revis with this new money
Todd Archer (1:19 PM)
Nope. They've got their corners for better or worse. And, no, I don't think Carr or Claiborne can play safety.
David (dallas) [via mobile]
You predicted the cowboys would win 11-5 last year. For that you should have been fired. Are you predicting the cowboys go to the Super Bowl this year????
Todd Archer (1:19 PM)
Yep. Hold me to it. I thought I said 10-6. Oh well. I'm glad I'm not in the prediction business.
Let's move on from these guys (Ware, Spencer, and Hatcher. Get some serviceable one to 2 year players cheaper. It will let us get healthy money wise, and use the draft to improve vs spending a lot of money on 1 year wonders.
Todd Archer (1:20 PM)
I think that's the approach you're seeing them take.
I think it's funny that Jerry Jones is being given credit for a move that he, basically, couldn't afford not to make. I guarantee that we'll see some trademark foolish Jerry spending before the financials on this team are truly righted. Aren't there still a bunch of back loaded contracts waiting to choke this team's cap situation further down the line?
Todd Archer (1:21 PM)
Not really. The only one is Romo's deal. The rest are fine. They have to keep Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant too. This team has been in transition for three years. They will be in good cap shape by next year or 2016 as well.
Brandon Carr recieved a big contract last year and did not produce, why didnt the Cowboys restructure his deal to get more cap space?
Todd Archer (1:23 PM)
There's a difference between restructure and pay cut. Restructure is not something they want to do with Carr's deal. They're already "upside down" so to speak on it. Pay cut? Well, if he doesn't take one, then what? They can't really cut him because of the cap and a June 1 cut pushes way too much money into next year. I think the hope is Carr rebounds and plays well and then re-work the deal in 2015. If not, then they cut him after this season.
Don (Indy) [via mobile]
Do you think the Cowboys should look into trading Carr for Revis?
Todd Archer (1:24 PM)
Sure go ahead, but let me ask you this: Why would Tampa want Carr? Do you think Lovie might be able to get some info from Marinelli and Kiffin on that?
Gotta say that I completely disagree with giving Jerry credit for this move. This is an understandable move and a good business move IF, it is done with a replacement in hand. In otherwords, if Jerry was doing a good job, he'd be moving on from a player when he had the replacement ready to go. Which is absolutely not the case here. He made a bad defense worse by getting rid of the best player. Please explain that logic.
Todd Archer (1:25 PM)
I agree, Colin. It was the right cap move but the wrong football move. Now, let's see what the plan is. If they sign three guys at decent money who produce, then OK. If they sign guys like Selvie and Hayden, then I don't get it.
What is the logic of signing free agents that end up getting cut instead of building through the draft which could help settle the salary cap issues?
Todd Archer (1:26 PM)
When you sign them as free agents, you don't go into it thinking, 'Well, these guys can't play.' There's a risk in free agency. As I've said, I think the days of paying big money to players in free agency is over. If they're going to pay, it will be their own guys.
Ernie [via mobile]
How about willie young?
Todd Archer (1:27 PM)
That's the guy I'd like to see them get, but haven't heard a peep yet on him and the Cowboys. He's visiting the Jaguars.
Has always seemed to me better to add Safetys through Free agency and draft linemen...Agreed
Todd Archer (1:28 PM)
I would tend to agree. I don't value safety as much. Everybody says you need an Earl Thomas. Well, OK, how many of them are there? Just like a few years ago everybody was saying you need a Polamalu or a Reed. OK, where are those guys?
Can you see Dallas going after Sproles of Moreno to help in the backfield?
Todd Archer (1:29 PM)
They're not adding a back like that. Murray is there guy and they'll roll with their current backups if need be. For Moreno, why would he come here? He wouldn't get many carries.
BigTex (Washington DC)
Do you think the Cowboys will move up in the draft to ensure they get a good DL now? Since Aaron Donald seems to be moving up everyone's draftboard?
Todd Archer (1:30 PM)
How do we know Donald is moving up everyone's draft board? Just because we in the media say it doesn't make it so. I'm not trading up for a guy. Stay where you are and get a good player. Heck, I might trade down and get more picks and value.
does this just stregthen the point that we need seperate guys making cap, football and personell decisions....
Todd Archer (1:31 PM)
I wouldn't go that far. It's all connected. The Cowboys structure in that department is not different than other teams. The football part and the money part is intertwined. The GM in Pittsburgh has to work with the cap guy in Pittsburgh.
Chris (New Jersey)
Could Dallas take a look at Peppers to come in since he is a Rod Marinelli guy?
Todd Archer (1:32 PM)
He'll go to where they pay the most. I don't think the Cowboys will pay the most.
Derf(Boring,OR) [via mobile]
If cowboys stink it up next season n jj fires garret I'm sure jerry will go for big name but what big name coach would want to come with our current cap and romo few years from retiring
Todd Archer (1:33 PM)
I don't disagree with the premise but remember Bill Parcells came to this team after three straight 5-11 seasons and Quincy Carter at quarterback. A big name won't turn his nose at the Cowboys. But I don't see Jerry going after a big name.
Joe(NYC) [via mobile]
On top of your head can you please name some intriguing free agent DL that cowboys could target?
Todd Archer (1:33 PM)
Melton, Ayers, Young
With all this Defense talk how about the offense, we still need so O-Lineman and there are some in FA, any chances on making a run after one?
Todd Archer (1:34 PM)
I think they could look at the draft there moreso than free agency.
Rob (Texas) [via mobile]
Do u see JJ drafting offense or Def in 1st round? Who would u like them to draft?
Todd Archer (1:35 PM)
I'd lean defense now but tell me who's available to them in the first round. I might rather see them take an offensive lineman if there's not a defensive lineman there. If Aaron Donald is there, I'd make the pick in a second.
I would resign Waters and draft an OG,and OT in draft and our line would be set for a few years,the drafted OG in theory would eventually be Waters replacement.
Todd Archer (1:36 PM)
I don't know Waters wants to play anymore and I think it's time to close that door anyway.
Tedward (New Jersey)
I think Todd has a crush on Steve from Arkansas
Todd Archer (1:36 PM)
Honestly, I haven't seen the names when I've clicked. Just looking at the questions. My bad.
Jess (Roanoke, VA)
Jared Allen is a Dallas native who's made plenty of cash and, with his personality, expects to make lots more in his post-playing career. Any chance at a bargain deal? He knows something about Marinelli's skills from all Rod's time in the NFC North (Lions, Bears), too.
Todd Archer (1:37 PM)
I think he's looking for a better chance to win. I don't see him looking for a bargain deal. I think I saw a report that said he would rather sit out than make less than what he thinks he should get.
Brett (New York)
Which player on the cowboys is going to make the biggest 'jump' this next year? Some players I've got in mind that I'm expecting big things from: Gavin Escobar, Morris Claiborne and Bruce Carter.
Todd Archer (1:38 PM)
of those three I'd say Escobar and in part because he did so little last year. I think the door is closing on Carter. He might have been the biggest disappointment on defense with Claiborne a close second. I'm giving Claiborne one more year to figure it out.
Jon (New Jersey)
Cowboys have many needs, safety being one. Any chance Cowboys take a safety high in the draft despite the obvious need for DL? Say round three maybe even two?
Todd Archer (1:39 PM)
That's not the sense I get right now. They like Wilcox. Maybe there's a guy in the third round or later, but I'd go with the line - either side - in the first couple of rounds at least.
Murray's a free agent after this year, is a Randle/Dunbar combo enough after next year? Or will the cowboys address that in the draft?
Todd Archer (1:40 PM)
Worry about that in 2015. You can find backs every year, IMO.
Howard (Over the Rainbow)
Report: Cowboys Signing DT Terrell McClain To A Three-Year Deal Heard anything?
Todd Archer (1:40 PM)
Since I'm chatting with you guys, no. I haven't.
Jess (Roanoke, VA)
How much should OT be a consideration in Rounds 2-3 for a depth option now and Free's replacement in 2015?
Todd Archer (1:43 PM)
Why not consider it in Round 1? I've advocated Zack Martin. Play him at guard in the first year and move him to right tackle in 2015.
Todd Archer (1:44 PM)
Folks, I'm going to have to stop. I'm trying to track down news and find out what's going on with the Cowboys. Thanks for the questions. This was great. If you have more questions, send me one via Twitter (@toddarcher) and it could go up on my posts on Friday or Saturday. Thanks again. See you next week.