Chat with Calvin Watkins
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Dallas Cowboys reporter Calvin Watkins stops by to chat about the team.
Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. He joined ESPN in September 2009.
Send your questions now and join Watkins Monday at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT!
Calvin Watkins (2:03 PM)
Welcome to our Week 2 chat. We got a busy day today, so let's get on with some news.Jason Witten said he wants to play on Sunday despite suffering a concussion in the Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears. Witten lifted weights before a team meeting and said he felt find. It will be up to the doctors to determine if he can play or not.Mike Jenkins said his MRI came back with no ligament damage and he expects to play vs. Houston on Sunday. Yet, Jenkins has some swelling. Jenkins said he was going to get more information from the doctors.
Calvin Watkins (2:03 PM)
Now to the chat.
Are the 'Boys really as bad as they have been in the first 2 weeks?
Calvin Watkins (2:05 PM)
Good question to start the week.Dan, The Cowboys are pretty bad. They need to improve the running attack, whether it's calling more run plays or execution, it has to get better.Dallas is not getting its playmakers the ball enough, yes Miles Austin got his touches, but Dez Bryant and Felix Jones didn't.The defense has been up and down. A strong performance in Week 1, but a lackluster effort in Week 2 where it had only one sack and once again, no turnovers.
Looking at the tape, what can you say about how the o-line performed? Seemed as if the pass protection was ok, but that we couldn't get any push on the run.
Calvin Watkins (2:07 PM)
Talked to Hudson Houck, the offensive line coach, today and he said the line did a nice job. Left tackle Doug Free graded well for the Cowboys for the second consecutive week. Houck said there were a few mental and physical mistakes but nothing to be upset about. Now I thought Jason Garrett got away from the run game too quickly to say the line performed badly when it came time to run.
Hector B. (New Jersey)
Should Dez Bryant be starting aside Miles Austin for game three?
Calvin Watkins (2:11 PM)
I don't believe Roy Williams has played badly. Everyone one of the receivers, that includes Williams, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, have had a few mistakes. Austin has the numbers, but at this stage, Williams is doing better than Bryant. He doesn't know the entire offensive package and he needs to get that down before he can see more playing time.
I know it's too early to talk about new coaches, but could you please just amuse me with your thoughts on whether, should the season continue this way, Jerry Jones would try to bring in Bill Cowher for next year? I know the old Steelers coach wants to be near his kids, but is it completely beyond reason? We could use the winning swagger and intensity.
Calvin Watkins (2:16 PM)
Bill, If I worked for the New York Daily News or New York Post, maybe I'm calling for Wade Phillips to get fired. But I don't work in NYC, so here for ESPNDallas they should keep Phillips as the coach.It's way to early to start debating whether or not Phillips should get fired. He's not going to get fired. He's here. With the possibility of a lockout in 2011, no owner is going fire a coach and then hire a new one with no football team to coach in 2011.
Lex (Calgary, AB)
Hi Calvin,I trust Tim more then you but you will do. One question. Do the Boys make the Playoffs?
Calvin Watkins (2:18 PM)
Why don't you ask Tim?
Calvin Watkins (2:18 PM)
I asked Tim and he said, "Yeah, only because the division is terrible."
Virgil Gentry (Houston)
Has Wade's laid back style rubbed off on the players, have they taken on his personality and aren't intense or even serious enough?
Calvin Watkins (2:20 PM)
I think the players take this current situation seriously. They know a 0-2 hole is difficult to get out of. Phillips' style is too laid back for my taste, but he does get on his players behind closed doors. There are some players who want this thing turned around such as Gurode, Ratliff, Newman etc. But they can't do it alone.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dallas, Tx)
There were complaints in the local media about attending Bear fans at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Tx aka 'Jerry's World' cheering for their team "at our stadium". Have you witnessed this phenomena by Cowboy fans when the 'Pokes are the visiting team?
Calvin Watkins (2:22 PM)
A lot of people from the Chicago area live in Dallas or were able to fly Southwest to Love Field. No big deal. When the Cowboys go on the road, there are plenty of fans with Cowboys' gear in the stands. If the Cowboys go to San Diego it almost sounds like a home game for the Cowboys.
Will (Atlanta GA)
If the cowboys go 0-3, do you think there will be a coaching overhaul during the bye week?
Calvin Watkins (2:22 PM)
I doubt it. If they go 0-3, you might see personnel changes.
Is Alan Ball the answer to free saftey? Looked like his was beat in cover among other things. Should we be looking somewhere esle?
Calvin Watkins (2:26 PM)
He's struggled the first two weeks of the season. I would like for him to make more plays on the ball and that might happen in due time. The Cowboys are not going to replace him unless he plays badly and he hasn't done that yet.
When will Jerry change this kicker, Who is out there that is good?
Calvin Watkins (2:27 PM)
He will stick with this kicker, at least for now. If Buehler has problems vs. Houston, then maybe a chance might happen.For now, Buehler stays.
Brian Booth (Auburn, California)
My opinion is that Marion Barber and Felix Jones should be touching the ball at least 10-15 times each a game with Choice in the mix. Romo can't carry a team. What do you think
Calvin Watkins (2:29 PM)
Romo played pretty well in Week 1 and not so well in Week 2.If he wants to move to an elite status he has to make the players around him better. He doesn't do that on a regular basis. I would like to see Jones get more carries than Barber. Barber wasn't the problem yesterday, he did run the ball well. But Jason Garrett has to do a better job of giving the running back with the hot hand the ball. He's struggling at that.
Is it time to let Deon Anderson go and open up a roster spot for a real field goal kicker? I think Buehler will be good in time, but this is not a good year for the Cowboys to "make a kicker" out of a kick off specialist.
Calvin Watkins (2:30 PM)
Deon Anderson is recovering from knee surgery and it's doubtful his spot wil be taken away from him at this stage. As I said before, Buehler is staying.
Dan (Brick, NJ)
Why wasn't the whistle blown on Roy Williams fumble? His forward progress was stopped. He was getting help up and pushed back. Is that something that could've been challenged?
Calvin Watkins (2:31 PM)
I thought his forward progress was stopped when I saw the play. But Williams kept moving to the sidelines, in an attempt to get out of bounds, to stop the clock. I don't believe that play can be reviewed.
Calvin, Love your work. Newman talked about needing more intensity. Brookings talked about more accountability. But both went out of their way to put it on the players, not coaches. As fans, who should we hold to the fire?
Calvin Watkins (2:32 PM)
The head coach, he's in charge.
how will it be berfore serious changes are made the is geting harder and harder to stomach someone has to be held responable who will it be and when
Calvin Watkins (2:33 PM)
You make is seem like the Cowboys are 0-12. The team is just 0-2 and a road game is upcoming at Houston. The NFC East isn't good. Washington, New York and Philadelphia are 1-1. Dallas is 0-2. There is still time to get things going in your season. But for now, the rest of the season is in trouble.
Chad Hensley (Luray, VA)
I asked you at the beginning of last year about Jason Garrett and his inability to consistently run the ball. Don't give me that crap about it not being successful. Running the ball doesn't have to be successful in terms of yardage. It just needs to be done enough to keep defenses honest and set up play action. Are you ready to concede now?
Calvin Watkins (2:35 PM)
Chad you're right. If you do play action, the quarterback has to sell it right? Garrett does a lot of quirky things with the offense that raises questions. I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish sometimes.
On a 3rd down, Romo missed Choice on a bubble route into the flat. Choice was clearly upset at where the ball was placed. Was his frustration more directed at Romo or the game in general?
Calvin Watkins (2:36 PM)
I did not talk to Choice after the game. But the throw needed to be there. It wasn't just one of many errors from Tony Romo.
McLean (Hampden, ME)
Calvin, love your stuff. My question is this: Does Jerry Jones fire both Wade and Jason if they don't reach the super bowl? I say I pray to god he does, actually he can now! Here is the number 1 problem: The cowboys are an undisciplined football team and that fall squarely on the coaches (all of them) shoulders! Your thoughts? Thanks and keep up the good work.
Calvin Watkins (2:38 PM)
The Cowboys have committed 18 penalties for 131 yards. For a team that expects to go deep in the playoffs, that's not acceptable. Coaches don't coach penalties, I was told, but they are held responsible for the player's actions.
Rhett (Euless, TX)
There's many reasons why the D isn't getting turnovers, but here's what I"m tired of seeing...The CB's playing 10yds of the WR's, and we've been seeing it for years now. Why doesn't wade put his CB's in position to punch the WR's in the mouth?! This team needs intestinal fortitude!
Calvin Watkins (2:39 PM)
I think sometimes you see Mike Jenkins up close on a receiver, Terence Newman will playoff sometimes and in the slot, Orlando Scandrick has to cover one-on-one. The Cowboys play tight more than what you think.
matt (greensboro, nc)
Are the cowboys in serious trouble or can they bounce back?
Calvin Watkins (2:41 PM)
The NFC East is in shambles. I saw something where Brandon Jacbos wants out. We all know Albert Haynesworth is seeking a new address and Kevin Kolb is now an unpopular choice at quarterback.Here in Dallas, everything is fine. The team is 0-2 and needs a players only meeting to fix things. Dallas has a chance to save its season, but it doesn't look good.
Cody (Waco, TX)
Do you anticpate any significant roster or coaching changes?
Calvin Watkins (2:42 PM)
I'm not sure about the coaching. I doubt that.The roster changes might come if Jenkins and Witten can't play on Sunday. If that's the case, Brian McCann might get called up to replace Jenkins. Martin Rucker might replace Witten on the 53-man roster.
What are your odds the Cowboys start the season 0-4?
Calvin Watkins (2:44 PM)
So, Tony let's check this out:at Houston LBye weekvs. Tennessee Wat Minnesota TBAvs. New York Giants TBAWhat do you think?
Buy or Sell: Miles Austin finishes 2010 with the most receiving yards.
Calvin Watkins (2:44 PM)
If on the team buy, if in the conference sell.
How big of a problem is Mario Williams going to be for the Cowboy OL?
Calvin Watkins (2:46 PM)
VERY BIG. But the Cowboys did a nice job with Julius Peppers. He was credited with one quarterback hurry on Sunday. Doug Free did a nice job with him, Mario Williams is a talented player. Might be better than Ware. Might? It might be a long day in Houston.
bill (san diego)
my short list of concerns is as follows and i'm curious to get your feedback: 1.) playcalling 2.) football IQ 3.) execution 4.) mental toughness
Calvin Watkins (2:47 PM)
I would say that's pretty good.1. Playcalling2. Football IQ3. Mental toughness4. Knowing playbook5. Execution
CowboyPete (New Jersey)
Calvin, envision this. There is no lockout in 2011. The players and owners come to an agreement in November. The Cowboys improve but fall short of playoffs. Is Wade, Garret, etc. fired ? Who would Jerry consider ?
Calvin Watkins (2:48 PM)
If he fired Phillips, I don't think Garrett gets the job.
James (Washington DC)
Based on the fans response the Cowboys should just forfeit the rest of the games and call it a season. I don't know why they even have a team in Dallas? RELAX people it's week 2 there's a reason you're fans and not coaches!
Calvin, it sure did look like Romo was out of sync with his receivers most of the day. A lot of passes were thrown behind receivers (two for interceptions). Why is Romo missing these passes?
Calvin Watkins (2:50 PM)
Yeah, he did look out of sync. I'm not sure if Romo and the receivers are not on the same page or if they need more practice time.Sometimes the receivers might do something opposite of what Romo is thinking. You need to know what your quarterback is thinking about at all times. Talking to him during and after practices helps. but the real issue is Romo doesn't make anybody better.
I don't like your answers Calvin...according to you, the cowchokes are standing pat across the board. So I guess we're just in for the same ol same ol. MAYBE make the playoffs DEFINITELY NO Superbowl. When can we start talking about next head coach and the 2011 draft? Do you really think this team can win a superbowl the way it is currently constructed from top to bottom?
Calvin Watkins (2:51 PM)
It will be very difficult for this team to win a Super Bowl under its current state.
Calvin Watkins (2:52 PM)
Guys I have to go. Wade Phillips is about to talk. Thank you,Calvin