Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys reporter Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the team.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. CT/4:30 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (4:29 PM)
Thanks for joining me, folks. Give me a few minutes to finish up a story and I'll get going.
C.J. (San Diego)
Does J.Jones still believe Romo is the QB to lead Cowboys to the promise land?
Tim MacMahon (4:35 PM)
Jerry Jones' confidence in Tony Romo hasn't changed. He still believes that Romo has the talent to quarterback a Super Bowl champion. He consistently mentions Romo as one of the primary reasons to be optimistic about the Cowboys' future.
Stacy (Portland, OR)
Hey Tim, what would be your prefered strategy in the draft? Assuming the Cowboys have a top 10 pick, would it be wise to trade back to the mid-teens and pick up an additional pick (maybe a mid-second rounder)? I like trading back because it would let the team to have 4 picks in the top 70 picks, which could produce 4 starters instead of 3. What are your thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (4:37 PM)
I think that's a scenario that Jerry Jones will seriously entertain. He's not exactly fond of paying top-10 money, although we don't know exactly what that will be until the new CBA is negotiated. But I don't think it'd be wise to pass up on a potentially elite player who could fill a huge hole to trade down. In other words, the Cowboys shouldn't make that deal until they're on the clock or close to it and know if one of their top targets will be available.
What time frame can we expect Jerry Jones to make a decision on the new HC. Sooner or Later? Any new names to look out for?
Tim MacMahon (4:37 PM)
I don't have a good feel for the timeframe. Jerry says there isn't one at this point. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 10 days or so with Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. That could significantly impact this coaching search.
I'm a Georgia Bulldog fan and have been watching what Grantham has done with the defense over there. Any chance we would bring him back as a defensive Coordinator?
Tim MacMahon (4:39 PM)
That's a possibility that Todd Archer has mentioned a few times. If Garrett gets the job and decides not to stick with Paul Pasqualoni, Grantham could be a good fit.
Travis K (Austin)
Now that Mike Singletary has been fired do you think the Cowboys should pursue him as our next defensive coordinator?
Tim MacMahon (4:39 PM)
Why would they do that? Singletary doesn't have any experience as a coordinator.
Busy at Work (Austin)
Any chance Newman gets moved to FS if Dallas drafts Prince A. in the draft? What about Atogwe in FA? Ratliff to DE should help the secondary via the pass rush don't you think?
Tim MacMahon (4:41 PM)
I think they'll draft a safety pretty high (first few rounds) and sign another in free agency. Moving Newman to safety doesn't make sense. He'd have the same tackling problems that Alan Ball does. The idea of moving Ratliff to DE is intriguing.
Marshall (Abilene, TX)
Regardless of who gets the head coaching job, Garrett or someone else, do you see significant changes in the assistant coaching staff? Please say yes!!
Tim MacMahon (4:42 PM)
I know there has already been significant internal discussion about shaking up the coaching staff. Not sure how much, if at all, Garrett has been involved in those talks. I'd expect at least three or four new assistants next year even if Garrett gets the full-time job.
karlos (Santa Fe, NM)
Why not start Sam Young against the Eagles? Colombo isn't coming back anyways and it's not like the Eagles will play their starters. So what if we beat an Eagles team without Vick, Jackson, Maclin, Cole, or Samuel. I'd rather get an extended look at guys like Young, Cummings, Sendejo, T. Williams, Butler, etc.
Tim MacMahon (4:44 PM)
I wouldn't be opposed to Sam Young getting several series in that game, but it doesn't sound likely. None of the other young players you mentioned have a chance to be a starter next season.
Ruben (Fresno, California)
Do you think it is a good idea to start Mcgee? To see what we have in Mcgee as a backup QB since our season is over anyway?
Tim MacMahon (4:47 PM)
I'd rather see McGee play than Kitna this weekend. The Cowboys know that Kitna is a solid backup for next season. They aren't sure exactly what they have in McGee, but his performance Saturday and in the preseason finale were encouraging. But Garrett has made it clear that winning is the priority and Kitna gives the Cowboys the best chance to do that, so McGee plays only if Kitna can't.
Marion Barber (Dallas)
Any chance the coaches changed their mind on releasing me after that 24 yard TD run?
Tim MacMahon (4:48 PM)
It'll take a lot more than one or two good runs to convince the Cowboys that you're worth paying Pro Bowl money.
Fred (Moorestown, NJ)
OK, Tim. Two key guys on Defense are pro bowlers, so how do they go from surrendering 15 points last year, to 20+ per game this year. Do two dinged interior linebackers really have that much deleterious impact? And how does Andre G. make the pro bowl? Do the opposing players and coaches really respect him that much?
Tim MacMahon (4:51 PM)
Jay Ratliff made the Pro Bowl on reputation, not performance. He didn't have a tackle for a loss this season and his pass-rush numbers were way down from last year. New Orleans' Sedrick Ellis, New York's Barry Cofield and Green Bay's B.J. Raji all would have been much better choices. The Pro Bowl voting at center in the NFL this season is an absolute joke. Gurode performed poorly. The Giants' Shaun O'Hara, the other NFC Pro Bowl center, has only played six games. That shows you how much people pay attention when voting for Pro Bowl offensive linemen.
Chris (San Antonio, TX)
How did Stephen Mcgee look in practice today? Obviously even if he throws for 300 yards and a few TD's, Tony is the starter next season, but do you think Tony's time is running out?
Tim MacMahon (4:53 PM)
We just see stretching and some warmup drills durig the season, not the whole practice. McGee said there were some things he needed to be cleaned up, but he felt like he had a productive practice.
Could you explain the reason for the awful production of the defense? Scheme. coaching, severe and quick player decline- How did this happen from one year to the next with the same player core?
Tim MacMahon (4:56 PM)
You have to look at the players first and foremost. Wade Phillips' scheme has had a lot of success over the years. One assistant coach told me he thought that the cornerbacks got Phillips fired. Mike Jenkins' regression has been especially alarming. The safety play has stunk on a consistent basis. Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer were playmaking beasts last season, but they've been just guys this year. The core players on the defense need to play much better, and a lot of personnel changes need to be made.
Do you see Jenkins, Newman and Scandrick all being back next season in the same roles? And do you think safety is still the biggest thing missing from this defense?
Tim MacMahon (4:57 PM)
Jenkins and Scandrick will be here. Not sure about Newman. Safety play has been a big problem, but so has the lack of a pass rush and a lot of other issues.
Joe Don (Bedford)
Admittedly it's early but -- what do you think of McGee? Do you see starter potential someday?
Tim MacMahon (4:58 PM)
I didn't think he had any chance of developing into a starter during training camp. But he's been pretty impressive during his two biggest opportunities (preseason finale and last week). Jon Kitna said he's never seen a QB improve so much in one season. He has the physical tools and work ethic. He's at least an intriguing prospect now.
Why has Jason Garrett been reluctant to bench underperfroming starters to send a message to the team? Davis, Colombo, Ball, Spencer, Jenkins, SHOULD have been replaced by Holland, Young (can't be worse), AOA (when he was healthy), Butler, and Scandrick. Did he miss an opportunity to take control of the team?
Tim MacMahon (4:59 PM)
Maybe he's sending a message about the lack of depth on this team. I though he did miss a chance to deliver a message by putting Marion Barber back in the game after his stupid, selfish celebration penalty against the Cardinals.
With the way our secondary playing the way it has is time to say good bye to Campo? Do the players even take him seriously anymore?
Tim MacMahon (5:01 PM)
I believe there's a pretty good chance that Campo will not be back next season. That decision needs to be made by the next head coach. It can't be up to Jerry Jones, who is loyal to Campo. It's one thing to see the safeties fail. Alan Ball probably just doesn't have the ability to be a starting safety in the NFL. But Mike Jenkins' regression is a reflection on the coaching.
Jason Sleik-Gay (Stevens Point, WI)
Who is the starting running back at the start of next season? Do the Cowboys try and take one in the draft that is more dynamic?
Tim MacMahon (5:02 PM)
It will almost certainly be Felix Jones. I think the Cowboys will go into next season with Jones and Tashard Choice as their top two backs.
James (Brooklyn, NY)
Is Jason Garrett really a hot head coaching candidate across the league?
Tim MacMahon (5:03 PM)
If he doesn't get this job, I like Garrett's odds of getting another one this offseason. He's interviewed for five openings over the last few years. He's been offered two jobs. And now owners have seen him actually do the job and have some success.
Do you feel if we get another good OLB in the draft i.e. Robert Quinn of UNC will put pressure on Spencer or even replace him?
Tim MacMahon (5:05 PM)
I think the Cowboys need to get Spencer to perform like he did in the last half of 2009. Same with Mike Jenkins. You know those guys have the ability. No reason to give up on recent first-round picks who have demonstrated that kind of talent. This team has too many other holes to fill.
I have lost all confidence in Jerry Jones. Should I feel optimistic or depressed about the thought of his son Stephen being in charge of the team?
Tim MacMahon (5:06 PM)
I'd be optimistic. He's often been the voice of reason around Valley Ranch.
any chance if sparano gets canned the boys bring him back as o-coordinator under a garrett HC scenario?
Tim MacMahon (5:06 PM)
That makes a lot of sense. I don't know whether that'd be an attractive scenario for Sparano, but he'd be a great fit for the Cowboys. Garrett had his most success as a play-caller when Sparano had a lot of input on the game plans. Sparano is also an outstanding OL coach.
Tim MacMahon (5:08 PM)
Gotta run now. Appreciate you joining me. Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions. Hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon if I didn't at least touch on your subject or join us for the chat starting about 30 minutes before kickoff Sunday.