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 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
Calvin Watkins (2:04 PM)
Welcome to the chat. A busy day today. Let's get to the questions.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which Dallas Cowboys Players are Out for the Season due to Injuries This season?
Calvin Watkins (2:06 PM)
The only player out for the season is John Phillips, the tight end, who tore his ACL. The other injuries are not considered serious. Bradie James has a sprained PCL, he's day-to-day, Martelus Bennett sprained an ankle, his status hasn't been determined. Montrae Holland has a slightly swollen eye.
Is it possible that Jerry Jones would keep Jason Garrett if he decides to change the coaching staff at the end of the year? Please say NO!
Calvin Watkins (2:09 PM)
Not sure. At one point, Garrett's offense looked sick, then yesterday he runs up 511 offensive yards and gets one receiver with over 100 yards and two more with over 80 yards. Then he gets a running back with 109 yards rushing. Consistency is a big thing for these Cowboys especially with the offense. If Garrett is more consistent with his offense he might have a chance to become the head coach.
Mike Gebhart (Camden)
Calvin, is some of these penalties due to lack of talent at some positions?
Calvin Watkins (2:10 PM)
No. When Mike Jenkins was called for his two penalties on the first drive, he just got beat and he tried to grab the receiver. That's just poor technique. Holding can be called on every play it seems. Now blocks in the back, that's poor technique. You have to get straight up on a guy to block him, pretty simple, right?The Cowboys have talent just not very good at the execution part.
John (Fort Worth, TX)
What are the chances that we see a coaching change? Wade Phillips just isn't getting the job done
Calvin Watkins (2:11 PM)
It's doubtful. Jerry Jones hasn't fired a coach in midseason since he's owned the team. He's not going to start now. If you fire someone you better have a good replacement on the staff and I don't see one on this staff.
Kevin Fields (Plano)
We can discuss all of the details such as practices, toughness, attention to detail, intensity, etc. I have been in coaching for 30 years, and everyone knows that a team will exemplify the qualities and temperament of the head coach after a few seasons. Wade is a good, likeable guy, but he can't be what he can't be. This is not his fault. He is a good defensive coordinator; he doesn't have the natural personality and attention to detail that it takes to be a head coach. The penalties, mistakes, lack of motivation will continue until we get a head coach that naturally exudes intensity, attention to details and control of a team.
Calvin Watkins (2:13 PM)
I believe Wade Phillips pays attention to detail, But the problem is the Cowboys make dumb mistakes. The Football IQ is lacking sometimes and it's hard to overcome that. The Marc Colombo penalty wasn't Phillips' fault. The Jenkins two penalties weren't Phillips' fault. If the team isn't ready to play, then that's Phillips' fault.
Jason Bauer (Costa Rica )
Are the Cowboys going to make a trade or do anything about their offensive line or defense?
Calvin Watkins (2:15 PM)
As of now, I would say no.The starting right guard spot could change hands. Holland might come in for Davis.Maybe that benching was the wakeup call Davis needed. On defense, I don't believe benching any of the corners would help. Maybe sitting one of the safeties is a consideration. But whatever is going on with the lineup, a change has to happen.
Lex (Calgary, AB)
Hi Calvin,Wow what a gamei must say. 500 yards in offense and still lose. Can this team go into the the Metrodome next week with there backs against the wall yet again and save their season?
Calvin Watkins (2:16 PM)
I don't believe so, unless the Vikings get blown away tonight vs. the Jets. Randy Moss hates the Cowboys and if his new team is 1-3 going against the Cowboys, then yeah, I would say it will be a difficult game. Dallas' season is almost done.
jeffrey richards (austin, texas)
do you think that now, after falling to 1-3 that if the cowboys do not make the playoffs that we will see the end of wade phillips and the end of tony romo era?
Calvin Watkins (2:19 PM)
If the team fails to reach the postseason, firing Phillips isn't as easy as it sounds. For one thing, the NFL might have a work stoppage in 2011 so keeping Phillips and his staff around is cheaper than finding a new coach and hiring a staff. Romo isn't going anywhere. He didn't have a good game on Sunday, but he's just part of the problem. Getting rid of Romo won't solve anything.
Cody J (Fayetteville AR)
All of the Cowboys are talking about accountability but the penalties keep coming. Who's to blame for all these penalties?
Calvin Watkins (2:23 PM)
Yes, several players have talked about that the last 48 hours. They say the penalties are unacceptable. Wade Phillips said the Colombo penalty was unacceptable. The holding calls on Mike Jenkins shouldn't happen according to several players. Yes, the team feels like these things should not be happening but for whatever reason it is.
Jason (Harker Heights Texas)
I'm can't find the NFL's definition of "Celebration" in the rule book (NFL.com). Do you know where we can find it? Can you post the wording?
Calvin Watkins (2:25 PM)
Here are the rules.Section 3 Unsportsmanlike ConductArticle 1 There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contraryto the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others:(d) Individual players involved in prolonged or excessive celebrations. Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations while on the ground. A celebration shall be deemed excessiveor prolonged if a player continues to celebrate after a warning from an official.(e) Two-or-more players engage in prolonged, excessive, premeditated, or choreo graphedcelebrations.
Daniel (Amarillo, TX)
Hey Calvin -Love the blog, keep up the great work. Had a question regarding Tony Romo's INTs yesterday. How much of his first two picks are really his fault, vs. Matellus Bennett's fault? On the first pick in the endzone it looked like the ball was a bit high, but Martellus is a big man and an NFL tight end seems like they should be able to pull that one in. On the tipped ball it looked like Martellus just stood there waiting for the ball to drop into his hands. I think he needed to make a play on the ball and run up to catch it. He hesitates, Titans react, and suddenly they've got the ball. Both of those picks could have used a better throw, but it seems like Romo isn't the only one to blame.Finally - on the third and final pick what happened? 58 seconds left and he looks across the middle of the field into triple coverage? I couldn't tell if that was Tony's only desperation option or he just made a poor pass, so would love you thoughts.Thanks for taking the questions, and tell McMahon to follow your lead and smile more.Dan
Calvin Watkins (2:29 PM)
Dan, thanks for the support.Let's look at the first INT.The pass was high, with Bennett being 6-6, he should make the catch. It's a tough catch because he's falling down and they're defenders around him, but he should make it.On the second INT, left tackle Doug Free couldn't hold his block allowing Dave Ball to get a hand on the pass. With the ball up for grabs, it allowed the defender to pick it off while running into Bennett.
Brett (New York City)
After Cowher, who the Panthers I would think have the inside track for, who do you think would bring the needed discipline and mental toughness to this team next year?
Calvin Watkins (2:30 PM)
Wade Phillips will be here for the rest of the season. If not, I will be surprised. Jerry Jones has not fired a coach in midseason during his time as owner. If he didn't fire Dave Campo during the middle of his 5-11 run, then he's not going to kick Phillips out.
Grant (Daingerfield tx.)
why is it we haven't heard from jerry?
Calvin Watkins (2:33 PM)
Jerry Jones is too upset to talk. It's not the first time he's not spoken to the media after a game. It's probably best that Jones not talk right now.
dallas has all the weapons why dont they use them
Calvin Watkins (2:36 PM)
I think they did on Sunday.Felix Jones got 19 touches, Austin got nine catches, Roy got six catches, Witten even got five catches, Dez was thrown to six times and the offense racked up 511 total offense.The defense had three sacks but no interceptions and no fumble recoveries. Here's what kills the Cowboys. Penalties. Turnovers and poor play.
jerry jones (dallas)
if we lose next week we might be getting a head start in the offseason cause there will no playoffs
Calvin Watkins (2:36 PM)
You should do that now.
beiochazz (grand prairie)
more disappointing cowboys lost, or rangers blowing 2 at home?
Calvin Watkins (2:37 PM)
I'd say the Rangers losing two games at home with a chance to wrap up the series is bigger than the Cowboys loss.
John Phillips (Carrollton, Texas)
The only encouraging thing I saw was that the offense did move the ball In a way they haven't done since late last year. Unfortunately they are on the pace for leading in penalties and you cannot win with 12 penalties in one game. Proffessionals should not be so undisciplined as this. As far as the offensive line. They are either too old or out of shape or both. Tony ran for his life for most of the game.
Calvin Watkins (2:40 PM)
The offensive line is old. The youngest man on the line is Doug Free at left tackle. The group isn't athletic and doesn't do enough to get to the second level on blocks. Age is another factor and it's probably time for the Cowboys to make some changes.
If this team drops to 1-4 after next week, do you see this locker room falling apart? It starting to appear that the frustation level is getting to a point where the coaches are going to lose some of these players.
Calvin Watkins (2:42 PM)
The frustration is already there. The players feel they are better than this, but the reality is 1-3. That's all that matters.Marcus Spears said he wouldn't think after getting three sacks and 511 yards of offense they would lose.But that's what they did on Sunday. The Cowboys have put their season on the brink. In Minnesota next week is a big game. Maybe the season.
anthony googz (long island,ny)
Hi Calvin, Long time Cowboys here. If the Cowboys can handle Minnesota next week, just how big does that Monday night game against the Giants become?
Calvin Watkins (2:43 PM)
At this stage of the season for the Cowboys, all the games are big. They can't afford anymore losses right now. The Cowboys must get to .500 and then start thinking about if they win a big game.
Calvin, We know now that Alan Ball isnt the answer. There was a reason why his was the #4 DB on the depth chart. Missing tackles, seems like a couple times the DB thought they had saftey help and nobody was there. Very slow game speed. Time to look on the depth chart for some help?
Calvin Watkins (2:44 PM)
Of the nine players the team worked out last week, two play the safety position.
Addison (San Antonio)
How come Tony Romo's leadership has not been questioned? It is his job to get everyone fired up, even when they are down. Isn't this something that the coaches would try to stress to him? He looks as if he knows his job is secure, no matter what.
Calvin Watkins (2:46 PM)
Tony Romo should take more of the blame. He is the quarterback of this team and I think he doesn't have any real answers for what's wrong. Does he need to grab players in the facemask and shake things up? Not really because it's not his way of doing things. One thing he should do is hold people accountable behind closed doors.
Calvin, What is it going to take for someone on this team to step up and be a leader? Who will be the next coach of the Cowboys? I wish Jerry had brought in Shanahan last year.
Calvin Watkins (2:47 PM)
I think this team does have leaders. That's not a problem. The issue is making plays on the field and not making mistakes in key situations. That's what this team does from time to time.
Matt (San Antonio)
Are the Cowboys the biggest dissapointment right now in the NFL?
Calvin Watkins (2:48 PM)
What about the 49ers? They haven't won a game yet.
Sam Yonack (Dallas, TX)
don't you think the cowboys need some discipline?
Calvin Watkins (2:49 PM)
Yes. This team isn't focused on the little things. Keith Brooking said the team has had two good weeks of practices, after struggling to do that early in the year. It was good to hear Brooking say this, but Football IQ is lacking and so is the discipline.
Andy (New York City)
Is there any sense of what can be done to increase Football IQ? Maybe more benchings?
Calvin Watkins (2:50 PM)
That would get it going.
Calvin Watkins (2:50 PM)
Guys I have to go. Thank you.