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 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (4:46 PM)
Sorry I'm late. Hate to do this, but blame Dez Bryant for me being tardy. I was working on a news story about his delayed reaction and explanation of his emotional outburst on the sideline during the Thanksgiving loss. On to the questions ....
matt carter (sc) [via mobile]
Do u think romo should play anymore this season? And y?
Tim MacMahon (4:48 PM)
No, I don't. The one reason that makes sense for Tony Romo to play is so that Jerry Jones can fairly evaluate Jason Garrett. But Jon Kitna is playing well enough to make that possible with Romo on the sideline. Let Romo rest the remainder of the season and come back fully healthy for offseason workouts. However, my opinion isn't shared by the Cowboys. They plan for Romo to play as soon as he's healthy.
Ramin Assar (Chantilly VA)
Is Jerry kidding himself when he says that Tashard Choice needs to work harder to see the field? The only hard work I see out of Barber is him running straight into the turf. How do you justify Barber starting and being paid over $4 million a year, while the more talented backs, such as Choice, are on the sidelines?
Tim MacMahon (4:50 PM)
Jerry's point that Choice needs to play better on special teams if true. However, that has nothing to do with which back should complement Felix Jones. If you need better play from your No. 3 back on special teams, my suggestion is to cut Barber, make Choice your No. 2 back and draft a back in the mid- to late rounds who is a good special teams player.
Do you see Sean Lee and Barry Church being starters next year?
Tim MacMahon (4:51 PM)
There's a decent chance that Lee will, especially if he plays well down the stretch. I wouldn't rule out Church, but he isn't getting any playing time in the base defense.
Is Sam Young going to pull a Doug Free next season and be an upgrade over a long-time veteran? Is there any chance we will get to see him in action this season?
Tim MacMahon (4:53 PM)
The Cowboys do believe that Sam Young can develop into a starter. Not sure it happens as soon as next season. He definitely won't get a seven-start audition like Free had. Young is inactive on game days right now, so he probably won't get any playing time at all this season.
Shawn (Ashe Co. NC)
What's up Tim? Do you think that Barber will remain a Cowboy next year? Or would he be dealt to another team for a more durable player?
Tim MacMahon (4:54 PM)
I'd say his odds of staying here are slim, considering his $4.25 million salary next season isn't guaranteed. But they're better than the odds of a team wanting to trade for that contract.
Mike (Bethlehem, Pa)
What's up Tim? How have Jenkins and Scandrick played the last few weeks? I haven't heard Jenkins name much (no penalties, not seeing a lot of passes completed around him) and Scandrick seems to be making some nice plays on screens and sweeps. Are these guys starting to play like we all expected at the start of the season?
Tim MacMahon (4:56 PM)
Scandrick has played much better in the last few games than he did for the first half of the season. He had an especially good game in the win over the Giants. Jenkins hasn't given up the big plays that he did earlier in the season. He did allow the game-winning TD pass against the Saints, but you've got to give Drew Brees and Lance Moore a lot of credit on that play.
How many starters on the offensive line do you see being here next year?
Tim MacMahon (4:56 PM)
I think there will be at least two new starters next season. Which positions probably depends on which linemen fall to the Cowboys in the draft.
Gregg (Fort Worth)
What's the report on this new safety the Cowboys just brought up from the practice squad? Is this an indication the team doesn't like the long-term potential of Church or McCray or was he just a nice find?
Tim MacMahon (4:58 PM)
I don't think it's a knock on either of the young guys. They just thought Andrew Sendejo was worthy of a roster spot. They liked what they saw from him in the UFL. McCray is on the roster because of special teams anyway, not his ability to play safety.
fred (moorestown, nj)
live here in Eagles/Giants country, so we get their games and have to go to local sports bars to see the Cowboys. Rarely see any center miss as many snap counts as Andre. Do you think my sampling is accurate? What's your read on Andre?
Tim MacMahon (4:59 PM)
He screws up way too many snaps and isn't good at making the reads required of most centers. In fact, Kyle Kosier handles a lot of those. The idea of moving Gurode to guard is intriguing to me.
Ken (New Jersey)
I'm impressed with Garrett thru three games. Whats your opinion? Does he have a good chance to keep thejob?
Tim MacMahon (5:01 PM)
I'm very impressed that he was able to change the attitude and atmosphere at Valley Ranch right away. He definitely carries himself like a head coach. He has an excellent chance to keep the job. Some of his game strategy decisions have been questionable at best, but the positives far outweigh the negatives on Garrett as an interim coach at this point.
-Dallas will probably have a top-10 pick correct? The problem is, I can't remember the last time I saw a G/C go in the top 10. Usually you will see a LT/RT that high in the draft. -If we don't win some games and get a lower draft status, Columbo could be the first to be replaced, right?-Even though Gurode and Davis are sickening to watch.-IMO I go with the best safety in the draft. Get a Guard in FA. Re-sign Kosier. Thoughts T-MAC?
Tim MacMahon (5:04 PM)
There are a couple of problems with assuming the Cowboys will draft an offensive lineman in the first round. 1) Jerry Jones has never done it. 2) No O-linemen are projected to be top-10 picks, per ESPN's Mel Kiper and other draft experts. I think the need is glaring enough that Jerry will have to seriously consider ending his OL first-round drought, but trading down into later in the round might be his best option.
Zac from North Dakota (North Dakota)
You wrote an article today about how Marion Barber shouldn't play because he is injured. Why, in your opinion, have the Cowboys been so reluctant to play Choice when whenever he has played he has been very good? Is there any possible explanations you can think of for not playing him?
Tim MacMahon (5:06 PM)
I'm as confused about this as everybody else, including Tashard Choice. I've asked Jason Garrett for his explanation several times and never been satisfied with his answer. He made it clear that Choice is the third back -- and there is no question in Garrett's mind about this. You can read my column today for my take.
Should the Cowboys hold Bradie James and/or Keith Brooking out of Sunday's game so they could get a better look at Sean Lee and Leon Williams? The playoffs are out of the picture so why rush the older guys back when we have young guys who could benefit from some extensive playing time?
Tim MacMahon (5:07 PM)
Why get a good look at Leon Williams? He isn't a guy they think can develop into a starer. Sean Lee is, but he's been getting more playing time recently. The Cowboys are playing to win. Brooking and James are expected to be healthy enough to play, so they should start.
Hey Tim, heard that you guys are adding Todd Archer to ESPN Dallas? Is this true? If so, great pickup. He was the top Cowboys beat writer at DMN, and he will make your coverage even stronger.
Tim MacMahon (5:08 PM)
Yes, we did add Todd Archer. He'll get cranking for us later this week. Agree that it's a tremendous addition for us.
Are we ever going to see Kevin Ogletree catching passes this season?
Tim MacMahon (5:10 PM)
Barring injury, I doubt it. He didn't endear himself to coaches with his sense of entitlement during training camp or his poor play on special teams. He'll probably be fighting for a roster spot during training camp next year. He has potential to be a player, but for some reason, he felt he arrived after seven NFL catches.
Terrell (Salisbury, MD)
Tim, before the Green Bay game the Cowboys got my hopes up for more Choice and then nothing. With Barber hurting, how many carries do you see Choice getting?
Tim MacMahon (5:11 PM)
That depends on several factors. If Barber is out and it's a close game, Choice could end up with 10-12 carries. The Colts have a bad run defense, and the Cowboys will want to establish the run to keep Peyton Manning off the field as much as possible.
Chip (Wichita Falls)
If JG is hired as the HC will he hire an OC or will he continue to do both duties?
Tim MacMahon (5:12 PM)
My educated guess is that he'll continue as offensive coordinator, but that's a good question. The time for me to ask it is at the end of the season. Right now, Garrett's response would probably be something along the lines of he's just focused on having a great [whatever day it is].
McGuire Harrison Boles (College Station)
Hey Tim, how many cowboys do you think will make the pro bowl this year??
Tim MacMahon (5:13 PM)
Two or three. Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware and Mat McBriar are the only legit candidates I can think of.
Tim - what's your take on how Manning will do against our defense that Brees effortlessly shredded often last game? Do you think PP's quasi-zone D will get taken apart by good QBs this season?
Tim MacMahon (5:14 PM)
If the Cowboys can get pressure on Manning, they've got a good chance to win. If not, it'll be a long day for the Dallas secondary.
Arthur Dixon (Arliongton tx)
Mr. Macmahon, Who do you think will be back next yr. at the skill positions for the cowboys?
Tim MacMahon (5:15 PM)
Marion Barber and Roy Williams are likely to be gone.
Tex Armstrong (Philadelphia, PA)
Yo yo Mr. MacMahon. What is the likelihood that we will get to see some rookie QB play this season. I'm craving some McGee
Tim MacMahon (5:16 PM)
Yo yo, Tex. McGee isn't a rookie, but I get your point. The only way he gets non-garbage time this season is if Kitna gets hurt and Romo isn't ready to return.
How about Defensive Coordinator? Will there be a new one next year (Capers?)? Is there any chance that we could have a defense that actually won a game or even that the other team respected? We seem to get a lot of "we knew what they were doing" comments after games.
Tim MacMahon (5:18 PM)
You heard that a lot late in the Wade Phillips era. His defense had become predictable, players admit. I think Paul Pasqualoni will remain the defensive coordinator if Garrett gets the job. I know Garrett is a Dom Capers fan, but I don't know what Capers' contract situation is off the top of my head.
when is that new story about dez reaction going to be on? i want to read that?
Tim MacMahon (5:19 PM)
Here it is.http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/news/story?id=5872090&campaign=rss
bob (stoughton ma)
whats your take on the state of the dallas secondary? I say its improving but needs major changes to stay competitive next season
Tim MacMahon (5:19 PM)
Need two new starting safeties next season. Need Jenkins and Scandrick to play to their potential.
Evan Armstrong (Villanova Law School)
If the cowboys get a top 10 pick in the Draft what positions are most pressing? DB, OL? Isn't this team still somewhat close to being a contender or has the bottom fallen out?
Tim MacMahon (5:20 PM)
Offensive line and safety are by far the most pressing needs. If the Cowboys improve at those spots, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that they could be contenders next year.
Tim MacMahon (5:20 PM)
Folks, gotta run. Appreciate you joining me and sorry for the tardiness.