Chat with Todd Archer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNDallas.com Dallas Cowboys writer Todd Archer stops by to talk about the NFL season.
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 at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Todd Archer (1:01 PM)
OK, here we go.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Hardest AFC Team that the Dallas Cowboys will face this season?
Todd Archer (1:03 PM)
It has to be this one, right? New England, without a doubt. I'm surprised by Buffalo's start to the season, but the Patriots have had staying power. A win up in Foxboro could do wonders for the Cowboys. I just don't think it's going to happen.
Vinnie Vinci (Laurence Harbor, New Jersey)
Hi Todd,How has Abe Elam looked so far?Thanks
Todd Archer (1:04 PM)
I think he's been fine. I'm waiting for the big play. I think Sensabaugh has had more of those. but Elam has done a nice job of directing traffic in the secondary and making sure everybody is on the same page. Last year the Cowboys gave up a ton of big plays. So far this year that has not happened.
Mike Higgins (Medway)
Will the Cowboys be able to handle the Pat's punter Zolton Mesko?....Punters rule!!
Todd Archer (1:06 PM)
If there's anybody who knows punters it is you. But if you want to see one of the best punters, look at Mat McBriar. I think the coverage team helps Mesko.
JR (New Jersey)
Good day Todd, glad to be getting back to Cowboys' football. Do you see DeMarco Murray getting used more often 'in space' (screens, pitches, underneath patterns), being that the 'Boys are at full strength at the receiver/te position?
Rey (SOXside, Chi-town, Ill)
Any news on Jason Hatcher's status for Sundays game, or how much longer he'll be out? Though D Ware is THE man on the defense, curious that the one game missed Hatcher's so far is the one where the Boys failed to get a sack. He's given us much needed pass rush from the DE position that is not there when Spears is in.
Todd Archer (1:08 PM)
I wouldn't expect Hatcher this week. Maybe he'll be back for the St. Louis game. Calf injuries are tricky because even when you feel good there can be troubles with explosive movements and it leads to a more severe tear. Hatcher has been very good. I think you saw more of Victor Butler in the sub package in Hatcher's absence vs. Detroit. They need Hatcher back because you don't want to go that undersized too many times.
Any word on B. Carter? Think there's a chance he'll dress soon?
Todd Archer (1:09 PM)
He's eligible to come of the NFI-list next Tuesday. He hopes to be active for the St. Louis game but that is a lot to ask a rookie with no practice time.
Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)
Is there any word on Gerald Sensabaugh playing in Sunday's game against the Patriots?
Todd Archer (1:09 PM)
He has practiced this week with no trouble and will play Sunday vs. the Patriots.
Darvell Lancaster (Washington D.C)
What up T double, am going to take it easy on you today whats the feel or mood this week you think we can get them i want to bet my rent money and i Hate the pats and guy in office is talking big, am ready to drop the money down , but need inside info so tell me what the sprint is like
Todd Archer (1:10 PM)
Thanks for being kind. Anyway, I think the spirit is good coming off the bye week. But I wouldn't put the rent money down.
todd like your work, will the cowboys really make drafting a qb a top priority in this up coming draft, and will they use a 1st round pick on one?
Todd Archer (1:11 PM)
Tell me where they are picking and who is available? Here's what I think: if a QB is available that they like I can see them using a first rounder on the guy. That's asking for a lot of stars to line up, but I can see them taking one in the first two rounds to prepare for the future.
Hi Todd, I really have no faith the Cowboys can win this game. Being from New England I watch the Pats alot and they are so smart. and then I watch the Cowboys and at times they play so dumb. I hope I'm wrong but I think this is a bad mental matchup for the Cowboys. Your thoughts?
Todd Archer (1:12 PM)
That's sort of every week against New England, right? The Cowboys must do a better job of playing situational football. Garrett has preached it but the players have not executed in the two losses.
Kenyatta Adams (Roselle, NJ)
Good Afternoon Tood. I hope all is well. I would like to know ,why Eli Manning or M.Vick wasn't ridiculed by the media or (Deon Sanders) for their 3 plus interception perfrormance this Sunday. If it was ROMO, the sky would be falling and the world would be coming to an end! Romo is a playmaker, who deserves respect by fans and the media. Another note, Why isn't Romo being compared to Peyton Manning. Lets look at Playoff wins. Peyton Mannning's playoff record before he won a superbowl was 0-4. Still he is the best thing since slice bread!! Go figure!!! Personal acheivements are fine but playoff wins and championships are more important inregards to team sports. What are your thoughts Todd. Have a great day Todd.
Todd Archer (1:14 PM)
Manning wasn't the best thing since sliced bread when he was 0-4 in the playoffs. Manning and Vick have received a lot of heat this season (and in the past) but Cowboys fans will always think their guy is treated differently than another guy. It's the nature of being a fan. I'm sure Giants and Eagles fans believe Romo gets too much love.
Ian (Atl, GA)
I love the Cowboys chances vs NE. This for some reason reminds me of the New Orleans game two years ago. No one giving the Cowboys a chance. Not worried about Cowboys offense vs Pats Defense. My question is who is going to defend those two Tight Ends. We all know Scandrick on Welker. will it be Lee on one and Sensabaugh on the other? That will be the difference int his game
Todd Archer (1:15 PM)
It'll be a mix on the tight ends, I'm sure. Ryan's defense struggled with tight ends and backs last year in Cleveland. He has better personnel here and they've done a better job. However, they have not faced an offnse with two of these guys. It'll be a huge test. Lee will have to be at the top of his game.
Jason Garrett (Valley Ranch)
Should I be fired and rob ryan take my job? Should I cut romo after this year?
Todd Archer (1:16 PM)
Shouldn't you be at practice? Anyway, no and no would be my answers.
Any chance the Cowboys trade either Choice or Bennett or both?
Todd Archer (1:18 PM)
I blogged about this yesterday. I'd investigate if if I were the Cowboys. Neither player is going to be back in 2012. You have players you like at those spots who can fill in. I'd rather get a late-round pick than nothing at all. But honestly I don't expect either one to be moved. As of now I don't think there have been any discussions.
Todd, how is Romo's rib injury coming along? You think his poor performance in the 2nd half against Detriot had anything to do with that?
Todd Archer (1:19 PM)
The ribs are fine. I'll ask today if he will wear the vest or need a shot. No, I don't think the ribs were a factor in the second half against Detroit. He just made some poor decisions and I don't think Garrett helped him by passing the ball when they were up 24 points.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
You are not very photogenic. Your picture looks nothing like you on TV.
Todd Archer (1:19 PM)
I might go with a sketch artist and change the picture.
Just Curious (HOUSTON)
Hey Todd just was wondering why do the Cowboys always wear their white jersey? The last time they wore their blue jerseys was in 2009? just Curious
Todd Archer (1:21 PM)
It's based on what they home team wants to wear. They have always worn the whites at home. If the home teams wear dark at home, they wear the whites. It's just kind of worked out that way here recently. Sunday they will be in the blues for the only time this year.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Will Romo humiliate and embarrass the Patriots secondary this weekend?
Todd Archer (1:22 PM)
Humiliate and embarrass are strong words. I wouldn't say that, but if the Cowboys are to win then Romo will have to have a big day. I thought the Jets played into New England's hands last week with a return to the ground-and-pound stuff. The way to attack this defense is through the air. Romo will have to be precise and take care of the ball.
If the cowboys can do the unthinkable, and beat the unbeatable Patroits (unbeatable at home), should I get excited or is this just another ride on the Romocoaster? Could we be poised to make a run in a weak NFC east?
Todd Archer (1:24 PM)
Even if they lose this game the Cowboys will be in the NFC East race. I don't see any team pulling away. Now, if the Cowboys win this one, then they could be in position to get to 6-2 at the midway point. Until the Romo-coaster stuff stops I don't know how to say they will make a run though.
Mike (Saratoga NY)
What do you think about the idea of not keeping a FB and instead keeping 4 TE?s? To me, TE?s are posing a huge matchup problem around the league, and the FB seems to be of minimal use. Unless you can find a really special FB who is exceptional as a lead blocker and a solid special teams contributor, why keep one at all? Secondly, what do you think the team will do to address the #2 TE spot next year with the expected departure of Bennett at the end of the season? Do you think they continue their trend of investing a premium pick (2nd round) on it?
Todd Archer (1:26 PM)
Fiammetta did a nice job on the Washington game but he's been slowed by a hamstring injury. He's not practiced this week so I'd say he's going to be questionable. Fiammetta can be the guy you want. As for the tight end spot, I think Phillips has shown he can be the No. 2 tight end behind Witten. I don't see them using a premium pick on a tight end with so many other need but the middle rounds make sense.
Will the Cowboys win this week if they win the turnover battle or do they need a D/ST score to pull it off?
Todd Archer (1:27 PM)
That would help. Points will be at a premium against the Patriots. I wouldn't bank on a defense score with Brady at quarterback. He doesn't put the ball in bad spots generally. But special teams? You might be on to something there.
Rex82288 (Tampa FL)
So Rob beat up on #12 last year when in CLE. But the Cheaters only had the ball for 22min. So it seems like the key is T.o.P. You think our ground game can exploit an average D this wk? I hope Garrett puts a big focus on it.
Todd Archer (1:28 PM)
That's the rub. If you run the ball, you play into New England's hands I think. That's what the Jets did. The way to beat this team is through the air. You can control the clock in the passing game. The key, to me, is red zone efficiency. The Cowboys must be better down there. They are 5 of 15 so far this year. In the Patriots last nine losses only one team has beaten them with a conversion rate of less than 50 percent.
2 weeks of preparation..so many pro bowl players... so is there any doubt this week with NE to loose?
Todd Archer (1:31 PM)
I wouldn't bet on a Belichick team being too loose. The Cowboys are going to have to win the game. New England won't give it to them.
raul (rio grande texas)
Todd,Du U foresee Dallas acquiring Brady Quinn to back up Romo and maybe start the 2013 season?
Todd Archer (1:33 PM)
Wow, Brady Quinn? No, I don't see that one. They had a chance to take him in 2008 and didn't. He hasn't done anything to make you want to sign him since. I think they'll be drafting a guy in the early rounds instead.
read in draft some scouts said murray scoots instead of running knees up .i dont think he is fast as cowboys claim. what is your assement of speed in pads game action
Todd Archer (1:35 PM)
I can't really give you a good answer because we haven't seen him that much so far. I think you'll see him get more involved now. Maybe even this week. He can do some things on the perimeter that Choice can't. The problem is blitz pick ups. That's hard for a rookie to learn.
what do you think of garrets play calling.i think without mini camp should use basic play the boys can execute
Todd Archer (1:37 PM)
Like every guy there are some he would like back. To me the third-and-2 slant throw to Robinson against the Lions that was picked was a mistake. Run the ball and if you don't get the first down, punt it. Time was the Lions' enemy for most of the game and the Cowboys kept them in it. You can always second guess a playcaller. They can only be wrong. But overall I think Garrett is pretty good with his plan. I want to see him change how he works in the red zone.
any chance the cowboys makeing any kind of trades?
Todd Archer (1:38 PM)
I've checked around and it's pretty quiet. We talked earlier on in the chat about moving Choice and/or Bennett. I'd think about it if an offer was made. But I don't see the Cowboys doing anything major or minor to tell you the truth.
Todd Archer (1:40 PM)
I'm guessing everybody has Rangers Fever because the questions have slowed to a trickle.
Todd Archer (1:42 PM)
Thanks for the questions. Remember to check out the blog for updates throughout the day. Tony Romo is expected to meet the media today, so we'll have stuff from him up.If you have more questions, send me an e-mail or follow me on Twitter (@toddarcher).Until next time.Courage.