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 (1:00 PM)
Cowboys-Eagles. It's a big week even if Philly is 2-4. Cowboys can put a bigger dent in Philly's season and climb over .500 with a win.Let's go.
Will Dallas look to expose the Eagles linebackers by getting Witten touches early and often? What will Dallas do to find separation for Dez and Miles against Nnamdi and DRC?
Todd Archer (1:02 PM)
Witten has crushed the Eagles in his career. In 16 games, including the playoffs, he has 91 catches for 1,053 yards and seven touchdowns. There's no reason to think that will change. As for the receivers, I don't think they go into the game afraid of those corners. They'll attack. Austin had a big gan vs. Asomugha in the '09 Thanksgiving game.
Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)
Todd will Jason Garrett name DeMarco Murray as the starting RB for Sunday night's game against the Eagles?
Todd Archer (1:04 PM)
I doubt it, but he doesn't really have to. Felix Jones is not playing this week and Tashard Choice did not exactly do well vs. St. Louis. Why wouldn't Murray start? It's a process of elimination. There could be a question when Jones comes back from the ankle injury, but if Murray is hot, stick with the rookie.
Darvell Lancaster (washington d.c)
My main man T double, ask Jean how he like them young rb's now , i still think Murry dosen't get good pad level ,but we shall see going foward. And you know what i think of Tanner just a true stud. Not going to ask the question but did you see our boy T.O and you think oakland would be a good fit ,I still miss T.O HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS
Todd Archer (1:06 PM)
He goes by Jacques. Not Jean. Nothing aggravates him more than that. Even if a Buckeyes' loss. As for Owens, I guess his workout was OK. No, I don't see Oakland as a player. Not after signing Carson Palmer.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best & the Worst Dallas Cowboys Games that you have seen so far this season?
Todd Archer (1:08 PM)
It depends on how you want to define it. Most exciting game would've been San Francisco. We were on the field at the end of the game and to feel the crowd was pretty cool. Usually we're in a conference room watching the end on TV. The worst game, to me, was last week's. Kind of boring.
Craig B (29 Palms CA)
How do you think the front 7 will do against Philly?
Todd Archer (1:10 PM)
I think they'll be OK. To me, the play of the front seven has made the secondary. They're getting pressure. They're stopping the run. That's where Rob Ryan has been his best. LeSean McCoy is a little different back than they have seen but if they can get him going side to side, they'll be OK.
Considering the Eagles are horrendous against the run and DeMarco's explosion last week, you think we'll kill them with the play-action and get some revenge for Nnamdi?
Todd Archer (1:11 PM)
Ryan Torain had 22 yards rushing for Washington in the Eagles' last game. I wonder if they found something there. I wouldn't expect a huge game from Murray but the play action might help early in the game. The Cowboys have used the double moves vs. Philly in the past with some success.
Todd, will bruce carter get some timeon the field this sunday night.......
Todd Archer (1:12 PM)
It's looking that way, but he will be a special teams' player. Don't look for him on defense unless there is some sort of injury.
terry (rochester ny)
Todd Ive heard the cowboys will let Holley go when they activate Bruce Carter this week. Is that true?
Todd Archer (1:13 PM)
I would say it's possible Holley is gone. They need a spot and I'm not sure he has played that well on special teams in recent weeks. There are a few candidates - Buehler, Choice, Holley, Ogletree.
I understand last week we played a poor NFL team in the Rams, and we ran all over them, like we should have. This week we play the Eagles, who dispite their record, is as much as a formitable opponent as any other team we have played this season. I have seen teams run all over Philly though, but I have also seen teams throw all over the Patriots. The Cowboys did not manage to throw all over the Pats, whats the odds they run all over Philly?
Todd Archer (1:15 PM)
Nathan makes a good point about the New England game. Like I said earlier, I think Philly might have figured something out with their run defense and it benefitted the most probably from a big lead on the Redskins.
Taylor (Stillwater, ok)
Do you expect another great running game from demarco Murray? Closer to a hundred yard game or a 50 yard game?
Todd Archer (1:16 PM)
Cowboys have one 100-yard game on the road in the last two years. I'd lean to Murray being kept below 100 this week.
I have to work very early on Monday morning, should I call in sick and stay up and watch the game, or will I be disappointed with the ending?
Todd Archer (1:17 PM)
Watch the game. Call this a gut feeling, but I think the Cowboys win this one. If they win, then you'll have the adrenaline to wake up early for work.
Todd, will dallas spy vick with v.butler, and also do they let mccoy try and beat them to slow the passing game with maclin and jackson, or jus try and contain them........
Todd Archer (1:19 PM)
I'm not sure how much spying they do. Vick is a different quarterback than most, obviously, but I think they want to get pressure on him as much as possible. I'd mix up the spy stuff. Maybe with Butler and Lee but I wouldn't change the pressure package so much.
MJ (Long Island via Boston)
Boys have to attack Asante, he can not cover Miles or Dez 1 on 1...must hit him with double moves or challenge him deep. I dont think there's a CB who gets more safety help than Asante. Also, DRC is the 2nd most overated CB next to DeAngelo Hall. Dallas needs to attack and get TDs not FGs.
Todd Archer (1:21 PM)
MJ, You're right on all accounts. Asante will gamble and look at the quarterback. He can be had. Austin did not have a big week vs. St. Louis in part because of how well the Cowboys ran the ball. I think he and Bryant can disrupt the defense as long as there is protection up front.
How much are the Eagles blitzing this season? Is Castillo carrying on the Jim Johnson type of D we've seen so much of in the past?
Todd Archer (1:22 PM)
Great question. I wonder if this is a mix of Johnson's scheme and what D-line coach Jim Washburn did in Tennessee and they just haven't meshed. Check back later on the blog when I ask Romo the same question.
Do you think Tanner will end up getting more touches then choice against philly?
Todd Archer (1:23 PM)
I do. I think Tanner showed the coaches he can handle a role. Now, it's a little different with a division game and the looks Philly will give but Tanner has shown he's a quick study. I've liked the kid since the first week of camp. The Cowboys should be glad the UFL had its woes or else he wouldn't have been here.
Who finishes the season with more yards, Witten or Austin?
Todd Archer (1:25 PM)
Austin. It's easier for him to get yards and as the season goes along I think Witten's yards will be tougher with division games. Witten is on pace for nearly 1,200 yards but I think Austin starts to catch fire.
Andy Reid usually implements a pass happy first half and then runs the ball more in the 2nd half when the opponent is more "worn down". Do you see this affecting Rob Ryan's scheme? Or will the Boys' defense try and dictate the game per say?
Todd Archer (1:26 PM)
The Cowboys do so much subbing on their defense that I don't know they can be worn down. Ryan plays all of his linemen and splits the reps at inside linebacker with James and Brooking and gives Ware and Spencer some rest with Butler. I don't think that will be much of a factor.
Joe Leonard (Jersey City NJ)
Hey Todd... Are we going to see Miles Austin back. The last couple games my man from Monmouth has looked pretty off. How do we think he is going to do?
Todd Archer (1:27 PM)
The Rams game was all about the running game. I wouldn't be too worried about Austin's numbers vs. the Rams. He had seven catches vs. a New England defense that would not let him make a big play. As I said earlier, I think Austin is ready to break out.
Todd, could this be a turning pt for dallas if they win at philly.......
Todd Archer (1:29 PM)
Shaneezy, you're on to something. A win here and I see the Cowboys making a run that sets them up for December. Even if they lose, I can see them being 8-4 with the Giants visiting on Dec. 11. But this game would give them some wiggle room they need after giving away a couple of games earlier.
MJ (Long Island via Boston)
if Jenkins and Newman are healthy, i like our 3 CBs more than Philly's
Todd Archer (1:31 PM)
I'm not sure, but Jenkins is looking like he did in 2009. Newman has played better and Scandrick's confidence is at an all-time high. Rob Ryan has changed the dynamic with how he wants the corners to be more aggressive.
MJ (Long Island via Boston)
What about playing more nickel and having a guy like Scandrick spy on Vick...
Todd Archer (1:31 PM)
If you spy with a corner, I'd think you'd be leaving yourself open to a lot of runs by McCoy because you'd be so small.
Todd Archer (1:32 PM)
Must be a lot of people getting ready for the Rangers in Game 6 tonight. Slow day here on the chat. It can't be me, can it? Wait, don't answer that.
Do the Cowboys have a double scouting report on the Eagles, with two Ryans coaching in the bigs?
Todd Archer (1:34 PM)
Doubt it. Eagles and Jets haven't played yet.
Why cant we ever get a competitive game on Turkey day? I have enough things putting me to sleep that day.
Todd Archer (1:38 PM)
I guess you don't remember the New Orleans game last year? But you're right, the league knows they have eyes on those games no matter what so it's usually a snore. But I believe it's Detroit-Green Bay in the first game.
Jeremy (Chicago, Il)
Is Holland going to be starting for the rest of the season on the o line?
Todd Archer (1:39 PM)
As long as he plays like he did vs. St. Louis. That'll be the best. Does he have the stamina to do it every week? Dockery was back to practice this week.
Benji (my cube)
Do you see the Cowboys implementing a "running by committee" approach once Felix is healthy? Or is it too early to tell?
Todd Archer (1:41 PM)
I think Murray showed Garrett he can handle a larger role, so I think you'll see a committee approach eventually. However, if Murray has another huge game Sunday, I'll ride the hot hand and stick with him even if Jones is back.
Mike (@ Work)
Todd,How hard is it for Ryan to get 11 players on the field for D? played at least twicw on Sunday with 10. Any concern with getting all out there under this D system
Todd Archer (1:41 PM)
I'll ask. There have been some confusion in getting the packages together. He's had 12 and 13 guys on the field too.
What time does Jason Garrett's press conference start?
Todd Archer (1:42 PM)
Roughly 1:20 central.
Joe Leonard (Jersey City NJ)
How about our O-line Todd. I mean this was such a huge concern going into the season. I feel like since Romo hurt his ribs, he has hardly been touched. Then again we played two bad Ds. It seems like Philly always has a plan which kills us. How is our young O-line gonna hold up against in a huge game like this?
Todd Archer (1:44 PM)
The line isn't so young anymore with Holland in there. I think Garret has helped Romo stay away from the big hits by calling for quicker throws and more protection.
Nicholas (Fort Riley, Kansas)
Hey Todd.. Do you think DeMarcus is doing so great because of a mix of Rob's System, AND Anthony Spencer playing up to his 09 greatness? I really love watching the defense more than the offense these days...
Todd Archer (1:45 PM)
You're on to something. Spencer has been better but I think Ware has shown he can be effective by himself. Ryan is moving him around more so it is hard for the offense to call out the correct protection.
Ryan (San Diego)
How do you think Jason Garrett will attack the Philly defense? i think we should take some early shots down the field to make them think respect the vertical gme it might actually open up more running lanes. Your thoughts?
Todd Archer (1:46 PM)
Philly is playing more zone than in the past, so taking shots deep is a little more dificult. They took some shots vs. St. Louis but really didn't take any vs. New England because the Patriots wouldn't allow it. Sometimes you have to take a shot just to show you will take a shot.
Brandon (Wichita, Ks.)
Dallas has had a pretty tough schedule so far. What do you think their final record will be? And will they make the Playoff?
Todd Archer (1:47 PM)
I said 10-6 at the beginning of the year with a wild card spot. Not going to change it yet.
Seems like we rarely take shots down the field. Alot of small ball lately.
Todd Archer (1:48 PM)
Some of it is Romo's health. The deeper the routes, the longer he has to hold the ball the more the line has to block. And some of it is the defense. Teams are playing deep.
Mike (@ Work)
Please explain to the Eagles fan next to me, y she has no hope for Sunday..
Todd Archer (1:49 PM)
Don't get carried away, Mike. Eagles will be tough. Put a cheesesteak on it.
Todd(Allentown Pa) [via mobile]
You think Witten or Fiammetta will chip on Cole n Babin those matchups scare me a tad especailly with Free's play of late n like awlays an upright Romo is an more effective Romo.
Todd Archer (1:50 PM)
Oh, I don't think you want to take Witten out of the game like that that much. I'd say the tailbacks will do the chipping because Fiammetta won't be in there in most passing situations.
Do you Murray getting 20+ carries again or was that a fluck?
Todd Archer (1:57 PM)
If it happens, it'll be this week. Once Jones returns, I don't know if it'll happen that much. Garrett should ride the hot hand.
Todd Archer (1:58 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If you have more, send me an e-mail or follow me on Twitter (@toddarcher). And make sure you check out the blog. We'll have everything you'll need.See ya next week.Courage.