Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (1:31 PM)
It's the rare week that the Cowboys are second fiddle in the Metroplex, but that's what happens when the Rangers are on the verge of a World Series title. Nevertheless, Cowboys-Eagles is always pretty entertaining. Fire away with questions.
Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)
Is Rob Ryan going to be using a lot of nickel packages and corner blitzes to slow down Michael Vick?
Tim MacMahon (1:33 PM)
How often the Cowboys use their nickel and dime packages will be determined by how often the Eagles use multiple WR sets. But it's a solid bet that the Cowboys will come with blitzes from all angles. They'll try to confuse and punish Mike Vick.
Hello Tim, I know our Safety play has been pretty good, but do you think the Cowboys would have any interest is Chris Harris, that just got cut by the Bears?
Tim MacMahon (1:35 PM)
I don't anticipate that being a fit unless there is an injury. The Cowboys worked some safeties out this week, but that's an in-case-of-emergency type of thing. They're happy with Abe Elam and Gerald Sensabaugh.
Ian (Atl, GA)
The Eagles are notoriously good coming off a bye. Do you think Ryan puts a few new wrinkles in the defense that aren't out there on film to counter act the extra preparation that the Eagles have had?? He could not possibly have implemented his entire playbook at this piont of the season and without an offseason, right??
Tim MacMahon (1:36 PM)
That's not unique to this week. Ryan comes up with different wrinkles based on the opponent's weaknesses every week. He'll try to expose a below-average offensive line Sunday night in Philly.
John (New Jersey)
TMac - which WR do you fear more, Maclin or DJax? Also which do you double in a 2 WR set if either? Does Jenkins or TNew get the most help?
Tim MacMahon (1:37 PM)
Maclin might be a better all-around receiver, but Jackson is the scarier big-play threat. At this point, Newman needs help more often than Jenkins.
Dallas (Fort Worth)
Why hasn't Dallas cut Buehler already?
Tim MacMahon (1:38 PM)
Because Jerry Jones keeps convincing himself that Buehler's kickoff ability is worth a roster spot.
Ron (Largo, FL)
Heard that Bruce Carter is running First Team ST and Holley is on Scout Team. Tell me we are not cutting Holley when Buehler hasn't contributed since week 2?
Tim MacMahon (1:40 PM)
That's the way the tea leaves are reading. We'll know for sure tomorrow.
Gary (Los Feliz)
Do you think the Cowboys are undersized up the middle? Ratliff, Lee and James? I've always thought that Ratliff would be a hellava DE! I anticipate that they may eventually wear down as the season goes. I think you need some serious beef in the middle. Thanks Tim.
Tim MacMahon (1:41 PM)
Size at LB isn't an issue. Ratliff is undersized for a NT, but it's tough to argue that's a problem when the Cowboys have the top-ranked run D in the NFL.
Phil Costa (Dallas, TX)
Thoughts on Holland sliding over to take my spot? With Dockery back he can play G. I've been awful.
Tim MacMahon (1:42 PM)
They tried Holland briefly at center during last year's offseason. It didn't last long. The whole snapping thing is kind of important at that position.
Darvell Lancaster (D.C)
what up T-Mac, give it to me raw should i bet the rent money this week can we beat the birds, what's the mood in the locker room and is my guy Tanner going to see more touches thanks T-Mac HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS
Tim MacMahon (1:43 PM)
Wouldn't bet the rent on it. The Eagles are a desperate team with a ton of talent. I think Tanner will take over Choice's role sooner than later.
Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)
Miles Austin has been relatively quiet in the past two weeks. Does that change this Sunday against the Eagles?
Tim MacMahon (1:44 PM)
Austin wasn't quiet against the Patriots. He caught seven passes and should have had three more receptions. He didn't make much noise against the Rams, but that's because the Cowboys didn't put the ball in the air much. Wouldn't surprise me to see Austin burn Samuel for a big play. He beat the Eagles on a long TD in Philly a couple of years ago.
Shawn (Ashe County NC)
What's up Tim? Do you think Asante Samuel would consider coming to Dallas if let go in the off season? Would he be an upgrade of our CB position?
Tim MacMahon (1:45 PM)
I don't see the Cowboys paying big money to a veteran CB. That's a position they'll address in the draft. If they get rid of Newman, Jenkins and Scandrick can be a solid starting duo with a rookie as the third corner.
Shawn West Palm Beach [via mobile]
I believe the Cowboys will be the team to stop Packers for having a perfect season. What's your opinion?
Tim MacMahon (1:47 PM)
My opinion is that the margaritas are served early in West Palm Beach. You're predicting that the Cowboys beat win at Lambeau in the playoffs? Sorry, that's not a sturdy limb.
Ryan [via mobile]
Why do people still refer to the cowboys as americas team? Nobody like them and they are way overrated. Its like they say Ny is the mecca of backetball? They both stink year in and year out!!
Tim MacMahon (1:47 PM)
People either love or hate the Cowboys, but they feel strongly one way or the other. Your hate was strong enough to come on a Cowboys chat and whine about America's Team, wasn't it?
Vinnie Vinci (Laurence Harbor, New Jersey)
Hi TimDo you think Bruce Carter has a chance of cracking the starting lineup this year or do you think Dallas will wait until next year?Thanks
Tim MacMahon (1:48 PM)
Won't happen this year. They hope it happens next year. Carter and Sean Lee could be a great duo for a long time if Carter pans out. As far as this year goes, he's expected to make an impact on special teams and hopefully contribute in some defensive sub packages.
Do you think Jones goes straight back to #1 rb after he returns or does he have to split more time than usual?
Tim MacMahon (1:51 PM)
He'll split time with DeMarco Murray. The question is how the carries will be split. I'd argue that Murray should get 15-18 carries per game with Jones in the 10-12 range, allowing Jones to be the change-of-pace back they envisioned when they drafted him. However, Jason Garrett has yet to seek my advice on the matter. Maybe he will when Jones' high ankle sprain heals.
Mike (@ Work)
Tim,Can we now close the book on T Choice. Mental errors, fumbles, injurys.. How much must we endure?
Tim MacMahon (1:52 PM)
The end is near for the Tashard Choice era at Valley Ranch. It's over at the end of the season at the latest. Don't see a role for him once Felix Jones gets healthy.
At point in the season I thing Red J should go ahead and name the rookie and Tanner has his feature back. Those two has shown more than both Jones and Choice . And they are still learning .
Tim MacMahon (1:54 PM)
Calm down on leaving Jones out of the mix. He's had some big games and big plays. You remember his 148 yards in a playoff win, right? He's an asset, just not a feature back.
Tim, I noticed that you agreed that Murray WILL reach the century mark against Philly. Do you think that his 253yds was due to woeful defense of the Rams, or do you see something starting to click with the Oline and Fiametta coming together?
Tim MacMahon (1:56 PM)
Playing the Rams certainly helped, but Montrae Holland stabilized the O-line and Tony Fiammetta did an outstanding job as the lead blocker. It's not a coincidence that the Cowboys' two best rushing games came in the two games Fiammetta has played.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Do many of the players feel the way Dez Bryant does is that they are "unbeatable"?
Tim MacMahon (1:57 PM)
I don't think anybody else would necessarily use that word. But the Cowboys do believe in general that they're capable of being very good if they don't shoot themselves in the foot.
Tri-part question...what was your preseason prediction for the cowboys? Are the better or worse than expected? Where do you think they'll end up record/division-wise?
Tim MacMahon (1:58 PM)
8-8, so they're right on pace and I'll stick with it.
Ron (Denver, CO)
What do you believe is the biggest luxury, 5wr's, 5 corners, 10 OL, or 2 kickers. The biggest luxury should be where the cut is made when Carte is activated. Do you agree ?
Tim MacMahon (1:58 PM)
No question it's two kickers, but you're asking the wrong guy.
Tim MacMahon (1:59 PM)
Appreciate you folks joining me. Gotta get going now, but feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon if I didn't get to your question.