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 (1:28 PM)
Thanks for joining me to chat about the second-best 3-4 team in the NFC East. Fire away with questions.
with Choice gone that leaves Demarco as the Second back. Does Felix still get most of the work load? or will Garret make sure they both get equal touches?
Tim MacMahon (1:29 PM)
Jason Garrett isn't going to show his hand, but I gave him my two cents about the RB situation in my column yesterday.http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/7179220/dallas-cowboys-demarco-get-bulk-work-split-felix-jones
Busy at Work (Austin)
Who would you look at for our #3 QB next year? How high in the draft would you go to secure a young QB?
Tim MacMahon (1:31 PM)
I wouldn't look for a No. 3 QB. I'd look for a QB who can compete with Tony Romo sooner than later. I'm leaning toward looking for a QB in the first round.
CHARLIE KING (COLUMBUS,MS)
WHY DIDNT CARTER GET A CHANCE TO PLAY,THE GAME WAS OVER BY HALF TIME AND THE TWO OTHER LBS WAS STINKING UP THE PLACE?
Tim MacMahon (1:33 PM)
I asked Jason Garrett that yesterday. He basically indicated that it would have been counterproductive to play Carter on defense -- even late in a lopsided loss -- because he had so little practice time. Check out the full answer on the ESPNDallas.com Cowboys blog.
Shawn (Ashe County NC)
What's up Tim? Do you feel that Carter will be able to make an immediate impact on defense this year?
Tim MacMahon (1:34 PM)
Ideally, Carter would be a special teams stud who plays in just two or three of the many defensive packages this season. But the Cowboys might need him to do much more. He's certainly atheltic enough to help them in coverage.
What do you think is the biggest area that needs to be addressed in next years Draft/FA?
Tim MacMahon (1:36 PM)
Interior O-line and CB are the most immediate needs, but if they really want to address the QB position long term, they need to do it early in the draft.
Blake (Belmont University)
Do you think Robinson has the chance to be a really good WR, he had a great game Sunday night?
Tim MacMahon (1:37 PM)
Laurent Robinson has been a great find for the Cowboys. He's a nice No. 3 receiver. But this is his fifth year in the league, so I wouldn't get your hopes up that he's going to suddenly emerge as a superstar.
Tim, how has Doug Free looked so far after signing that extension? I know he had his struggles early
Tim MacMahon (1:38 PM)
Doug Free has been a major disappointment so far this season. ProFootballFocus.com, which grades every snap, ranked him as the No. 4 OT in the league last year. He's No. 40 in their rankings right now.
Do you think this team can finish better than 9-7?
Tim MacMahon (1:39 PM)
I predicted 8-8 before the season and am sticking with it despite the soft stretch of schedule coming up.
Do Free & Smith switch positions next season??
Tim MacMahon (1:41 PM)
That's the subject of a lot of speculation right now and it will certainly be discussed internally. Not sure it's a great idea, though. Smith was a right tackle at USC, and his struggles have come as a pass protector. He's given up 5.5 sacks this season, tied for the eighth most in the league, despite rarely facing the opponent's top pass rusher.
Looking for a QB to compete with Romo is crazy, plenty of teams out their would beg to have Romo (Dolphinks,Skins,Hawks,Broncos,etc.)
Tim MacMahon (1:43 PM)
Yes, Romo would be an upgrade at QB for most bad teams. He's above-average. Is he good enough to win a Super Bowl with the Cowboys? If not, try to find a guy who is. I'm not suggesting they get rid of Romo and go with a Gary Hogeboom type. But he's a 31-year-old who has one playoff win. This offseason might be the time to target the franchise QB of the future.
Tim, is it me or do the Cowboys need to start taking more (at least a few) shots down the field to stretch defenses?! For all the criticism of Dez Bryant, with that kind of athletic ability, why not at least throw deep to him a couple of times per game in select spots? Romo seems to be in a rut where he is only throwing the ball 5-10 yards down field.
Tim MacMahon (1:44 PM)
A.J. Feeley is the only QB in the league whose passes travel a lower average distance in the air than Romo's. It's not due to a lack of downfield weapons. My belief is the subpar play of the offensive line is the primary reason for the disappearance of the Cowboys' vertical passing game.
Who's out the door first at the end of the season Marty Bobble or Brooking?
Tim MacMahon (1:46 PM)
They're both gone at the end of the season, when their contracts expire. Keith Brooking will leave with the respect of everybody at Valley Ranch.
JoeB (Hampton Roads)
8-8? What four teams do you see them losing to?
Tim MacMahon (1:47 PM)
Bills, Eagles, Giants (at least once) ... and somebody else. Bucs are the most likely candidate, but this team is very capable of losing to a bad team like the Cardinals on the road. They did it last year, you know.
Wee Willie Winkie (Whistle-binkie)
I've noticed Rob Ryan seems to call defensive plays with the mindset that the Cowboys do not give up the big play. What really gets my goat is when on obvious passing downs I see Ware drop into coverage or see three rushing the passer thus allowing the opposing QB having all day to do whatever he wants to (eg the Patriots and Lions defensive meltdowns). Does Rob not attack more often because of his personnel or is he just coaching scared.
Tim MacMahon (1:49 PM)
I don't agree with the premise of your question. I think Ryan has been aggressive -- to a fault in Philly. The Cowboys rank seventh in the NFL with 21 sacks. The defense's ability to generate pressure ranks pretty far down the list of this team's problems.
Which of the safeties do you see on the team next year??
Tim MacMahon (1:50 PM)
Too early to say. It depends in part on the market for Sensabaugh and/or Elam in free agency. The team is happy with both safeties' performance so far this season.
T. Webb (I'm at where I'm at...)
If the offense continues to struggle do you think Jerry Jones would bring in a offensive coordinator? Tony Sparano will be out there and he's familiar with the team...
Tim MacMahon (1:51 PM)
I'm on board with Sparano returning as OC, as I've mentioned several times. But can't see it happening. First of all, Jason Garrett wants to be his own offensive coordinator. Second of all, Jerry Jones always says he doesn't want a "walk-around head coach." He wants a head coach who is in charge of one side of the ball. Never mind that Jimmy Johnson was a CEO type who hired good coordinators.
I think it's obvious that Demarco is the better running back with his health as the only issue. Although Jones has been hurt every season and at their best Murray is still the better rb. He is the better pass catcher and runner and has shown with limited carries he is the better back. Of course time will prove this to be a fact. Do you think the cowboys will stay with the running game this week?
Tim MacMahon (1:55 PM)
The Cowboys wanted to stay with the running game last week. They had to abandon it because the Eagles put them in such a big hole. The Seahawks shouldn't be able to jump out to a big lead. Expect a big dose of DeMarco Murray on Sunday.
JS Cowboy (NY)
Any guesses at this point if they will shuffle the interior offensive line around in the coming games?
Tim MacMahon (1:57 PM)
There has been some talk about moving Kyle Kosier to center and plugging Derrick Dockery in at right guard. But don't expect that to happen this week, at least based on what we've seen during pre-practice drills. Kosier has never played center in a game, so it'd be taking a risk, and he wasn't even able to practice yesterday. At some point, Dockery could replace Holland at left guard.
Tim MacMahon (1:57 PM)
Appreciate you folks joining me. If you've got any burning questions I didn't address, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon