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 11 a.m. CT/noon ET!
Todd Archer (11:57 AM)
OK, let's get going a little early. It's been awhile, how's everybody doing?
Frank (New Orleans)
With Dez Bryant possibly facing a lengthy suspension, would Mike Williams be a legitimate replacement?
Todd Archer (11:59 AM)
Let's get to the Dez Bryant stuff right off the top. I don't know if he'll get a "lengthy suspension." Maybe a game. Maybe two. Maybe just a fine. As for Mike Williams, I've asked around on him and other receivers and the answer has been, "nothing yet." The Cowboys will let this play out, assess what's out there and make a move if they feel like they have to make a move.
Daryl [via mobile]
Could matt johnson be a starter for the dallas cowboys this coming season?
Todd Archer (12:00 PM)
That's a tall task considering he's making the jump from whatever Div. 1-AA football is called nowadays and had all of one mini-camp practice with the full team because of league rules. He has been a regular at Valley Ranch since the June camp ended in an attempt to catch up at least with the homework if not the on-field work. I like his playmaking ability, but if you're asking me who starts next to Gerald Sensabaugh in Week 1, I would say Barry Church.
andrew from jenison [via mobile]
Im a big cowboys fan but im tired of people blaming everybody on the cowboys for not winning when people should be pointing fingers at jerry jones. The problem with the cowboys is jones needs a gm.
Todd Archer (12:02 PM)
Jerry would be glad to know he has been getting off without any blame these last 17 years. I don't think he'd agree and I'm not sure I agree with your premise. Jerry takes a lot of heat, deservedly so, for what the Cowboys have not done. The players and coaches do too, but I think Jerry has been at the top of the list when it comes to the blame game.
Robert (Denver) [via mobile]
Is Romo out in Dallas if this season doesn't end in New Orleans with a Lombardi trophy?
Todd Archer (12:04 PM)
No, he's not. He is signed through 2013 and I expect the Cowboys to attempt to sign him to a contract extension at some point. Maybe this summer or during the year. The Cowboys do not have a viable replacement for him that will make this team better, but that's not the only reason why he will be their guy in 2013 and beyond. The other reason is this: he's pretty darn good and quarterbacks don't grow on trees.
Back to Dez, unfortunately. I think he's a good player whose made some bad decisions. This one definitely being the worst. But this is his first arrest. I mean he's getting all the headlines because of a reputation. I mean look at Marshawn Lynch. He's been arrested 3 times in the past 5 years. I like Dez, think he needs guidance, but he should be at Valley Ranch for a LONG time.
Todd Archer (12:07 PM)
Dez's issues have become more serious as we've gone along, if you think about it. This is his first arrest, you're right, but I wouldn't make comparisons on arrest records as a defense. I wrote on ESPNDallas yesterday that the Cowboys will have to eventually determine if he is worth it. Right now I don't think he is. If he has the big season many predict, then I think the Cowboys would feel better about his long-term future.
Should cowboys focus more on signing mo Claiborne or how to deal with this dez issue?
Todd Archer (12:08 PM)
They are separate deals, so I don't think one will have anything to do with the other. With RG3 signed, I think you'll see more first-round deals get done, but the Cowboys care more about picks Nos. 3-5 than they do 1-2 because those guys are quarterbacks. I think the Claiborne deal gets done this week, but that's just a guess.
who starts at guard to begin the season, MAC, Arkin, or Leary
Todd Archer (12:09 PM)
Bernadeau is the other guard opposite Livings.
spencer (college station)
what does the starting offensive line look like week 1?
Todd Archer (12:10 PM)
From left to right: Tyron Smith, Nate Livings, Phil Costa, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Doug Free. The only question, for me, is Costa. I have a feeling Bill Nagy might make a push for that center spot.
Who do you see as being our 3rd. receiver this year?On the Roster or Not?
Todd Archer (12:11 PM)
Well, the Dez incident kind of throws the No. 3 wide receiver thing for a loop because if he is suspended, then they might need a more veteran player. But let's suppose it all works out and Bryant doesn't miss any time, I think the No. 3 wide receiver is on the roster. Andre Holmes will get a chance, but for some reason I'm sticking my neck out again on Kevin Ogletree.
Hey, Todd. Big Cowboys fan here. Are you confident with the team this year? I think going to the Superbowl is a reach, but maybe the NFC Championship?
Todd Archer (12:12 PM)
If they can reach an NFC title game, why can't they reach a Super Bowl? I think they make it to the playoffs. That's as far as I can go right now.
Will Victor Butler get more looks at OLB this year with Anthony Spencer likely out next year?
Todd Archer (12:13 PM)
Butler will be an unrestricted free agent in 2013 as well, so he's not guaranteed to be back either. I think you'll see Butler more involved as a pass rusher than he has been, but I don't think he'll supplant Spencer.
What are your expectations for DeMarco Murray? Can he be a 1,200 yard back this season?
Todd Archer (12:15 PM)
Yeah, I think he can be, He was on his way to those kinds of numbers before the ankle injury. Will he? I don't know. He did in 2011 what Julius Jones did in 2004, so I'm tapping the breaks just a little bit.
Jason Hatcher showed some flashes last yr of being a pretty good DE. Has the light possibly come on for him or is he just a situational player?
Todd Archer (12:16 PM)
He was a starter last year. He has progressively gotten better, but he has to stay away from injuries that keep him out of camp or a couple of weeks. He has some natural pass rush to him, which helps as well. I think he's solid.
Steven (Camp Mabry Austin)
Have you heard the alternate theory that Dez was in the right and that his Mom had drugs in a house that is in his name? Have you heard any truth to this rumor?
Todd Archer (12:17 PM)
You are never in the right when you hit a woman. Ever. And, no, I haven't heard that rumor.
Any possibility of T.O. coming back to the Cowboys? Also, do you think that Irvin has any room to talk considering the number of times he's been arrested?
Todd Archer (12:19 PM)
Listen, I have a better chance of playing for the Cowboys than Terrell Owens does. Jason Garrett will not allow it. Do you not remember what it was like around here in 2008? And, yes, I believe Michael has plenty of room to talk on subjects like this.
Mike (Ft. Worth)
Who do you think starts at ILB opposite Sean Lee, Carter or Connor? Are they still as high on Carter as they were when they drafted him?
Todd Archer (12:21 PM)
There have been a couple of ILB questions so I'll do it here in one shot: I think Dan Connor is the run-down linebacker and Bruce Carter is the passing-situation guy.They continue to speak highly of Carter and I thought some of it was forced based on what I watched during the OTAs and mini-camp. He was good, but I didn't see him make a play of note in the pasing game and I chart all of the 7-on-7 and team drills.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will the Cowboys defense improve with a full offseason to learn Rex Ryan's system and the addition of Morris Claiborne to get Romo and the Boys over the top?
Todd Archer (12:23 PM)
I think they'll be better, but I don't think you'll see them be a dominant defense. The full offseason will help, but how did Houston and San Francisco succeed with new coordinators last year (and new schemes)? Sometimes I think we get carried away with the intricacies of a Rob Ryan defense. It can't be that hard. The bottomline is they didn't play well enough and weren't coached good enough.
Steven (Camp Mabry Austin)
Todd, the isn't any evidence that he hit her. Cmon how many guys do you know hit someone in the wrists? How can this be overlooked by you guys?
Todd Archer (12:24 PM)
Doesn't the police report say "slapped in the face with a ball cap?"
It seems like there is very big disparity of opinion on Anthony Spencer. The advanced metrics show him to be a very good OLB but some in the media think he's average at best. Where do you fall on the debate?
Todd Archer (12:26 PM)
I think Spencer is better than many people believe but I don't think he's ever going to be a sack guy. He does a lot of other things that aren't noticed enough. He's a good player, but not a difference maker.
How good can Claiborne be as a rookie? He's coming in with a lot of hype but history shows that rookie CB's may struggle.
Todd Archer (12:27 PM)
Jack, you make a great point and it's something I've said too. That's why Mike Jenkins' stance has been puzzling to me. Patrick Peterson was OK as a rookie but most of his hghlights came in the return game.
Can you name one player (non-starter) you're really excited/looking forward to seeing in camp?
Todd Archer (12:28 PM)
Matt Johnson. We didn't see him in the offseason really.I want to see if the kid can play. I'd say Dwayne Harris too. I think the WR has a chance at that No. 3 job.
How much of a contribution are you expecting from the rookies after Claiborne? Can any of these guys make an impact on the team right away?
Todd Archer (12:30 PM)
They have to get some production, but they're not counting on any of them to be full-time regulars. On the previous question I should've added Kyle Wilber to the list of players I want to see. He just seems to always be around the ball. Can that continue in camp coming off the finger surgery? I think you'll see Crawford he a situational guy as a pass rusher.
Will Jerry Jones finally fire himself has a GM when the Cowboys come in last this year?
Todd Archer (12:30 PM)
Micah, don't hold your breath. Not going to happen.
Robert (Denver) [via mobile]
Stemming from my first question, I agree hes a darn good qb but only a darn good numbers qb? Danny white comparisons come to mind. I like Tony, I do, but I'm not sold he's an Aikman type leader
Todd Archer (12:32 PM)
Danny White gets slighted way too often. Three NFC title games. That should get him some praise. As for the leader stuff, I think you're a litle off base. Tony has grown a lot in that area and this team now sees him as the guy. They see him as the dude who organized the practices during the lockout and played with a busted rib last year. That's leadership.
Kerry (Port Arthur)
do u see mike jenkins on the field for the cowboys week 1, or is he on the pup list?
Todd Archer (12:32 PM)
I don't see him playing Week 1. That's how far behind he is on his rehab. Which brings me to the next Jenkins question ...
Do you see Mike Jenkins un-plant Orlando Scandrick as the slot corner,or is Jenkins just a insurance policy?
Todd Archer (12:35 PM)
If Jenkins had been around for his rehab and possibly done a little bit of work in the mini-camp, then I wouldn't have ruled him out as a Week 1 starter. He had a really good season last year and proved he was tough by playing with a bad shoulder. He is a better cornerback than Scandrick, IMO. But how he approached the offseason will have a negative impact on his future.
Mike (Long Island)
As a Giants fan, I do enjoy reading chats centering on NFC East competitors. And I do think I speak for all (well, probably "most" is more accurate) Giants fans in saying that the Cowboys could do a lot worse than keeping Tony Romo as QB. True, he hasn't been able to break through adversity like Eli was able to, but he is far, far from the Cowboys' biggest problem area.
Todd Archer (12:35 PM)
Nothing to add here, but a nice perspective from a Giants' fan.
Do you think Jay Novacek is underrated in Cowboys 1990s history? BTW, couldnt agree more than with your opinion about D White. Only because he followed RS does he not get the credit...
Todd Archer (12:36 PM)
Hard to say he was underrated at all. He went to Pro Bowls. He was a go-to guy for Aikman. He's prety "rated" to me. Not a Ring of Honor type, but a glue guy on those teams.
Do you think Lissemore has a chance to be a starter this year? It seems like a lot of scribes are picking him as the breakout player since he performed well in a limited role last year.
Todd Archer (12:37 PM)
I can't go there yet, but I can see him getting a lot more snaps. I said this last year at some point, but he reminds me of Stephen Bowen. Just when you think he's maxed out and is what he is, he shows you can do more. I think Lissemore has starter's potential, but I don't know if he wins a job this year. He is a productive player.
How do you think John Phillips will do as the backup TE?
Todd Archer (12:38 PM)
I think he will be an upgrade over Martellus Bennett overal. He is not the blocker that Bennett was, but Phillips is much more dependable on a number of fronts. I have no worry about him moving up to the No. 2 job.
Mark (Windsor ON)
Is Kenyon Coleman going to make the team? Will Josh Brent make an impact on the DL?
Todd Archer (12:40 PM)
I think the final D-line spot comes down to Coleman and Marcus Spears, provided there are no injuries in camp. If I had to guess right now, I'd give Coleman the edge because of his history with Rob Ryan. That's hard for me to say because I like Spears a lot. He's a stand up guy and goes about his work. Aa for Brent, he has to keep an eye out for Robert Calloway as the backup NT. Calloway impressed a lot of people in the offseason.
Do you think having a big prime time opening game makes it any less likely that Dez will get suspended the NFL?
Todd Archer (12:41 PM)
I don't think that will have anything to do with it.
Karl (San Diego)
Settle this for me please. Why is that prognosticators don't consider Emmitt Smith to be the best RB of all time? Besides having all the stats, he has MVP awards, and not only that, has proven to be one of the TOUGHEST players to play the game. I just don't get it. Explain, please.
Todd Archer (12:42 PM)
It's all in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't call Emmitt the best RB of all time. I'd go with Jim Brown or Walter Payton. Just my opinion. Emmitt was great. He's in the top 5-10 and that's not exactly a bad place to be. Some people believe he was aided by Hall of Famers on the line, QB and WR.
What holds back the 2012 Cowboys assuming the Dez distraction goes away for the time being interior Oline or pass rush? I'm still not sold on Costa but think the Oline will be better but still not sold on a true pass rusher on this Defense other then Ware. N of course Carr Claiborne will help the back end but still need to get to opposing QBs with ur front 7 n not a believer that the coverage helps pass rush think pass rushers help the pass rush. So I think if this teams struggles it comes by their inability to rush the passer. Thoughts?
Todd Archer (12:43 PM)
I'm with you. I'm still not sold on the pass rush. But we'll finally be able to answer the chicken-and-egg question about a secondary making a pass rush or a pass rush making a secondary. The Cowboys are banking on the secondary making the pass rush better. We'll see.
What are you expecting from Felix Jones this year besides a few flashes and some injuries? Can he be worked into the offense on a regular basis to support Murray?
Todd Archer (12:44 PM)
I think Felix will have a hybrid role between first and second down back and third-down back. He can be effective out of the backfield as a pas catcher. He can be good on screens. But Murray will get he bulk of the work and the bulk of the carries.
Michelle Morrison (Kansas City, Mo)
What is your opinion on where Lawrence Vickers will fit in> Ben and Skin on 103.3 ESPN Dallas seem to be pretty in love with him, but I'm wondering how much playing time he'll get. I'd never heard of him before he was on their show.
Todd Archer (12:46 PM)
When you look at his history as a lead blocker, you have to like what he can bring. Tony Fiammetta was hailed as the second coming last year, but the reality didn't match the myth in some respects. He was good, but he was not a bulldozing FB. Vickers is that kind of guy. He's more physical and will root guys out of the way. Fiammetta was more a shield guy. I think Vickers will be an upgrade, but again, we're talking maybe 15-20 snaps a game here.
Keith (Temple Texas)
What role do you see Felix Jones taking assuming that Murray is the starter? Seems like a whiff on a #1 pick to be a "situation" running back?
Todd Archer (12:47 PM)
It wasn't the "hit" they wanted, but he has some value to this team. Murray has to show he can handle the load for a full season, too. Having Jones as a backup is a good thing for right now.
Dan Bailey. This won't be a Nick Folk situation will it?
Todd Archer (12:47 PM)
I don't think so, but I would bring in another leg for Bailey in camp just to keep him on his toes.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do the Cowboys reconsider the importance of the troubled Dez Bryant if he has another season hampered with injuries, further incidents, and therefore doesn't produce the numbers he should?
Todd Archer (12:49 PM)
I believe they will. He has been good his first two years and shown signs he can be great, but he has to show it consistently. Teams will overlook a lot of things for superstars. He hasn't shown he's a superstar yet.
Todd Archer (12:53 PM)
We've seem to hit a lull with the questions, so I'll pack up for the day. Thanks to all who jumped in and we'll do more of these during training camp and the season.Remember to check out our blog for updates and you can ask more questions to me on Twitter (@toddarcher).Thanks again. And glad football season is back.Courage