Chat with Calvin Watkins
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Dallas Cowboys reporter Calvin Watkins stops by to chat about the team.
Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. He joined ESPN in September 2009.
Send your questions now and join Watkins Friday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Calvin Watkins (3:00 PM)
Hello and welcome to our Friday chat. We had some technical difficulties last week. But none this week. So let's get going.
Morice (Virginia Beach, VA)
With Peprah coming back, will Mccray be just the special teams ace again or will he still get some time at safety sunday?
Calvin Watkins (3:01 PM)
Morice,I think Peprah will get some significant playing time, whether or not he starts isn't important right now, because McCray will get some time at safety as well. But Peprah is a better safety than McCray and he returns at an important point of the season.
S. Claus (North Pole)
with Leary being added to the cowboys 53 man roster, who goes? Im guessing Arkin
Calvin Watkins (3:03 PM)
I can see that, but you can never have enough linemen. So, why not place Jay Ratliff on IR, ending his season. Now it's a three-to-six week injury so, the Cowboys would have to make a deep playoff run in order for him to return. Ratliff is the leading candidate. I'm also wondering about Brady Poppinga and quite possibly Michael Coe.
Ian (Atl, GA)
I know it may be a bit early for this, but I liek some of these guys the Cowboys have picked up off the streets. Do you think the Cowboys will try hard to keep guys like Peprah and Moore next season? I think they can help add to lack of depth this team has had in recent seasons.
Calvin Watkins (3:05 PM)
The starting safeties next year will be Barry Church and Gerald Sensabaugh. You need Danny McCray because he's a solid special teams player. Charlie Peprah is somebody I think it worth keeping for another season. You can never have enough corners and Sterling Moore should return as well because Mike Jenkins wants to go elsewhere.
rattlif will come back next season ?
Calvin Watkins (3:06 PM)
You save $1 million on the cap by sending him home and his overall production has decreased the last two seasons. It's probably time to let him go.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear CalvinShould the game after Jerry Brown was killed have been cancelled?
Calvin Watkins (3:07 PM)
No. The games must go on, unless there was a public safety issue coming that made playing the game difficult. The NFL and the Cowboys handled things the right way by playing the game. It was tough on Dallas, but it needed to happen.
Any chance Miles gets axed this year as a salary dump? Harris is coming on nicely and we seem to be up against the cap, although I would hate to see this happen
Calvin Watkins (3:10 PM)
I don't believe you release Miles Austin for Dwayne Harris. Austin has produced 898 yards and five touchdowns this season. His hamstrings give you fits of course, but he's not worthy of getting released.
Morice (Virginia Beach, VA)
How much do you think Ware will be used Sunday? He's clearly limited playing on one arm. I ask this because dallas could lose this game and still have a chance to win the division if the giants lose one of their last two games.
Calvin Watkins (3:12 PM)
Ware is going to be limited the rest of the season because of that elbow and now his shoulder is popping out on him. His body is wearing down on him right now. He needs a break to rest his body, but won't get it a least for another two weeks, maybe more if the Cowboys reach the postseason. He's still a quality pass rusher even with one arm.
apurva (houston, tx)
What is the first area of need you'd address in next years draft for the Cowboys? I say OL, or Safety
Calvin Watkins (3:13 PM)
If you release Jay Ratliff and lose Anthony Spencer in free agency, you might need a pass rusher. I'd say go with pass rusher, offensive line, running back and defensive line again in the early rounds.
Should the cowboys consider bringing back Mike Jenkins?
Calvin Watkins (3:14 PM)
I think so, but Jenkins isn't hearing it, unless he gets a big money deal. Cowboys didn't treat Jenkins right and he probably wants to move on.
chris (Willis TX)
How do the cowboys defend Jimmy Graham because i dont trust danny mccray on him?
Calvin Watkins (3:15 PM)
It's not about McCray, Peprah will get a hold of Graham and maybe Anthony Spencer in some zone coverage.
i remember when dallas beat the saint a couple years ago that they controlled the clock on the ground. do you think murray the key to the victory?
Calvin Watkins (3:17 PM)
You need DeMarco Murray to win most games at this stage of the season. The Cowboys haven't lost a game when he rushes for more than 20 carries. This year the Cowboys are 3-0 when that happens.
if you could do the 08 draft over who would you take in those 1st 2 rounds when the cowboys had 4 picks?
Calvin Watkins (3:21 PM)
Yeah, I would. Felix Jones wouldn't be on this team. Mike Jenkins would. It's so easy to see that draft and question why you would bypass so many other talented running backs, including Ray Rice. Cowboys went for a backup in the first round, instead the franchise should have drafted starters. It's a mistake the team won't make again, especially in the first round.
James hickson (NYC)
Are you Surprise how Witten has Played despite a rough start and do tyou think he breaks the record?
Calvin Watkins (3:22 PM)
Witten has been fantastic this season. His slow start was attributed to his health. The man recovered from a lacerated spleen. it took him a while to get going and once he did, outside of touchdowns, he gets the offense going.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate Morris Claiborne's rookie season at corner?
Calvin Watkins (3:22 PM)
Give Mo a 6
Peyrah (Jackson, MS)
I'm all for keeping Tony for a few more years. But I wouldn't sign him for more than 5 - will he sign for less than that?
Calvin Watkins (3:24 PM)
I would give Romo a two-year contract extension and that's it. You don't want an old quarterback on your team with no future. I'm not sure what Romo is asking for, money-wise, but it's interesting to see if he wants $20-30 million on average.
Calvin, several of you ESPN Dallas guys have stated that the Saints offense is much better than the Cowboys defense, and that's why the Cowboys will lose. What about the Cowboys offense vs. the Saints 32nd ranked defense?
Calvin Watkins (3:25 PM)
I agree with you to a certain degree. But if this game is a shootout, and I believe it will be, then I don't think the Cowboys defense will make enough plays to stop Drew Brees.
Do you like the idea of a rotation at rigth tackle?
Calvin Watkins (3:29 PM)
No, I don't like rotations, but Doug Free struggled and the Cowboys needed to do something with him. The next best thing was to bench him. But for now the Cowboys are using Parnell and Free. This gives the Cowboys a chance to see what they have in Parnell and if he's shown them he has a future with the franchise, then cut Free and start Parnell next year. At some point you have to find out what you got in some of these young players.
how muc credit does the Jimmy Robinson deserve for what he's done with this bunch of receivers?
Calvin Watkins (3:30 PM)
He should get some especially for his work with Dez Bryant. You can see Bryant is becoming more of a complete player right now. Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley are up and coming and should get more playing time next year. Harris is getting more PT now.
Moan (Jackson, MS)
Are the Cowboys still dealing with the $$ penalty that the league gave us for salary cap errors? If so, next year should we be good to go for spending on the free agency market?
Calvin Watkins (3:34 PM)
The Cowboys will be penalized $5 million in 2013 and they are roughly $20 million over the cap so they will have to make some room by restructuring contracts and releasing players. Once they get under the cap, expect Dallas to have some room to make a move in free agency.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Dallas Cowboys will win the Rest of the 2 Games of the 2012 Season?
Calvin Watkins (3:35 PM)
A few weeks ago, I said yes. Now, I think they'll lose on Sunday against New Orleans and beat the Redskins in the regular season finale, unless some major injuries occur to the Cowboys this week.
With Leary getting called up is it just to keep him from another team trying to sign him or is he going to compete for playing time?
Calvin Watkins (3:35 PM)
This is to keep from another team from signing him. He's done a nice job in practices this season.
Nancy Head (Pearl, MS)
Is Jason Garrett learning on the job, or has he become a legitimate head coach that can take us to multiple championships? Is he better in the day-to-day coaching of the team, or is what we see on the sidelines what we get?
Calvin Watkins (3:39 PM)
Jerry Jones said it best, a month ago to be honest, when talking about Garrett: There is no on-the-job training. Garrett is a legit NFL head coach and can he lead a team to multiple championships? I don't know. Nobody really knows. He's got a good program in place where he's building something positive.
Calvin Watkins (3:40 PM)
Thanks guys for the chat. Have a Merry Christmas and take care of yourselves.