Chat with Todd Archer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Dallas Cowboys reporter Todd Archer drops by to chat and answer all of your Cowboys questions.
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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Todd Archer (12:01 PM)
Hi, folks. I turned down a chance to have lunch with President Bush today because Calvin wasn't invited and I didn't want the perception that I was able to get some perks he wasn't. Oh, and I didn't want to miss this great chat with you guys. I kid, I kid. Away we go.
Sam (South California)
Outside of Aaron Donald, who is worth the 16th pick? Would anyone worth it realistically be there? Would trading back to mid 20s plus and extra pick be better for the team?
Todd Archer (12:02 PM)
I'm all for trading back, but if you don't think there could be a player worth the pick at No. 16, why would a team trade up from the mid 20s to get a player? That's the missing angle when we talk about trades. Who will be worth trading up to get? We have no way of knowing now, but I can see the Cowboys moving down.
Tyrone (Stephenville TX) [via mobile]
We have a lot of talent on Offense. I dont think our coaching staff utilized our weapons well. Sure they could force the ball to those weapons or run it a million times but I feel as if we lack(ed) creativity. I've thought this for the last 3 or 4 years. Do you see this changing with our new "passing coordinator"?
Todd Archer (12:05 PM)
Great questions, Tyrone. I think you will see more creativity in the offense with Scott Linehan. It depends on how you want to define it, I guess. Is it running a flea flicker or something like that, which Garrett has never done, I wouldn't necessarily call that creative. But I think Linehan had a way to make it hard for Calvin Johnson to be doubled in Detroit. The Cowboys answer to seeing Dez Bryant or Jason Witten doubled was to throw it to somebody else. That's not good either. I think Linehan will bring more to the scheme.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Todd - Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray's contracts expiring after the season will the Cowboys retain either or all 3 for 2015 ?
Todd Archer (12:06 PM)
I think they retain all three. One thing to remember on Tyron Smith, he's a Cowboy in 2015 regardless of whether he has an extension or not. The Cowboys hold a fifth-year option on his deal. Bryant isn't going anywhere. Murray has moved into the conversation with how he closed the 2013 season and the relatively small deals running backs have gotten this offseason. Of the three, however, Murray could be the one that wouldn't be back.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who did the Dallas Cowboys sign as a Free Agent Since NFL Free Agency Started on March 11?
Todd Archer (12:07 PM)
Henry Melton, Terrell McClain, Jeremy Mincey and Brandon Weeden.
Which one of the the top QB's would likely drop to the second round?
Todd Archer (12:08 PM)
It sounds like Teddy Bridgewater could be the guy to drop based off pro days, which is not the best way to go about evaluating players. I don't think that'll happen though. I think you'll see Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel all go in the top half (top 10?) and maybe a Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo get in there too.
What happen to chris johnson in the 08 draft, i thought wade liked him?
Todd Archer (12:10 PM)
They liked Felix Jones more. They thought Johnson was a little too slight and something of a track guy. They didn't love him coming out. They liked him. And I don't see the Cowboys making a play for him now.
Mark Sager(Okc) [via mobile]
Does the cowboys not signing a veteran receiver mean they want Escobar to be a vital part of the offense next season?
Todd Archer (12:11 PM)
I wrote about that Tuesday. I think that's part of the reason why they haven't signed a vet yet. But I think they want to see what happens in the draft. If they take a receiver early, then would they need a vet? Maybe as insurance for injury, but I think the need would drop if they take a receiver in the first, second or third rounds.
Ray (From Southside)
What are ur thoughts on this whole scheme thing? Parcells used to say that he wasnt gonna try to fit square pegs into round holes, but would say if u can play football u can play in any scheme i.e. greg ellis moving from de to olb...now with carr, claiborne, carter to an extent, it seems like the scheme is an excuse for these guys..thoughts??
Todd Archer (12:13 PM)
I like this question, Ray. Coaches should coach to a player's strengths. I think the scheme change served as an excuse for the corners to a degree when they didn't really play well regardless of what they were asked to do (and I take Scandrick out of that. He played well). The Cowboys played cover-2 with Rob Ryan. They played off coverage. They played zone. They played a lot of man too. I do think Marinelli needs to marry the talents of the corners better to the scheme than Kiffin did, but I think it's more important that the corners play better regardless of what is called.
Donald (Westbend WI)
Do you know if Spencer wants to be in dallas?
Todd Archer (12:14 PM)
I believe he would like to be here but he'll take the best deal. Right now there are no deals. I think the longer this goes, the more likely he'll be back.
I was Watching the cowboys super bowl week on nfl network over the weekend, and you forget how pin point accurate troy was and how he lead receivers to the ball. do you think he's underated as a pure passer?
Todd Archer (12:15 PM)
I do. He could have put up ridiculous numbers if he had to, but he had Emmitt Smith behind him and the Cowboys played with a lead so much they didn't have to throw it a ton when he was in his prime.
Rick(dallas) [via mobile]
Your thoughts on marcus spears comments about the cowboy players being in the press box?
Todd Archer (12:16 PM)
If they were in the press box, then I'd have a huge issue with that. Get out of my kitchen. But they were in Jerry Jones' suite. I don't have a problem with it. I wrote about it Tuesday. Look, these guys have status that other guys don't have on the team. It's the way things work in any line of work. I've yet to get a good answer for this: were they supposed to turn down Jerry's offer because Chris Jones wasn't invited too?
don pertha (arkansas)
Marcus Spears is right on the money. and so is Steve Dennis.Romo and Witten have never won anything. and Jerry Jones is a joke. 1 playoff win in going on 18 years.
Todd Archer (12:18 PM)
We'll agree to disagree. The better players get treated differently than the other players. In other lines of work, the better workers get treated better than other workers. If players have a problem with it, get over it. Or how about play better and then they'll get invited to Jerry's suite too.
Is it too early to draft bruce carters replacement or do u give him one more year?
Todd Archer (12:18 PM)
I'd look. Carter is in the last year of his deal, so you have to prepare for the future. Has he done enough to say you want him for the long-term? Not to me, so I'd look.
Cullen Calabria (Paris, TX)
In Todd Archers perfect draft for the Cowboys, who do we get with the our first 2 picks?
Todd Archer (12:19 PM)
Aaron Donald and Demarcus Lawrence. Might be a tad rich for Lawrence, but I like the kid as a right defensive end.
In my opinion, Kahlil Mack is a much better overall grab than Clowney. If Mack fell in the 6-10 range, do you see the Cowboys making a move to trade up?
Todd Archer (12:20 PM)
I don't see the Cowboys moving up. It would cost too much to do so. They need more picks, not fewer picks.
Todd Archer (12:20 PM)
And Mack won't fall that far.
Thomas (New York)
What changes has Will McClay made to the way the Cowboys will run the draft? I'd like to see them actually be prepared to draft someone at 16 (especially if a top 5 player falls that far - e.g., Shariff Floyd) or to get more than a third round pick to move back 11 spots (TWill panned out, but give me Larry Warford at end of 2 instead).
Todd Archer (12:22 PM)
The Cowboys will have all of their bases covered when it comes the scenario you laid out. That was a mistake in the process last year, but it turned out pretty well with Frederick and Terrance Williams. I think McClay has an eye for talent and I think he'll fight for the talent. Not to say he would take a character risk, but he might be more willing to take a chance.
Everything I see talks about Cowboys HAVE to go heavy on D-Line in the draft, but with Bass and Crawford (hopefully) coming back I could see a wasted draft on guys that are just as unproven. Could this create a logjam this summer?
Todd Archer (12:23 PM)
I think we overrate what Ben Bass could be. It's a great story, but I just don't think he's anything more than a rotation guy. And if they have a logjam on the defensive line, that's a good thing. That means they can get to the quarterback and that will help the secondary more than anything.
why did we sign brandon weeden when we could get a young qb in the draft to develop?
Todd Archer (12:24 PM)
Why not do both? Weeden cost them nothing. They can still draft a guy. And they can say it all they want, but I'm not convinced Kyle Orton is playing. We'll see if he's in the offseason program here in a couple of weeks.
Jon (New Jersey) [via mobile]
What's the likeliness the cowboys use a 1st-4th round pick on a QB given Romo's back to back surgeys (no pub intended)
Todd Archer (12:25 PM)
I don't see them using a first or second rounder on a QB. Third might be too rich too. I think they could get a guy in the fourth round. I've said this the last couple of weeks, but my guy is Georgia's Aaron Murray.
With all the talk about the Cowboys needing DL, should we be surprised when they take an OL or a LB or a CB with their first pick? I think RT is an underrated need with Free being an UFA in 2015, same goes for LB as no one is proven outside of Lee, and same for CB as Carr could be a cap casualty unless he picks up his play and Mo has underperformed so far.
Todd Archer (12:26 PM)
Jimmy, I think every position is in play except quarterback, tight end and running back. You can make a case for every other spot. You can't go wrong when taking the best player available. Well, I guess you can if your evaluations are bad, but you are less likely to make mistakes with the best player theory.
Do you think henderson is doing a good job with the secondary, because they've underacheived greatly?
Todd Archer (12:28 PM)
I think he's a good coach, but you're right they haven't performed well the last couple of years. The players need to play better and the coaches need to coach better. A lot better. Henderson included. He was given a $50 million corner and a top-10 pick in 2012 and neither guy has played to the level of expectation.
Josh(Manhattan) [via mobile]
If I were the cowboys I would draft a Cb between 2nd-3rd round. Your thoughts?
Todd Archer (12:29 PM)
I can see that, Josh. Carr could be a cap casualty and Claiborne hasn't panned out yet. You can never have enough corners, especially in a division with weapons the Redskins and Eagles have.
joe (ft worth)
Any chance we take a potential 3rd rounder in the 1st round again? And if so, get lucky and it works out in the end?
Todd Archer (12:30 PM)
Maybe those who graded Frederick as a third rounder were wrong? Every team has about 16-20 first round picks on their board, so if you're picking late in the first round, then you could be taking a "second round" talent in the mid 20s. That's just how it works. Frederick had a second round grade and he has the look of a 10-year starter. I'd take that every day.
Cleva Don (Dallas)
Todd... Do you honestly think Mr. Jones will operate the Dallas Cowboys the traditional "operations of footbal" way? You know like umm let the head coach coach and stop pretending to be a Super GM! #SoSickOfMrJ
Todd Archer (12:31 PM)
Why would he start doing this now?
I know they need defensive line help, but if Donald is gone at 16 then drafting the best O-lineman would be fine from my perspective. What are your thoughts on Lewan & Martin, and which would be the best fit for the Boys?
Todd Archer (12:31 PM)
I've been a Zack Martin guy but in part because I didn't think Lewan would be there. I think I'd still take Martin because he can play some guard too.
Who has to have the better year, Claiborne or T. Williams? Moving into the 2nd receiver spot brings with it high expectations, but are Dallas fans ready to turn on Mo if he doesn't perform this year?
Todd Archer (12:33 PM)
Good question, Eric. My immediate reaction was Claiborne because of what it means to him personally and what it means to the team for taking him so high in 2012. But Williams might need to have the better year because if this team wins (makes the playoffs), then it will be because of the offense. I think Williams will be a 65-catch, 850-yard, 6-touchdown kind of guy. As for fans turning on Mo, I think a lot already have.
How can the Cowboys not draft defense on most of the picks? Dline, safety, even linebacker with the injuries sustained every year.
Todd Archer (12:37 PM)
What if they have players with better grades ahead of them? Take the best player and become a better team. If you pick for need, then you're potentially reaching for players.
Hey Todd - I know he's dealt with some injuries but CJ Moseley does seem to be a terrific player & great fit for Dallas. What are your thoughts on him
Todd Archer (12:38 PM)
The injuries do scare me a little, especially with the way injuries have plagued the Cowboys the last two years. It's hard denying his playmaking ability. I do wonder if Alabama guys though have less tread on their tires than other schools.
Dave (south carolina)
Hi Todd. Who do you see as the frontrunner in the NFC East this upcoming season and why?
Todd Archer (12:39 PM)
I know Philly lost Jackson, but I think they've done a nice job and they won the division a year ago. Until you beat the champ, they're still the champ. I'd lean toward Philly winning the East right now.
the Cowboys seem to undervalue the safety positions- always seem to back fill or try a stop-gap; any chance of signing a more proven commodity this year pre- or post- draft?
Todd Archer (12:40 PM)
I don't think so, Geno. There's not a real proven guy worth it right now. Look at Marinelli's safeties in Chicago. They were solid players but hardly stars. Maybe they look in the draft, but I really think they try to see what they have in J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath and Matt Johnson.
Jon (New Jersey) [via mobile]
Do you think with the addition of Linehan as the offensive play caller this will diminish Demarco Murray's role enough that he would not want to resign with the cowboys? There were games last season (Green Bay) where he seemed he wanted nothing to do with the Cowboys. Agree or disagree?
Todd Archer (12:41 PM)
Linehan definitely leaned toward the pass for sure. But he also ran it well in Minnesota when he had Randy Moss catching passes. He ran it well with Stephen Jackson. He ran it decently enough with Reggie Bush last year in Detroit. With the way Murray closed the season, I think Linehan will do enough to get more out of him, not less.
Why the hell would the cowboys extend murray in todays nfl? i heard its in the works
Todd Archer (12:42 PM)
It's not in the works. It's a possibility. What if you can get him for a cheap rate for the next three-four years? Have you seen the RB deals guys have signed this offseason?
Jared Walker (Wyoming)
Todd, any chance the cowboys make a play for Brett Smith, QB from Wyoming
Todd Archer (12:43 PM)
I haven't heard anything yet specific to the Cowboys, but he does have some buzz about him from the league.
What current Cowboy player makes the leap next year and why?
Todd Archer (12:44 PM)
Good question, Tony. Escobar makes a leap. Some of it will be based on playing more. Some of it will be based on how the Cowboys use him. New position coach Mike Pope will help him, but I think the Cowboys have to realize what he is and use him that way and not try to turn him into an on the line tight end.
Do you agree with continuing the dez rules?
Todd Archer (12:45 PM)
Sure. It's worked and Jerry said at the owners meetings Dez still needs to keep his guard up, so clearly they will continue with it.
don pertha (arkansas)
Who is going to finish last in the NFC east Todd? it's going to be the pitiful Dallas Cowboys. Right Todd?
Todd Archer (12:46 PM)
They'll finish third. I'm going with the Giants.
Which young has a chance to compete with Calvin as the best WR in the league, AJ, Dez, Julio, or gordon?
Todd Archer (12:50 PM)
You guys are filled with good questions. To me it's Julio Jones or Dez. With Gonzalez gone from Atlanta, I think Julio will get more work while Dez still has Witten around him catching 75-85 balls a year.
Jon (New Jersey) [via mobile]
I think Marinelli will totally reshape the Cowboys defense due to his passion and demand for his players to preform. Do you think this is enough to make us a legitamit playoff contender? (We have to make the playoffs first)
Todd Archer (12:51 PM)
This will be the ender. No, I don't think that's enough to change things for this defense. They need better players. I think Marinelli will help and maybe he'll change things up some, but it's about talent. He needs more players.
Todd Archer (12:53 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. I'll have a leftover post from some of the questions I didn't get to that will run Friday. And if you want to send me a question via Twitter (@toddarche) hit me up. I have mailbag posts that go up Friday and Saturday. Next week I'll do a better job of coming up with some draft names and links to the Cowboys. See you guys then.